GSTC Announces Expanding Online Training to Sustainable Business Travel and Sustainable Hotel Courses

March 26, 2021 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), the leading global authority on sustainability standards for travel and tourism, expands its successful Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP) to include Sustainable Business Travel courses and Sustainable Hotels courses.

The program has been providing practical insights and expert guidance to help thousands of tourism industry professionals implement sustainability best practices.

“Despite the challenges the pandemic has presented to our industry, we’re pleased to see that many professionals are using this time as an opportunity to enhance their skills and many organizations invest in development of their staff by participating in the GSTC training program. In 2020 we offered 28 training sessions, attended by a total of over 800 tourism industry professionals, with exceptional satisfaction marks and statements of intent to put their expanded knowledge to practical use,” says Randy Durband, GSTC Chief Executive Officer.

“The GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP) is a critical part of the GSTC’s mission of increasing knowledge and practices among tourism industry stakeholders. We believe passionately in the need to take a holistic approach to sustainability, and there is no better way to act holistically than to apply the GSTC Criteria,” Durband adds.

Sustainable Business Travel

Business travel is a segment within the tourism industry focusing on visitors who travel for business and professional purposes. Business travel is an important factor in national and international business. However, it also has a negative effect on our environment.

Sustainable business travel is concerned with managing the costs, social impacts and environmental consequences generated by the use of different modes of business travel. The GSTC Criteria is relevant for all types of tourism segments. Using the GSTC Criteria as a reference point allows corporates and organizations to improve their commercial performance and enhance their reputation by adopting sustainable working policies and practices.

“Many commentators are predicting continued massive reductions in the volume of business travel following the pandemic. This could be a result of companies looking at ways to minimize levels of travel (or at least minimum growth) to save costs and reduce CO2. It’s a very tempting scenario!” says Horst Bayer, Chair of the GSTC Business Travel Working Group. “The new GSTC Sustainable Business Travel course will look to answer the question if that is the right thing to do, and if so, how.”

The 4-week online GSTC Sustainable Business Travel course uses the four pillars of sustainable management to look at how to create a new model for business travel that harnesses the real value of a pro-active and successful business travel program, respects the new needs of travel and creates a responsible, sustainable company. In other words, a balanced approach to sustainable business travel. The course fulfills the training requirement towards earning the GSTC Professional Certificate in Sustainable Business Travel.

The first GSTC Sustainable Business Travel course will take place on May 6 – June 4, 2021.

Sustainable Hotels

Increasingly, travelers prefer sustainable hotels and travel provider clients are seeking confirmation that sustainability practices are in place. For example, Transat promotes sustainable hotels with “certifications that meet the GSTC requirements”, TUI Group and EasyJet Holidays encourage their hotels to become certified to GSTC-Recognized Standards, with a mandatory clause in contracts with their accommodation suppliers requiring them to work towards certification. Other travel providers also give preferential buying treatment to suppliers that are certified sustainable.

The GSTC Industry Criteria with suggested performance indicators for hotels serve as basic guidelines for hotels to become more sustainable, and eventually allow these hotels to seek certification as being sustainable hotels.

“Learning about the GSTC Industry Criteria and their application for hotels, hospitality and accommodation professionals will be able to systematically and efficiently approach sustainability practices by aligning with the globally recognized standard of sustainability best practices,” says Dr. David Ermen, GSTC Trainer, who will be leading the first cohort of the GSTC Sustainable Hotel Course. “We look forward to sharing practical sustainability solutions, and helping make sustainability journeys for hotels more approachable, impactful and scalable.”

The GSTC Sustainable Hotels course is designed for hospitality and accommodation professionals, and provides practical insights into sustainability practices for hotels. Delivered as a 2-week-long facilitated and interactive online course, the GSTC Sustainable Hotels course features expert presentations, useful resources, and real-life industry examples and lessons on applying sustainability best practices.

The course offers a convenient way to deepen understanding of sustainability for hotels and improve knowledge in a flexible online learning environment, while at the same time learning alongside GSTC experts and fellow hotel professionals from around the world. It will help achieve tangible actions following the GSTC Industry Criteria.

The first GSTC Sustainable Hotels course will take place on May 27 – June 11, 2021.

About the GSTC

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.

The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation of Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it accredits those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGO’s, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.