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 itself and means that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed the standard 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”).
Note that by December 31, 2024, owners of existing Recognized Standards used for “certification” need to formally open an application to pursue accreditation or enter into the arrangement with GSTC whereby they act as a “Certification Scheme”. Otherwise the Recognition status shall be immediately terminated. Read more here.
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
If you want to learn more about the technical infomration of GSTC Recognized Standards, please see from here.
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.