South Tyrol joins GSTC & Sustainable Tourism Standard South Tyrol Announced as a GSTC-Recognized Standard

IDM Südtirol – Alto Adige (IDM South Tyrol) actively promotes South Tyrol as a tourist destination in eleven European markets by means of both targeted promotional campaigns and public relations and co-marketing activities. IDM also defines strategies and measures aimed at continuously strengthening the destination. With data analysis, market research and new digital strategies, IDM is looking to the future of tourism and guiding South Tyrol towards the latest trends.

Supported by its umbrella brand, South Tyrol has constantly diversified over the years and has acquired an increasingly strong identity, transforming itself from a simple destination on a map to a tourist destination capable of providing unique experiences and emotions.

Together with local tourism organisations, business associations, companies and experts, the sustainability program Tourism South Tyrol was started in 2021. The program is based on the GSTC Criteria and has been adapted to South Tyrolean conditions. The result of this process is the sustainability standard for tourism in South Tyrol, which is a GSTC-Recognized Standard, equivalent to the GSTC Criteria.

The first phase of the sustainability program will be implemented in San Vigilio Dolomites, Alta Badia, Eggental, Brixen and the Dolomites Region Seiser Alm. In order to enable tourism organizations to make tourism more sustainable in the long term, further training courses on this topic are offered. In addition, good practices are presented and discussed at regular exchanges between South Tyrolean tourism organizations and international partners.

« We have aligned the Sustainable Tourism Standard South Tyrol with this international standard because it has been drawn up by expert committees, is accepted and recognized worldwide, and numerous renowned destinations and players in the tourism industry have already based their sustainability efforts on it. This adds credibility to the standard and to all those who align themselves with it. And that is of course a particularly important aspect for our guests and customers, » says IDM CEO Erwin Hinteregger.

“We welcome IDM to the GSTC and commend them on their continuous efforts through their sustainability program, training, best practices, and aligning the South Tyrolian Sustainable Standard with global standards,” says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.”

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 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 does not relate to the process of certification or accreditation.

Currently, 13 destination standards, 37 hotel standards, and 15 tour operator standards 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 practice, 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; GSTC provides an accreditation program through its partner Assurance Services International to accredit Certification Bodies. 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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