Sustainable Tourism Online Course for Industry Professionals

The GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP) provides the knowledge and tools needed to help improve sustainability practices in travel and tourism. The training covers the GSTC Criteria, the global baseline standards for sustainability in travel and tourism, and provides best practices for businesses and destinations.

Delivered as a 4-week-long facilitated and interactive training class, the sustainable tourism online course offers a convenient way to improve your sustainability skills in a flexible online learning environment, while at the same time learning alongside GSTC experts and fellow sustainable tourism practitioners.

The course will help you achieve tangible actions that fulfill the globally recognized standard of sustainability best practices.

Course Schedule: Nov 16 – Dec 15, 2023

Weekly live webinars scheduled for the following days, from 9:00 CET (Central European Time, UTC+1).

  • Introduction: Thursday, Nov 16th
  • Week 1: Monday, Nov 20th and Thursday, Nov 23rd
  • Week 2: Monday, Nov 27th and Thursday, Nov 30th
  • Week 3: Monday, Dec 4th and Thursday, Dec 7th
  • Week 4: Monday, Dec 11th and Thursday, Dec 14th

These live webinars will be recorded and participants will be able to watch the recordings any time during the course period. Although strongly encouraged, attending these sessions live is not mandatory.

For more information on course topics and schedule, see the course syllabus here.

What Other Tourism Professionals Say About This Course

Participating allowed me to gain valuable insights and knowledge which I am determined to apply in my field of work as a representative of a state tourist board.

Gerald Maerz, CMO, Vorarlberg State Tourism Board

The course is very interesting and well designed. With very professional speakers, it gives you a lot of insights and the possibility to work on real cases.

Giulia Tempesta, Evaneos

I’ve always tried to improve and learn about modern methods of preservation, practice sustainable tourism and ways to better apply my knowledge with my team. With my participation in this course, I was able to understand the GSTC criteria and how best to apply them in my daily life in a didactic way.

Alvaro Rodrigues, Director, BSE - Brazil Shore Excursions

I think this is a very complete, interesting course for anyone in Sustainability to take. There’s global networking, great examples of people leading change and sharing ideas for future collaborations. It gave me a closer look into how to approach the different aspects that constitute a businesses in different industries as well as destinations. It opened my mind to new fresh ideas.

Brenda Cortes, Sustainability Manager, Kelowna Yacht Club

The GSTC programme, led by highly qualified and experienced facilitators and world class presenters, provides a thorough analysis and an integrated approach to sustainable tourism development. The brilliantly structured course, the live online sessions, discussion fora and extensive reference material gave us all access to much valuable information. In addition, the networking opportunities and rich sharing among the global participants, ourselves mostly ST experts, made for a most enriching and inspiring experience. It is wonderful to be part of a world-wide community of sustainable tourism practitioners, imparting such wisdom and committed to making a positive impact for all. Thank You GSTC for an outstanding programme!

Yvonne Armour, Responsible Tourism Development Specialist / Educator

This is a well prepared and well delivered course. It provides comprehensive coverage of key issues, real life examples and good practice from across the industry. Instructors are knowledgeable, responsive and easy to follow. Presentations by guests speakers are also very interesting and illuminating. I highly recommend.

Yasemin Biro Kirtman, Knowledge and Learning Coordinator, Global Environment Facility

This is exceptional to work with a group from all around the world and to share experiences from so many different tourism destinations. While learning more about each GSTC pillar & criteria I was encouraged to immediately apply the evaluation criteria to my own business and to challenge myself into a lot more sustainable actions.

Pascal Gavotto , Tourism Specialist and owner of Fatumaru Lodge - Vanuatu

The GSTC course was a great way to learn more about Sustainability, what it means, different aspects of it and how to create a plan to start! As someone relatively new in this topic, I found the information extremely helpful and educational. The guest speakers were inspiring and aspirational, and all of the group discussions and comments were really enriching. Thank you GSTC for creating such wonderful content!

Denise Chavarria, Director of Operations - YMT Vacations

This course is fantastic! So well organized, well balanced, and informative! Highly recommended for those that understand sustainable tourism to those just starting their journey. Excellent reviews, speakers, and instructors, very engaging!

Kelly Bricker, University of Utah, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism

A very informative course and well organized by excellent teachers. It was also very rewarding to “meet” people in the tourism industry around the world and unite in the interest and knowledge regarding sustainable tourism. I would definitely recommend this course to everybody involved in tourism.

Áslaug Briem, Icelandic Tourist Board

My course facilitator and teacher (Ayako and Antje) went above and beyond to answer our questions and provide us with additional resources. The course content (the GSTC Criteria) was delivered in an understandable and organized way. Learning the GSTC Criteria and how it applies to our own projects, businesses, and destinations is integral to anyone wanting to do any kind of work in the future centered around travel. I appreciated that the course was delivered in an interactive way over Zoom, and not just something we watched on YouTube. For me, being able to interact with fellow students from around the world, was a big plus. Was well worth it, and I highly recommend the course!

Deb Lace-Kelly, The Lost Compass

This is a great introductory way to get started with your sustainability strategy. It’s a bit daunting to overhaul an entire business and operation strategy in order to be come a more sustainable organization, so this course is definitely needed in learning how to get started, inspiration from other entities, ability to create global connections with others in the industry that have the same focus, and great resources to guide you in the beginning phases of building up your own strategy.

Zach Fyne, Global Markets Specialist, Utah Office of Tourism

As an adventure travel tour operator, we are focused on doing as much good as possible to every place and community we visit and sustainability is rightly gaining momentum, both with industry professionals and with our customers. Therefore having the knowledge from this course means you can stay ahead of the curve and ensure your efforts are being focused in the right areas. This course has allowed me to gain insights from right across the tourism spectrum, which I otherwise wouldn’t have had access to (not easily anyway!), as well as opening my eyes to just how much difference we can make.

Nikki, Exodus Travels

This course was incredibly well organized and delivered. I was continually impressed with the asynchronous materials like the pre-recorded videos, examples and slides. This prepared me well for the live sessions where discussions occurred and mini cases were used to apply the knowledge. The weekly summaries were very beneficial in pulling together the key learnings. I really enjoyed the forums where participants could provide their own examples and further the learning process.

I would highly recommend this GSTC course to industry, destinations and other schools as it focuses on relevant, practical, implementable elements of sustainability for tourism management and operations. Both the director organizing the course and the facilitator delivering the course content, were exceptional in putting this program together.

Christian Van Buskirk, Professor, Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria

I enjoyed being able to learn about up to date and practical examples of sustainable tourism from operators and destinations around the globe.

E'Lisha V. Fogle, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

An excellent course, very well designed and structured, challenging with great support from the trainers. The practical insights I gained will help me in my future project to embed sustainability in educational projects.

Helga Nagy, International Advisory Committee, the École d'Hôtellerie et de Tourisme Paul Dubrule
This course has been very relevant and provides in-depth knowledge of GSTC criteria for sustainable practices for destinations as well as the travel industry [with] plenty of real life examples and share links to plenty of reading material throughout the course. … As we move forward during these difficult COVID times, learning our lessons on the damage to nature, it becomes all the more important for industry professionals to get trained and step up efforts to embrace sustainability in all aspects of tourism. Hence, I recommend this course to all industry professionals.
Manisha Soti, The Walshe Group

What is great with this course is the ability to not only hear guest speakers and trainers about their experience and knowledge but also have discussions among the participants with a variety of backgrounds. This was very valuable in terms of broadening my scope to set a foundation for the journey towards sustainability in Malaysia’s tourism industry.

Shofend Simon, Project Assistant, Peterson Projects and Solutions (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd

The course was enriching, and the reflections are already helping me in my work. Using the GSTC Criteria as a basis for a holistic vision of sustainability in tourism works perfectly.

Ana Cecilia Duék, Director, Viajar Verde

The GSTC course was very professional and a great experience. I appreciated the communications via emails on what was next, what to expect. There is a lot of data on this topic and GSTC made if very easy to comprehend and the training is the best I have seen this far. I would highly recommend this course and educational training. I look forward to working very closely with GSTC in the future.

Debbie Meihls, President & CEO New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau

The course was very helpful to gain a deeper insight into sustainability in tourism and also to learn what challenges and realities other tourism professionals around the globe have to deal with.

Stefan Aerni, Quality & Sustainability manager, Dolder Hotel AG

It was a great learning experience, very practical and applicable in real life. The trainers are always available, caring and attentive. The participants are of a high level, and the notion of “learning by sharing” is taken seriously. I feel ready to use the GSTC Criteria for my personal project but also to support other professionals in my region.

Raquel Renovato, Oshun Ecovillage Slow Travel

I would recommend GSTC training to anyone working in tourism development (communities, states, provinces) as well as the broad spectrum of industries (accommodations, transportation, attractions, etc.) engaged in the tourism “business.” Understanding what it means to build a sustainable tourism environment that is inclusive of all stakeholders is fundamental to the future of destinations and tourism itself.

Randal G. Baker, Ph.D., Director of Hospitality and Tourism program, St Cloud State University, U.S.A.

Great teachers and companions allowed to understand all the relevant issues of this complex industry and to get inspired by great examples!

Asia Baroni, Consultant, Territori Sostenibili, Italy

I enjoyed the weekly presentations and discussions. I learnt a lot from experiences from other participants. The learning by doing approach during Thursdays helped a lot in trying to apply what I learnt on Mondays.

Percy Fernandez, Chairperson, Manipal Academy of Higher Education

Food for your brain! If sustainable tourism didn’t mean anything to you before, just subscribe to start your own journey towards sustainability whether you’re a traveler, or a stakeholder of the Tourism Industry!

Sonja Gottlebe, Consultante en Tourisme Responsable, Madagascar

GSTC seminar helps to open the eyes and to develop a new regard on longevity of tourism and the entire sustainable content. I would advise to every professional body working in tourism to participate to this kind of seminar as soon as possible.

Dagmar Ehlen, Senior Product Manager, Cruise Services SAM

I loved the GSTC Tourism course, it had great information and allowed for wonderful interactions with other industry professionals from around the world. Very relevant to how the industry should be moving and focusing to become a more responsible and equitable industry.

Stu Luchs, CEO, The Luchs Group

The GSTC training is very useful in our efforts of future sustainability. This knowledge is very important to our company business moving forward. The GSTC criteria guided us towards the best practices that enables us to monitor the progress of each important tasks. I would strongly recommend GSTC training to everyone because its set a baseline for future sustainability efforts.

Tong Chye Lau, Operation Director, Spring City Golf & Lake Resort

The GSTC training has been very inspiring and relevant, an excellent programme providing in-depth knowledge of the GSTC criteria for sustainable practices together with al lot of real life examples. Good qualified trainers and great guest speakers! I would really recommend the course to all industry professionals who is serious about making sustainable impacts for a better travel and hospitality industry.

Linda Ramberg, Advisor, Fossekall AS

I highly recommend the course to anyone interested to explore or deepen sustainability in tourism. It gives a great overview on all dimensions and how to tackle them hands-on. Course management and content are both at the highest level! Thanks!

Samuel Wille, Manager Strategic Partnership, Switzerland Tourism Organization

The GSTC sustainable tourism course has helped me to consolidate the basis of sustainability opening my mind by teaching me different ways to approach tourism industry and destination from a sustainable point of view. It’s very rich to share ideas with people from all over the world. An excellent organization, I highly recommend it to anyone with curiosity about how to improve in the sustainable tourism industry.

Gemma Llobet, Sustainable Tourism Programme, Barcelona Tourism Board

This course provided me with a thorough understanding of how to implement sustainable travel practices. I will definitely integrate information from this training into my work with travel organizations and destinations to help them achieve short-term progress through a long-term strategy.

Sophia Hyder Hock, Founder and CEO, Papilia

This course takes a comprehensive approach to integrating sustainability practices into the tourism industry. The perfect way to dive into this topic is through a blended modality that mixes theoretical and practical approaches and this is exactly what happens in this course.

Alessandro Maura, Sustainability Consultant, ENVISA

It was a great experience to complete my holistic knowledge of sustainable tourism and to get in contact with people and sustainable projects around the word which share the same values and goals.

Birgit Krüger, Consultant for sustainable tourism & marketing, TOURIMAR, Germany

This course has given me an approach to the GSTC Criteria, where the basic and complete structure to move forward on sustainable paths is visualized. The reflections generated through real examples, discussions and available material are key to better internalize what sustainability means. Ideas applicable to our business and our work area appear during the course that contribute positively to one’s reality. I will recommend this course, for its contribution to the objective, honest and constructive understanding of what sustainability is.

Agustin Landeta, Owner, Zenit Travel

The GSTC training proved to be extremely helpful for me and my small-scale travel agency that I founded only 18 months ago. We definitely still have a long way to go on the road to sustainability but the GSTC training has been a very important step towards it. The training offers very detailed and concrete insights as well as general strategies to work towards a sustainable organisation.”

Treesje Vanderlinden, Keniaanse Toeren

I really enjoyed this course and learned a lot. It was interesting to hear from people all over the world and get their perspectives on sustainability. I loved hearing from the guest speakers. I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in sustainability in the tourism industry.

Jody Blaney, Utah Office of Tourism

The overall learning experience was great! The internet platform, videos and resources are are very well explanatory and the weekly live sessions perfectly illustrate all criteria.

Benoit Sauvage, CEO, Connect DMC

EXAM & CERTIFICATE

GSTC Certificate in Sustainable TourismGSTC Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism

By completing this 4-week online course, you will meet the training requirement towards earning the GSTC Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism.

Once you complete the course, you will have have the option to take the GSTC STTP Exam. The exam takes place online, and you will have 4 weeks after the course to submit it. If you pass the exam (75% and above passing mark is required), you will receive a Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism by the GSTC.

The certificate demonstrates your knowledge of sustainable tourism standards and practices.

>> Learn more about GSTC Certificate in Sustainable Tourism

GSTC Trainer

Dr. David Ermen

Dr. David Ermen is a consultant and speaker, with a focus on destination management, service quality improvement, and sustainability. His experience in consulting, tourism development, and training spans Europe, the Middle East, Asia & Oceania. David researches and lectures on service management, sustainability and destination management related topics internationally.

In 2017, David was involved in writing the UNWTO’s “Journey to 2030” report for the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, focusing on the private sector’s contributions to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Recent speaking topics have included sustainable destination management approaches and tourism’s recovery from the Covid crisis.

 

Course Facilitator

Ayako Ezaki

Ayako Ezaki is Co-Founder and Director of Training Strategies & Development at TrainingAid, an international tourism and training company offering training and skills development opportunities for tourism industry professionals. Having worked for more than a decade in tourism professional training and education, Ayako specializes in content building, educational program design, training facilitation and project planning. She also brings many years of experience in online communications and content marketing. Through TrainingAid’s partnership with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Ayako serves as Training Director to develop and manage the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Coourse.

 

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Course Registration Fees

The early-bird registration fees (available through September 1st, 2023*) for this course are:

  • US$ 445 per person (Regular)
  • US$ 395 per person (GSTC Member**)

After September 1st, 2023:

  • US$ 495 per person (Regular)
  • US$ 445 per person (GSTC Member)

*Please note that the early-bird deadline is 11:59pm UTC+7.
**For GSTC Organization members, the above member discount is available to all staff members and can be used for an unlimited number of times.

What’s Included

As part of your registration, you will receive training materials to be provided before the course; access to the online training platform; and a Certificate of Completion confirming your attendance in the class.

Please note: the Sustainable Tourism Training Exam fee (US$ 75 per person) is NOT included in the above course registration fee. If you would like to take the exam after the course, you can select the add-on option “Exam & Certificate” when you register. You will also have the option to sign up for the exam during and after the course.

DISCOUNT OPTIONS

Group Discounts

You can sign up multiple people at the same time when registering online. Select the number of people you would like register, and you can enter contact details for each participant on the form.

We also offer a discount for each group purchase of more than 5 seats.

  • 5-10 people: US$ 375 per person.
  • 11+ people: US$ 345 per person

If you would like to sign up as a group of 5 and more, please contact us (training@gstcouncil.org) for more details.

Need-Based Discounts

We offer a limited number of need-based discounts to current students and professionals who demonstrate genuine needs. To apply, please submit this application form.

*Can’t make it to this class? The GSTC Sustainable Tourism Online Course is offered regularly throughout the year, in addition to other training offers available through the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program. See all upcoming course options here.