Dear GSTC followers,

We hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and well during this extremely difficult time. You’re probably overwhelmed by distressing information on COVID19 and your personal and professional lives are likely feeling “upside down.” We appreciate a moment of your time to read a few of GSTC’s perspectives.

GSTC Support Activities: If your circumstances allow, we are here to support you and your teams with GSTC’s ongoing online activities.

GSTC’s Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP) will be offering additional options for online courses in response to the current situation:

  • On-site classes that have been planned can be offered online instead
  • Group and other discounts are available
  • For custom training for your group, please contact GSTC Training Director Ayako Ezaki at to discuss details

Webinars for GSTC Members are a normal part of our operations. Please visit this webpage and make plans to learn and share in this way. Recordings of past webinars are also available.

GSTC’s operation and activities have been less affected than others as we have functioned virtually without an office since 2013, meaning that our vast network is quite accustomed to physical distancing. We are functional and here for you.

Destination Stewardship issues of crisis management and resiliency are top of mind for destination managers, and the GSTC Destination Criteria provide guidance on these matters. This is a recommended article written by Jonathan Tourtellot (CEO of Destination Stewardship Center; Co-Chair of GSTC Destination Stewardship Working Group).

For both public sector destination management and private sector tourism businesses, the GSTC Destination and the Industry Criteria provide general guidance for good management and valuable checklists of practices to enact in order to function in a truly sustainable way.

For accredited Certification Bodies, we have provided guidance on acceptable alterations to on-site auditing procedures during this pandemic period; GSTC member CBs are welcome to request a copy of that policy at

We know that for many of you it is not possible, at this time, to apply any of the tools outlined above, due to the restrictions on mobility, but when the situation will improve consider them as key for the recovery of your destination, your company, your business.

“Sustainable” means to continue to function and thrive in perpetuity, through all types of conditions. This pandemic can serve as a moment in time when all of us step back and ponder our long-term goals and how to apply the principles and practices that allow us as organizations — and even as individuals and families — to sustain happy, healthy, and purposeful lives.

With our warmest regards for your health and well-being,

Luigi Cabrini, Chair of Board of Directors
Randy Durband, Chief Executive Officer