April 14, 2015 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the GREAT Green Deal Sustainable Certification Program has achieved ‘GSTC Recognized’ status. The awarded status affirms GREAT Green Deal’s commitment to promote sustainable tourism products and services
The GREAT Green Deal Sustainable Certification Program (GGD) represents a way of doing business while taking care of all stakeholders involved in the tourism operations. The GGD standard has more than 400 indicators that provide hotel and tour operators (lodging facilities, hotels, tour operators and rental car companies) a map that takes executives and entrepreneurs on a path to be more successful in their business while being responsible with employees and their families, the community, the cultural heritage and traditions including the environment. For the GGD Program it’s important that businesses are profitable and jointly all stakeholders feel valued, cared for and supported. Currently, 10 hotels and 1 rental car company located in the main touristic destinations of Guatemala and Central America are GGD certified in sustainability.
“The GSTC Recognition of our Standard is a confirmation that we are fully committed to sustainability and the international criteria. It gives full trust to the certified companies and others, mainly tourism companies in Latin America that GGD is following the actual market trends in order to provide companies a secure path to internationalization with a trustable and transparent image”, expressed Carmen Pérez, Executive Director, GGD. “We expect that this recognition of our standard invites tourism entrepreneurs in the Caribbean and and Latin America to decide soon on following global steps through reaching a certification as the one GGD offers in order to fulfill what international markets are looking for every time in a stronger way.”
GSTC-Recognized means that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Accreditation Panel in order to be deemed equivalent to the GSTC Criteria. Additionally, an organization that meets GSTC requirements must administer the standard. The purpose of the GSTC programs is to recognize and reward genuine practitioners of sustainable tourism, which in turn builds confidence and credibility with consumers.
“GREAT Green Deal has joined the ever-increasing number of reputable standards for sustainability that have chosen to prove their quality to global markets by gaining the GSTC mark for Recognition, indicating that their standards meet or exceed our global baseline standards. We’re confident that this step will help them expand their markets for their sustainably certified products” said GSTC CEO Randy Durband.
To date, 22 standards have achieved GSTC Recognized status. The completion of these step-wise programs rewards standard owners for their commitment to sustainability while offering the market benefit of proof that these national standards adhere to international norms.
The GSTC will continue to work with organizations around the world to provide GSTC Recognition, Approval and Accreditation of standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. GSTC Approved standard owners are encouraged to complete the Accreditation process in order to achieve improvements in their sustainability frameworks, further distinction amongst other certification programs, and receive increased market benefits.
About the GSTC
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is a global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism efforts around the world. The GSTC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit that works to expand understanding of and access to sustainable tourism practices; helps identify and generate markets for sustainable tourism; and educates about and advocates for a set of universal principles, as defined by the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The Criteria, a set of voluntary principles that provide a framework for the sustainability of tourism businesses across the globe, is the cornerstone of our initiative. For more information, visit www.gstcouncil.org.
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