GSTC for Tour Operators

Adhere to the GSTC Industry Criteria

The GSTC Industry Criteria and Suggested Indicators for Tour Operators are available in the public domain free of charge for non-commercial use, and translated in many languages; distribute them to staff and encourage their application.

They were created in an effort to come to a common understanding of sustainable tourism, and are the minimum that a Tour Operator (a provider, operator, and/or seller of travel products) business should aspire to reach. The Tour Operator Criteria are organized around four main themes: (A) effective sustainability planning; (B) maximizing social and economic benefits for the local community; (C) enhancing cultural heritage; and (D) reducing negative impacts to the environment.

Join a Training on the GSTC Criteria

Staff training on the GSTC Criteria is available from the GSTC with frequent online classes and by special arrangement for on-site training sessions.

The GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP) teaches the breadth of sustainable travel and tourism components and offers practical insights and effective steps to help you improve your sustainability practices. All sessions are led by expert GSTC Trainer(s).

Become a Certified Tour Operator

Becoming certified as a sustainable tour operator means that your travel or tourism product or service complies with the highest social and environmental standards on the market.

Increasingly, luxury travelers as well as regular travelers, and your fellow travel provider clients are seeking confirmation that sustainability practices are in place. Also increasingly, travel companies are looking for a product that is not only certified sustainable, but certified sustainable by a certification program that is GSTC Accredited. For example, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced that by being certified by a Certification Body that carries a GSTC mark, operators of shore excursions will gain preferential buying treatment, when feasible). Other travel providers also give preferential buying treatment to suppliers that are certified sustainable.

Certification by an Accredited Certification Body (CB) provides you a credible solution to complex environmental and social issues, while informing your stakeholders — from customers to ownership and to your supply chain — that your business is operated with sound management that looks to the future and not merely at today.

Influence Your Supply Chain to be More Sustainable

Make your supply chain more sustainable in a verified way by giving preference in contracting to hotels that are certified by a GSTC Accredited Certification Body (CB).

Tour Operators can more easily verify and promote their supply chain as sustainable by showing preference to hotels and transport-vehicle providers that are certified sustainable.

Join GSTC as a Member

Join GSTC as a member organization to stay informed of key developments, and to learn from others in our network. Being a GSTC member means actively participating in our global community who represent a wide range of tourism stakeholders – from non-profit organizations to leading international tour operators, to government organizations and national tourism boards, and to local and international hospitality brands.