GSTC Accredited means that a Certifying Body (CB) is using a GSTC-Recognized standard and awards certification according to processes that comply with international standards and good practices. Businesses certified by an Accredited CB can use the GSTC Certified mark in accordance with GSTC licensing.

GSTC Accredited status is the most reliable and cost effective way to ensure confidence and credibility of sustainable tourism certification, and worldwide acceptance. The GSTC encourages CBs to pursue Accreditation.

Why apply?

The purpose of the GSTC Process is to recognize and reward genuine practitioners of sustainable tourism, which in turn builds confidence and credibility with consumers. Based on this, many travel and tourism organizations and major distributors have publicly committed to offering sustainable products and service that have been through the GSTC Process exclusively. GSTC and our partners are working hard to create awareness and indeed demand for the GSTC Certified brand among consumers and industry participants in travel and tourism.  GSTC Accredited CBs will have an early advantage over other programs and will be able to highlight their adherences to a more reliable and rigorous program through the channels of GSTC and our partners.


  • All the benefits of GSTC-Recognized, plus the following:
  • International credibility that the certification is Accredited.  The certification standard has been found to be in compliance with universal criteria for sustainable tourism and its procedures meet international principles for transparency, impartiality and competence.
  • Use the  GSTC Certified logo for the CB’s purposes, in accordance with a licensing agreement with the GSTC
  • Certified hotels, tour operators and destinations [1] may use the GSTC Certified logo, also in accordance with a licensing agreement with the GSTC
  • Select marketing benefits via GSTC marketing channels
  • CB featured on web page of the Accreditation body that manages Accreditation for GSTC (ASI – Assurance Services International)
  • Co-branding and -marketing opportunities with GSTC

Who can apply?

CBs may apply for accreditation under two options:

Option 1: Any CB that uses a GSTC-Recognized Standard; or

Option 2: Any CB that proposes to use the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria and Indicators (Hotels, Tours and/or Destinations) as the standard for certification.

(Note: For option 2, CBs will need to conform to the GSTC Accreditation Manual and have auditors/decision makers that have specific knowledge of sustainable tourism and the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.  Attendance at GSTC approved training and satisfactory pass of GSTC examination are additional requirements).

For Accreditation, CBs should have rules and procedures for the application of the standard, transparent and impartial certification procedures, and auditors who are technically competent in sustainable tourism and conformity assessment.

GSTC invites interested CABs that fulfill these general criteria to apply for GSTC Accreditation.

Accreditation procedure

To apply contact ASI (Assurance Services International), GSTC’s partner in managing the accreditation process, at and complete the ASI application form, with any supporting information considered appropriate/requested.

Please note that during this initial development phase of Accreditation only a limited number of applicants will be accepted into the Accreditation program.  Acceptance will be at the sole discretion of ASI and GSTC.

Accreditation requirements

The GSTC Accreditation Manual provides detailed technical requirements.  CBs shall be required to comply with ISO 17065 and GSTC specific requirements.  For a free copy please contact ASI.

(Note: If the CB intends to conduct certification against the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Criteria (Hotels, Tours and/or Destinations) successful completion of an approved GSTC training course and examination prior to application is a requirement).


ASI Fees are described in the Fee schedule on ASI’s website.  The ASI accreditation procedure can be found in the ASI document library.

Before the application review takes place, the CB signs an agreement with ASI and a GSTC licensing agreement with GSTC for use of the GSTC Certified mark.  Signature of all agreements is required beore the Accreditation application proceeds.

Licensing agreements

CBs agree to a licensing arrangement directly with GSTC for use of the GSTC Certified mark, and agree that certified entities shall also sign a licensing agreement with GSTC as a condition of their certification of the businesses to GSTC standard.   These agreements specify the terms of use of the GSTC name and Seals well as the licensing fees to be paid, and the conditions for use and withdrawal of the GSTC trademarks.

GSTC Accreditation Manual

Download the GSTC Accreditation Manual here and the price sheet here.

[1] Some certification programs certify specific tours and other tourism products, rather than businesses as a whole. The certification program determines its own scope and is accredited as competent to certify within that scope.