GSTC 2020 Members Online Meeting
The GSTC 2020 Online Members Meeting that took place on December 8th and 10th, brought together a total of 280 participants from 56 countries in the two meetings.
Every year, GSTC holds a professional conference focusing on sustainable tourism, standards, certifications, and the GSTC Criteria. The themes are different each year, with a changing focus on different sustainability aspects from the GSTC Criteria. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GSTC 2020 Global Sustainable Tourism Conference that was scheduled for November 2020 in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, was postponed to October 2021. Therefore, this year the GSTC 2020 Online Members Meeting was held on December 8th (for Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa time-zones) and December 10th (for the Americas, Europe, Africa time-zones).
“The GSTC Criteria can be used for various purposes but the innovative aspect that was introduced by the GSTC is what we call the “assurance” programme for certification bodies, the first-ever in the tourism sector. Our goal is to strengthen the existing certifications by enhancing their credibility and visibility and at the same time to increase the number of certified hotels, certified tour operators, and certified destinations, as these represent today only a small percentage of the total, especially when compared to other sectors,” said GSTC Chair, Mr. Luigi Cabrini. “Strong commitment and leadership from governments and from the big tourism players in the private sector will be more important than ever as there will be a temptation to recover at any cost and to downplay sustainability as a lower priority. However, in this unprecedented crisis, the GSTC Criteria and the entire GSTC system proved to be a useful and relevant tool for both the public and private sector, as demonstrated by many new members joining in the last 10 months and by exceptionally high participation in our training courses online.”
After opening remarks from GSTC Chair, Luigi Cabrini, the Meeting continued to with a presentation by GSTC CEO, Randy Durband, about GSTC’s Mission and Current Activities.
The second part of the Meeting focused on examples of Implementation of the GSTC Framework:
- “TUI and Hotel Sustainability” by Ian Corbett, TUI Sustainable Business Manager;
- “Making it easier for everyone to find and book sustainable experiences” by Bea de Andres, Booking.com Head of Sustainability Core Business
- “Working with a few to influence the many” by Jim Sano, WWF Vice President for Travel, Tourism and Conservation;
- “How a tour operator can influence its supply chain” by Nia Klatte, Khiri Reach Director & Khiri Travel Sustainability Coordinator;
- “Japan’s adoption of the GSTC Criteria” by Prof. Kumi Kato, Wakayama University Faculty of Tourism Professor; GSTC Board Member;
- “Applying the GSTC Criteria in a Destination” by Glenn Mandziuk, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) CEO; GSTC Board Member
The third part was an open discussion led by CB Ramkumar, GSTC Board Member & South Asia Director, and Dr. Anna Spenceley, IUCN WCPA TAPAS Group Chair; GSTC Board Member. The open discussion allowed all participating members to share insights and ideas.
Recordings of the Online Members Meeting is available for logged-in GSTC Members and can be accessed here.
The Global Sustainable Tourism Conference 2021 (#GSTC2021) will be hosted in Kelowna, Thompson Okanagan Region, British Columbia, Canada, in October 2021. For updates about GSTC2021 and other important developments, sign up for GSTC monthly newsletter.