The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) recently announced that the Travelife Sustainability System for Hotels and Accommodations has achieved ‘recognized’ certification status. The awarded status benchmarks its commitment to promote sustainable tourism products and services recognized by the GSTC.

Travelife has committed to using the GSTC Criteria – the first and only global framework for defining a sustainable travel benchmark – as the reference for its sustainable travel criteria. Rigorous review and authorization procedures have determined that Travelife’s new hotel and accommodations standard is considered equivalent to the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria; the worldwide minimum requirement for tourism businesses of all size to approach sustainability.

Nikki White, Head of Travelife said: “I am delighted that the Travelife Sustainability System has achieved GSTC Recognition, which constitutes many months of hard work in consultation with Travelife’s wide range of stakeholders, to ensure that our standard aligns with the robust requirements of the GSTC criteria.  This will bring even greater assurance that our awarded hotels are working to deliver more sustainable outcomes, both within their operations and their wider communities, as well as preserving the natural environment and contributing to local destination economies.”

Today thirteen bodies (including Travelife) have received the GSTC-recognized status including:

·      Austrian Ecolabel for Tourism  (Österreichisches Umweltzeichen)

·      Biosphere Responsible Tourism

·      Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) for hotels

·      EarthCheck Company Standard

·      Eco-Certification Malta

·      Ecotourism Australia's ecotourism standard

·      Ecotourism Australia's advanced ecotourism standard

·      Ecotourism Ireland Certification Programme

·      European Ecotourism Labeling Standard (EETLS)

·      Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA)

·      Japan Environmentally Sustainable Accommodations International Standard (ESAIS)

·      Rainforest Alliance standard for tourism operations

·      Sustainable Tourism Eco-Certification Program (STEP)

·      Travelife Sustainability System for Hotels and Accommodations

Each of the GSTC-recognized organizations have taken the first of three steps in establishing the GSTC process. Phases of establishing the global benchmark include recognizing the GSTC standard; evaluation of certification process for transparency by a third party; full GSTC-accreditation (beginning December 2014).

“Given its broad reach in the travel industry, it’s inspiring to see Travelife Sustainability System earn GSTC-recognition and we look forward to including them in our Sabre Eco Certified Hotel program,” said Leilani Latimer, Director, Sustainability Initiatives, Sabre Holdings and GSTC Board Member. “Travelers want clear and trustworthy choices for sustainable travel options, and that is what GSTC recognition provides.”

The GSTC will continue to work with standard owners around the world to provide GSTC recognition. All standards are encouraged to apply for GSTC-recognized status and all certification programs to apply for Approval. To learn more about the GSTC process please visit the GSTC website

About GSTC

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council is a global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism efforts around the world. The GSTC works to expand understanding of and access to sustainable tourism practices; helps identify and generate markets for sustainable tourism; educates about and advocates for a set of universal principles, as defined by the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The Criteria, a set of voluntary principles that provide a framework for the sustainability of tourism businesses across the globe, are the keystone of this initiative. For more information visit

About Travelife Sustainability System for Hotels and Accommodations

Founded in 2007, the Travelife Sustainability System for hotels and accommodations is a certification standard that promotes sustainable practices within the travel and tourism industry.  Travelife works in partnership with its tour operator members who use the sustainability system as a supply chain tool that helps their contracted hotels and accommodations to manage and improve their environmental and social performance, delivering sustainable outcomes that protect the planet, its place and people