Updated Green Tourism criteria for hotels gains GSTC recognition

by: Felicity Cousins | February 15, 2024

WORLDWIDE: The ‘Green Tourism Criteria for Hotels & Other Accommodation’ Version 10 has gained GSTC-Recognised Standard status, meaning it has been fully recognised as equivalent to the GSTC Industry Criteria.The GSTC-Recognised status refers to the standard itself, indicating that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed the content of the standard 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.The Green Tourism Criteria is based on three principles – caring for People, Places, and Planet.It gives support to tourism and hospitality businesses to make a difference, save resources, and reduce their carbon footprint, considering the social, economic, and environmental actions undertaken and provides a holistic review of the business’s sustainability performance.Andrea Nicholas, founder and CEO of Green Tourism said:. “We are proud to be aligned with GSTC’s global effort to fulfill tourism’s potential as a vehicle for social, cultural, and economic good by fostering the increased knowledge, understanding, adoption, and demand for sustainable tourism practices and standards.“We will strive to nurture a lasting and supportive relationship with GSTC to advance industry progress.”Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC said: “By incorporating the principles of the Four Pillars of the GSTC Criteria into its core, Green Tourism displays its allegiance to a holistic and global strategy.”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 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 does not directly certify any products or services; you can read more about how the GSTC works in our FOCUS ON piece.

FOCUS ON: The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)

The GSTC Recognition has an additional time limitation that by December 31, 2024, owners of existing GSTC-Recognised Standards need to pursue accreditation.Currently, 15 destination standards, 20 tour operator standards, 44 hotel standards, and 5 systems have achieved GSTC-Recognised status.A list of GSTC-Accredited certification bodies is available on the GSTC website.

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