GSTC Recognized Standards

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.

The GSTC-Recognized status refers to the standard/system itself and means that a sustainable tourism standard or system has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed the standard or system 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. It shows that the set of standards are based on the 4 pillars of the GSTC Criteria: Environment, Social, Cultural, and Management principles. This does not relate to the process of certification, nor to accreditation. 

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 (“certifying the certifier”).

Lists of GSTC Recognized Standards:

GSTC Recognized Standards for Hotels

List of standards for hotels/accommodations that were have been recognized by the GSTC as equivalent to the GSTC Industry Criteria

Standards for Hotels

GSTC Recognized Standards for Tour Operators

List of standards for tour operators that were have been recognized by the GSTC as equivalent to the GSTC Industry Criteria

Standards for Tour Operators

GSTC Recognized Standards for Destinations

List of standards for destinations that were have been recognized by the GSTC as equivalent to the GSTC Destination Criteria

Standards for Destinations

Clarification

GSTC Recognition of standards refers to, as the name suggests, to standards only.  GSTC has NOT analyzed the quality of the process of certification of these standards except those that have been accredited by GSTC.

Learn more about the difference between certification of businesses, accreditation of certification bodies, and recognition of standards.