On 14 June 2018, a GSTC Delegation attended the 2018 Sichuan Garze Mountain Tourism Festival opening ceremony took place.
Mr. You-Cai Xiao, the Governor of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and Deputy Secretary of Garze Committee of the Communist Party of China, opened the ceremony, with Mr. Randy Durband, GSTC CEO, giving opening remarks.
“The UN has created the SDGs, the Sustainable Development Goals, as a roadmap for a more sustainable world. GSTC provides a simple and clear framework to support Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG#12,” Mr. Durband said. “When a hotel or tour operator or transport company or a destination gets certified as sustainable according to the GSTC system, that organization sends a clear signal to the marketplace that they operate in a highly sustainable manner. That signal is received by organizations purchasing travel services to make their supply chain more sustainable. For example, a travel agency or tour operator that selects hotels that certified sustainable, that operator can make a stronger claim of being sustainable.” “That is SDG number 12 in action: the certification proves that Production is responsible and sustainable, and the preferred purchasing of those products makes for Consumption more responsible and sustainable.”
Along with Mr. Durband, CEO, GSTC, the GSTC delegation included Mr. Roi Ariel, General Manager, GSTC; and 3 GSTC Destination Members that are applying the GSTC framework: Thabang Segaetsho, Marketing Manager – Products, Botswana Tourism Organisation; Per Gunnar Hettervik, Senior Consultant, NCE Tourism Fjord Norway; Glenn Mandziuk, President & CEO, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Region.
The GSTC delegation met with Garze Governor and then Ganzi Tourism International Exchanges and Cooperation Symposium. The 3 GSTC Destination members (from Southern Africa, Scandinavia, and North America) shared thoughts and ideas with destinations in Garze. These 3 GSTC Destination members are expected to continue their discussion at GSTC2018 which will take place in December 2018.
Sichuan Garze Tourism Development Committee is a GSTC Member. In 2017, the Government of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of the People’s Republic of China (Garze) and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to recognize cooperation to mutual endeavor to promote the sustainable tourism development of Garze.