From September 1-4, 2014 delegates at the 3rd Annual United Nations Conference on Small Islands and Developing States ( discussed the role of sustainable tourism in the future of these areas. A draft outcome document was created that calls on the support of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

The future of Small Islands and Developing States is an increasing concern because of their unique vulnerability to environmental stressors. The document raises the continuing issues of global climate change, such as sea levels rising. Additionally, delegates recognize not enough work has been done to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

The document stated, “sustainable tourism represents an important driver of sustainable economic growth and decent job creation.” Since sustainable tourism is recognized for its importance, delegates agreed that an action plan should consist of “leveraging the expertise of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council” and other globally recognized organizations.

Since 2013, the GSTC has worked with several Small Islands and Developing States to help improve sustainability efforts at a destination level through the completion of the GSTC Early Adopter Program. Participants of this program include South Sardinia, St. Croix, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Samoa. The GSTC continues to support Small Island Developing States with the GSTC Destinations Program and the GSTC Sustainability Training Program.

About the Global Sustainable Tourism Council

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is a global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism efforts around the world. The GSTC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit that works to expand understanding of and access to sustainable tourism practices; helps identify and generate markets for sustainable tourism; and 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, is the cornerstone of our initiative. For more information, visit