The Global Sustainable Tourism Council® (GSTC®) is pleased to announce that Intertek’s EcoCheck Standard has gained GSTC-Recognized status, meaning it has been fully recognized as equivalent to the GSTC Industry Criteria. 

EcoCheck takes a systemic approach to sustainability through a series of checkpoints. This means looking at all aspects of the operation. EcoCheck Standards are informed by the UN Global Compact 10 Principles which drive meaningful advancement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The GSTC-Recognized status refers to the standard itself, indicating that a sustainable tourism standard or system has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed the content of the standard or system equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. It shows that the set of standards is based on the four pillars of the GSTC Criteria: Sustainable Management, Socioeconomic, Cultural, and Environmental principles.

GSTC Recognition of Standards does not relate to the process of certification (which is a third-party assessment, through an audit, of a tourism enterprise for conformity to a standard). GSTC Recognition of Standards does not relate to accreditation (formal verification that a certification body operates in a competent and neutral manner according to international standards of how to properly certify, which is the highest level of assurance).

The stated scope of the standard is hotels and holiday accommodation and coverage is global. The GSTC Recognition is valid until either the standard or the GSTC Industry Criteria are changed. 

“The EcoCheck standard has been helping hotels address their sustainability objectives for some time, however aligning this standard with the GSTC Criteria and gaining recognition status will ensure that the efforts of our clients can be more easily demonstrated to their stakeholders, whilst still benefiting from the tools and support systems provided by Intertek Cristal,” says Jason Burnett, Group Technical Director – Intertek Cristal.

“By incorporating the principles of the Four Pillars of the GSTC Criteria into its core, Eco-Check Standard showcases its commitment to a comprehensive and global approach,” says Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC.

Currently, 15 destination standards, 21 tour operator standards, 42 hotel standards, and 5 systems have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The status offers the market proof that these standards adhere to international norms. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that a certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria. GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to follow and complete the accreditation process, which assures that the certification process used to apply the standard meets international best practices, transparency, and rigor. A list of GSTC-Accredited certification bodies is available here.

About the GSTC

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council® (GSTC®) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.

The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation of Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it accredits those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGO’s, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism. 

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About Intertek

Intertek is an industry leader with more than 44,000 employees in 1,000 locations in over 100 countries. Intertek delivers assurance expertise 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with industry-winning processes and customer-centric culture. Focused entirely on the tourism and hospitality, Intertek Cristal are the global leaders in systems and services for sustainability, brand quality, standards management and related risk management in this sector.  Our services enable our clients unlock the economic benefits associated with increases in efficiency, quality, productivity and sustainability. Since its foundation in 1996 Intertek Cristal has taken on the challenge of helping hotels and hospitality businesses to create robust systems that integrate risk management and sustainability best practice with day to day operational processes. Combining industry expertise with innovative technology based solutions it allows clients to not only demonstrate continuous improvement internally, but also to key stakeholders such as consumers and trade buyers. Those hotels that achieve and maintain best practice standards are highlighted via to consumers and to Tour Operators and trade buyers via 

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