Korea Tourism Organization Joins GSTC

Korea Tourism Organization has joined as a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) contributes to national economic development and public welfare through tourism promotion, tourism resource development, tourism industry-related R&D, and projects to nurture and train tourism professionals.

Sustainability in Korea 

Korea Tourism Organization Joins GSTC KTO’s strategic directions aim to improve the quality of life for citizens and stimulate the local economy through domestic tourism. Its implementation plan includes increasing demand for domestic travel by enhancing its appeal, expanding regional collaboration to support balanced tourism growth, and establishing an inclusive and sustainable tourism environment. 

South Korea’s “Green New Deal,” launched in 2020, targets net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Key initiatives include:

  • Renewable Energy: The plan focuses on expanding solar and wind power facilities to significantly increase the share of renewable energy in Korea’s energy mix. This aims to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Green Remodeling: The initiative involves upgrading buildings to improve energy efficiency, thereby reducing overall energy consumption, and promoting sustainable living environments by incorporating advanced technologies and materials.
  • Green Infrastructure: Development includes smart grids and green transportation networks, which support sustainable urban planning by enhancing energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of infrastructure projects.
  • Eco-friendly Vehicles: The government is pushing to increase the production and use of electric and hydrogen vehicles to decrease fossil fuel dependency and reduce emissions from the transportation sector. 
  • Green Industries: Support is given to industries that minimize environmental impact through innovation and sustainable practices. This includes financial incentives and policy support for businesses adopting green technologies, fostering sectors like renewable energy production and smart industrial complexes.
  • Environmental Protection: Investments for projects aimed at restoring ecosystems, improving water quality, and preserving natural habitats. These efforts focus on the long-term sustainability and resilience of natural resources, with initiatives such as creating smart water management systems and early disaster warning systems.

These initiatives reflect South Korea’s commitment to achieving sustainability and promoting a green economy, with comprehensive measures to ensure environmental protection, energy efficiency, and sustainable growth.

GSTC Welcomes the Korea Tourism Organization

“We at GSTC welcome the opportunity of working with KTO to advance sustainable tourism practices in Korea’s rich and diverse visitor economy,” says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.

About the Korea Tourism Organization

The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) was established to advance tourism as a key driver for national economic growth and to enhance national welfare. With a vision of making the Korean people happier and promoting national wealth through tourism, KTO operates under core values of enthusiasm, affection, communication, cooperation, professionalism, and innovation. Committed to providing unique travel experiences and supporting the growth of a privately-led tourism industry, KTO also focuses on regional development and sustainable management. Its strategic tasks include fostering Korean tourism content, strengthening target marketing, enhancing tourism value and brand image, expanding digital services, promoting balanced regional tourism, nurturing future talents, making data public, and strengthening ESG performances within the tourism ecosystem.

More information here: https://knto.or.kr/eng/Vision 

About the GSTC

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council® (GSTC®) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are three sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators, and MICE Criteria for Venues, Event Organizers, and Events & Exhibitions. 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 assurance role for 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 provides accreditation to 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/ 

Statements expressed in this announcement are presented for informational purposes only and should not be taken as an endorsement or recommendation by GSTC, unless clearly stated.