GSTC-Recognized Standards are sustainable tourism standards that adhere to and are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria. This means that the GSTC Criteria are included within the set of standards owned by a Certification Body or a local, national, or specialized tourism organization.

GSTC-Recognized means that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel, and deemed equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. This means that the GSTC has verified that the standard aligns with the GSTC Criteria and that any additional clauses do not contradict GSTC Criteria requirements. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that the certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify includes the minimum elements to ensure sustainability. A Certifying Body that utilizes a GSTC-Recognized standard may apply for GSTC-Accreditation which relates to the quality and neutrality of their certification process.

The following standards have been Recognized as aligned with the GSTC Destination Criteria
(visit here for GSTC-Recognized Standards for Hotels)
(visit here for GSTC-Recognized Standards for Tour Operators)

NOTE:

  • This is a list of standards.  GSTC has NOT analyzed the quality of the process of certification of these standards except those that have been accredited by GSTC.
  • GSTC does NOT certify directly. The GSTC Criteria appear in this list to clarify the point that Certification Bodies that gain accreditation have the option to certify by using their own GSTC-Recognized standard or by using the GSTC Criteria.

Biosphere Responsible Tourism (ITR)

Biosphere Tourism is a standard by the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI), an international organization that promotes, for more than 20 years, responsible tourism at an international level. For this, it has a Memorandum of Understanding with UNESCO, is a member of the UNWTO and promotes sustainable tourism on all fronts. Through the Biosphere brand, the RTI promotes Sustainable Development by measuring the contribution of tourism to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations and the indications of the Paris Agreement against Climate Change.

Criteria for Thailand’s Community-Based Tourism Development

The Criteria for Thailand’s Community-Based Tourism Development (CBT Thailand) has been used as an important tool for continuous planning, operating and evaluating outcome of community-based tourism development in Thailand. The criteria help to build immunity for communities to be aware of their capacity and development standpoint, so the community can strive to yield the benefits from tourism while strengthening their local resource management which is the foundation for “Sustainable Community-Based Tourism Development”.

EarthCheck Community Standard

EarthCheck 150x150

EarthCheck is an international environmental management and professional services group, which was established in 1987. EarthCheck products and services are used by all sectors of the travel and tourism industry across the world to guide their broader sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiatives. This includes guidance and advice on the design, construction and operation of tourism infrastructure. EarthCheck has access to world-leading research, science and technology, providing a strong foundation to address the challenges facing the planet. Over the past 25 years, EarthCheck has delivered tourism solutions to destination, government, business and community clients. The standards is used in the GSTC-Accredited EarthCheck Certification.

Ecuador Sustainability Standards for Tourism

The Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) have partnered to create standards for sustainability in the travel and tourism sector throughout Ecuador. The GSTC has conferred it’s mark of “Recognition” that Ecuador Sustainability Standards for Tourism adhere to the universal standards that the GSTC has developed for sustainabilit