JTB Signs MOU with GSTC and Announces Sustainable Tourism Strategy on its 110th Anniversary

In collaboration with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), JTB announces sustainable tourism strategy on its 110th anniversary.

March 11, 2022 – On the occasion of its 110th anniversary, JTB Corp., one of the travel and tourism industry leaders, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and became a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

By signing an MOU with the GSTC, JTB further accelerates its sustainability initiatives in its business domain, promoting sustainability strategies based on more global standards and refine JTB’s management and business to a level that can continue to coexist with the social and natural environment.

JTB plans to bring positive enhancement of sustainability through its extensive market reach, stretching over 215 offices in 87 cities located in 37 countries/regions.

MOU signing ceremony (held online). Left: Randy Durband, GSTC CEO; Right: Eijiro Yamakita, JTB Corporation President and CEO

Improving JTB Business and Supply Chain Using the GSTC Criteria

JTB will expand its social, economic, cultural and environmental information, products and solutions based on the GSTC Criteria, and expand its customers’ sustainability options. In addition, JTB will deepen its customers’ understanding, such as addressing sustainability at the places we visit, recognizing issues, and raising awareness.

JTB will strengthen cooperation with hotels and destination management companies (DMCs) that are certified by GSTC-Accredited Certification Bodies, along with formulating a new policy related to supply chains.

Next Generation of Sustainability Practitioners

In cooperation with the GSTC, JTB plans to provide training to enable employees, suppliers and related stakeholders who are tourism operators to gain knowledge of the GSTC Criteria and to apply it in their operations.

JTB will also put emphasis on inspiring the next generation of JTB’s workforce to offer increasingly sustainable products and services.

Commenting on the JTB-GSTC MOU

“A growing number of businesses around the world are expanding their sustainability initiatives in alignment with GSTC global criteria. It is clear to JTB that the time is ripe to step up the pace of the industry’s journey towards sustainability in the domestic Japan market and beyond. Through an exhaustive materiality assessment, JTB has identified the following three sustainability priorities: (1) Enriching the Human Experience, (2) Nurturing our Surroundings, and (3) Engaged Partnering. Our MOU with GSTC establishes the framework for a powerful, far-reaching sustainability partnership that will guide JTB’s sustainability efforts in the months and years to come. Working closely with GSTC, JTB is committed to bringing its management and operations into alignment with GSTC’s global standards in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of its business and the markets and communities in which it operates,” says Eijiro Yamakita, CEO and President of JTB Corp.

“GSTC well recognizes the importance of JTB in the marketplace and we are delighted to support their continued enhancement of sustainable approaches to their business practices,” says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO. “We look forward to a productive collaboration.”

“JTB’s sustainability strategy is expected to bring significant changes to the Asia-based tourism businesses. I have no doubt that the capacity building of their human resources and cooperation with suppliers and partners will in the near future present a model for the tourism industry in Asia and will further promote sustainability in all tourism industries globally” says Dr. Mihee Kang, GSTC Director Asia-Pacific.

MOU signing ceremony (held online). From top left: Eijiro Yamakita, JTB Corp. President and CEO; Takahiro Kobayashi, JTB Corp. Managing Executive Officer; Kuniko Takasaki, JTB Corp. Executive Officer, Chief Communication Officer; Jack Kumada, JTB Tourism Research & Consulting Head of Global Tourism Agenda; Randy Durband, GSTC CEO; Roi Ariel, GSTC General Manager, Emi Kaiwa, GSTC Japan Coordinator.

About JTB Corp.

Today’s JTB traces its roots back to Japan Tourist Bureau, an agency formed in 1912 for the purpose of servicing the ticketing needs of foreign tourists in Japan. Over the span of its first 100 years, JTB steadily evolved into a travel and tourism industry leader.

JTB Corp. and JTB Group, hereafter referred to as “JTB”, is an entity in the field of tourism, providing the service of travel agents, tour operators, land operators, consultation services and providing tourism educational service, legally registered in Japan and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan with branch offices all over Japan, Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and South America. https://www.jtbcorp.jp/en/

Through vision, integrity, innovation, and unsurpassed know-how, the JTB Group consistently creates unparalleled value for its stakeholders.

About the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (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 GSTC’s role as the global Accreditation Body for Certification Programs 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, NGOs, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

Information for media and the press: www.gstcouncil.org/about/for-the-press/