What is the GSTC? What does the GSTC do?


Thank you for your
interest in the GSTC. I’d like to tell you who
we are and what we do. GSTC was created jointly
by UN agencies and prominent international
conservation NGOs to develop global standards for
sustainable travel and tourism and to create tools to verify legitimate
claims of sustainable businesses while fighting against
false claims, sometimes known as greenwashing. We first released the GSTC Industry
Criteria for Hotels & Tour Operators. Those Criteria are based on
four pillars of sustainability: sustainable management, social
and economic practices, cultural respect and conservation,
and the natural environment. Then in 2013 we released the
GSTC Destination Criteria, to be applied by the public
sector for destination management and tourism policy at various levels —
national, provincial, and municipal. You can learn about the inclusive
process we follow to create and revise the Criteria
on our website. We offer accreditation via our partner ASI
– Accreditation Services International. Certification Bodies
interested in accreditation should read the section of our website
called “For Certification Bodies”. GSTC does not directly certify. However, we are very much
involved in certification because we offer accreditation to
those organizations that do certify, and we provide the GSTC
Criteria as the global global standards that are
used for certification. GSTC also offers these programs: Our Sustainable Tourism
Training Program, available to anyone
working in tourism; destination assessments;
and other support to destination managers and
tourism policy-makers. Everything we do is based
on the GSTC Criteria. We encourage you to download the GSTC Criteria,
which are available in several languages. As you can see, GSTC
provides many tools to support development,
policy, and practices for genuinely sustainable
travel and tourism activities. Thank you for taking steps to operate your businesses or
destinations more sustainably.

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