March 22, 2016 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the Green Destinations Standard has achieved ‘GSTC-Recognized’ status. The awarded status affirms Green Destination’s commitment to promote sustainable tourism products and services.
The Green Destinations Standard is a flexible system to measure, monitor and improve the sustainability of destinations and regions. The Standard applies 100 criteria (including all GSTC-D Criteria) and 100 indicators (including a selection of ETIS indicators). The Standard enables the creation of a SWOT, a quality profile, and thematic ratings on: Destination Management, Nature & Scenery, Environment & Climate, Culture & Tradition, Social well-being, and Business & Hospitality. Status (quality), trends and policy are monitored over time. Global benchmarking is supported by a database on all countries and on 1200 destinations. The Green Destinations Standard can be used by any thematic program (e.g. for ecotourism or biodiversity hotspots) and is currently used by EUCC’s QualityCoast, the QualityDestination certification, and the Slovenia Green destination program.
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.
“Green Destinations has taken an important step for global destination management by creating a tool for destinations to measure their sustainability performance as objectively as possible,” says GSTC CEO Randy Durband. “Measurement is needed for monitoring and evaluating progress. We like to say that ‘sustainability is a journey’, and these tools can help destination managements take that journey toward ever-greater sustainability more quickly and efficiently.”
“This recognition adds great value to our services to destinations around the world. The new Sustainable Destinations Top 100 directly benefits as it applies 15 of the Green destinations criteria, and the Green Destinations Ratings (formerly indicated as GSTR) are now based upon a GSTC-Recognised standard,” says Green Destinations’ director Albert Salman.
To date, 26 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 & Accreditation of standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to complete the Approved or Accreditation process in order to showcase excellence in their sustainability frameworks while further distinguishing their standards and processes amongst other certification programs.