The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce the publication of its revised GSTC Accreditation Manual version 2.5 approved on 27th April 2021, which will become effective on 15th May 2021. The Manual is available on the following webpage Achieve GSTC Accredited Status.

The transition period to the GSTC Accreditation Manual v2.5 runs for 1-year starting from the effective date.

The Manual covers both the requirements of and accreditation processes. For Certification Bodies seeking or holding GSTC accreditation, it covers the certification processes they must implement and the requirements and process for their accreditation.

GSTC would like to thank everyone for their contribution and involvement during the review process, which included the audit frequency and duration survey, consultation with tourism and accreditation experts, internal discussion of GSTC Technical Committees, public consultation, and review of the GSTC Assurance Panel.

The main changes to the GSTC Accreditation Manual are summarized below:

  • Clarification of the scope of Accreditation, expiration and renewal of accreditation.
    • Incorporation of Certification Scheme – Certification Body Framework as an alternative for
  • Accreditation.Additions and clarification of the requirements for implementing a certification process
    • Minimum audit frequency and duration for hotels/accommodations and tour operators associated with risk analysis.
    • Introduction of exceptions of audit frequency and duration allowed for extremely low-risk hotels/accommodations.
  • Adjustments to auditor competencies and training requirements considering tourism and auditing market trends and contexts.
  • Incorporation of a clearer definition and approach on non-conformity management.
  • Inclusion of 2 new sections:
    • Multi-site Organization’s Certification
    • Requirements for Tour Operators.
  • Incorporation of evaluation and sampling of services providers when implementing certification for Tour Operators.
  • Compliance with appropriate elements of ISO 17065, other relevant ISO standards, ISEAL Alliance Codes and GSTC’s mission and values.