July 5, 2018 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that Green Destinations has achieved the ‘GSTC-Accredited’ status. The awarded status affirms Green Destinations’ commitment to promoting sustainable destinations.

Green Destinations (GD) is a non-profit organisation of experts and destination ambassadors working in 80 countries. GD supports a large community of local, regional and country destination managers and stakeholders, enhancing destination sustainability, market visibility, and tourism quality. Green Destinations developed a complete, affordable and easy-to-use Assessment & Certification programme that fits the needs of both small and larger destinations. It is operated through an online Assessment & Reporting platform based upon the GSTC-Recognised Green Destinations Standard and the GD Database with data from 2000 destinations. The platform helps destinations to improve sustainability management and performance.

Achieving the GSTC-Accredited status means that a certification program is following processes and procedures that have been reviewed and approved by the GSTC Accreditation Panel. Businesses and Destinations certified by a GSTC-Accredited certification program can also use the GSTC language and logo when they meet all GSTC Criteria. The purpose of the GSTC programs is to reward genuine practitioners of sustainable tourism, which in turn builds confidence and credibility with consumers.

“The Green Destinations programme provides an effective incentive to hundreds of destinations to shift their operations toward greater sustainability,” says Luigi Cabrini, GSTC Chair. “Green Destinations and GSTC are cooperating for a long time and share the same principles and approaches. It is therefore with great satisfaction that we now welcome Green Destinations amongst the selected group of certification bodies that meet the highest standards.”

“Green Destinations is really happy to receive this highest possible recognition”, says GD’s founder Albert Salman. “We try to offer destinations and countries the best possible support in the market, but we have to be aware that it can take several years to conclude the process towards GSTC-Accredited certification. This is why we issue benchmark awards (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum) to annually celebrate progress towards the GD Standard. This model has been developed in cooperation with country-wide programs, e.g. the National Tourism Board Slovenia. Following this model, we offer a GSTC-Accredited certification mechanism to countries that developed their own national standard. I hope this will help avoid the development of a destination-label jungle, as happened in the hotels certification”.

To date, 4 accommodation programs, 5 tour-operator programs, and 2 destination programs have achieved GSTC-Accredited status. The completion of these step-wise programs rewards certification bodies for their commitment to sustainability while offering the market benefit of proof that their certification process is credible and adhere to international norms.

GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to join the leading GSTC-Accredited programs (accommodations, tour-operators, destinations) for and complete the Accreditation process which relates to the quality and neutrality of their certification process. Achieving a GSTC-Accredited status affirms that their certification process follows the highest international standards while further distinguishing their standards and processes amongst other certification programs. Learn more about GSTC Accreditation.

About the GSTC

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable tourism standards with the aim of increasing sustainable tourism knowledge and practices among public and private stakeholders. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that establishes and manages global baseline standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. The standards are two sets of GSTC Criteria: Destination Criteria and Industry Criteria, the minimum requirements for tourism businesses and destinations to pursue in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, along with conservation and poverty alleviation. The GSTC represents a diverse and global membership, including UN agencies, leading travel companies, hotels, country tourism boards, tour operators, individuals and communities – all strive to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

Media Contact: communications@gstcouncil.org

About Green Destinations

Green Destinations has developed a GSTC-Recognised destination standard and a GSTC-Accredited certification scheme. Green Destinations works with 250 destinations in various programs and  in partnership with National Tourism Board Slovenia, QualityCoast, the Sustainable Top 100, and ITB Top 100 Awards, a.o. In all its work, Green Destinations support places, regions and countries in adopting its so-called G.R.E.E.N. values:

  • Genuine and authentic: supporting the celebration of local culture and tradition;
  • Responsible and respectful: defending people and animals against exploitation, human-and animal rights violation, and preventing disruptive mass tourism (over tourism);
  • Economically sustainable: involving the local business community and enhancing local community employment during and beyond the holiday season;
  • Environment & climate-friendly: combatting climate change and environmental degradation whilst ensuring public health and safety;
  • Nature & scenery friendly: protecting scenic views, natural habitats, and wildlife.