GSTC launches Taiwan Sustainable Tourism course for hospitality industry in partnership with Agoda and the Tainan City Government

Agoda, Singapore headquartered digital travel platform, has again partnered with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) to support hotels in the development of sustainable tourism practices. This latest initiative was hosted in cooperation with the Tainan City Government on 9th and 10th November in Tainan City, Taiwan, and follows a successful launch programme in Singapore earlier this year. 30 hotel professionals undertook the Sustainable Tourism course that equips them with the knowledge and skills to accelerate their sustainability transformation.

“Agoda is proud to be the first global OTA to work with Tainan City Government and GSTC to support sustainable tourism and help hotel operators make more sustainable choices in Taiwan. Sustainable tourism has never been more important and our cooperation with GSTC and Tainan City reflects our collective commitment to sustainability transformation in the Taiwan hospitality industry,” said David Chi, Taiwan Country Director, Agoda.

Agoda and GSTC’s sustainable tourism course aims to support hotel participants on their journey to meet their sustainability targets through in-depth content provided by GSTC. The GSTC Criteria are the global standards for sustainable travel and tourism and the course includes examples of best practice from destinations, tour operators and accommodation providers applying the standards. The course enables hotels professionals to better understand the intent and indicators of the GSTC Criteria, and prepare individuals to develop and implement viable and actionable sustainable tourism policies and practices for their organization, or for the destination they operate in, so as to prepare to be certified to the GSTC Criteria moving forward.

After completing the 2-day onsite course, participants received their GSTC certificate of training completion from Louisa Kuo, Director-General of Tainan City Government Tourism Bureau, and Andy Lin, Agoda Senior Area Manager during the closing ceremony. Participants are now eligible to take an optional exam to receive a GSTC Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism. The training course and optional certificate also contributes to the Staff Engagement criteria in the GSTC Industry Criteria for Hotels, which requires staff to hold certificates and qualifications in relevant discipline/skills.

“Once again Agoda supports its hotel partners to gain in-depth and applicable knowledge of the GSTC Criteria. The course has helped hotels gain the necessary knowledge and skills to advance their sustainability transformation. We are glad to collaborate with Agoda and local tourism bodies in different markets to share our expertise to further sustainability practices and initiatives across the world,” said Randy Durband, Chief Executive Officer of the GSTC.

“There are already a number of hotels certified to the GSTC Criteria in Taiwan, who have shared their experience in implementing the GSTC Criteria with the course participants. The GSTC Criteria is universal and can be adopted in many destinations and many types of tourism businesses,” said Monique Chen, GSTC Trainer and Chair of Sustainable Travel Taiwan.

“Tainan City Government has pioneered in passing Low-Carbon City Self-Governing Regulations since 2012 to promote energy conservation and carbon reduction,” said Mayor Wei-Zhe Huang. “The hospitality industry in Tainan ranks amongst the first in six special municipalities of Taiwan in terms of quantity, growth rate, and occupancy rate. With this sustainable tourism training sponsored by Agoda, we hope to develop Tainan as the priority destination for domestic and foreign tourists while reaching toward the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.”

Agoda officially joined as a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) in 2019.

As a company that aims to make travel possible for more people, Agoda believes it has a responsibility to help preserve destinations and support communities in which it works. To accomplish this, Agoda has partnered with leading organizations around the world to ‘give back’ and make travel a force for good. These initiatives include the Eco Deals program with WWF-Singapore, reforestation projects in Thailand and Indonesia, and beach and waterway clean-ups across Asia.