WTTC and GSTC announce partnership to tackle alignment

by: Felicity Cousins | October 20, 2023

WORLDWIDE: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) have announced a new partnership.

The idea behind the collaboration is to establish a structured framework for hotel sustainability, leading to GSTC Certification.

The GSTC does not carry out certifications (we wrote about exactly what it does here) but this term refers to certified by a certification body, which has been GSTC accredited.

The partnership between the two organisations endorses the existing WTTC Hotel Sustainability Basics, while paving the way for a stepped progression toward GSTC Certification for sustainable hotels.

The three-stage framework for hotel sustainability will now see the integration between the WTTC Hotel Sustainability Basics verification and GSTC Certification, designed to support hotels in their pathway towards full sustainability.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Collaborating with an esteemed body like GSTC reinforces our dedication to leading the industry towards a more sustainable future. It’s imperative that we work with key global players like GSTC to drive change, set benchmarks, and inspire others to follow.

“With members spanning across the world, GSTC’s rigorous accreditation program not only elevates our initiative but also ensures that the hospitality sector worldwide moves toward a unified vision of sustainability.”

Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC, added: “WTTC Hotel Sustainability Basics is a finely crafted entry level for hotels of any size and type to begin their journey to sustainable practices. GSTC’s certification by GSTC-accredited certification bodies is recognised widely as the gold standard in certification of sustainable hotels, with the highest levels of assurance that exists.”

The WTTC Hotel Sustainability Basics is already in use and the next phase in the collaboration with the GSTC is scheduled to launch in 2024.

This will provide the stepping stone between WTTC Hotel Sustainability Basics, a three-year programme, and GSTC’s rigorous certification, with the hope that it encourages a gradual progression towards sustainability in hospitality.

Durband went on to say the combined pathway would provide clarity for continuous improvement and that the process should be viewed as stages, which move on, rather than levels to reach and stay in place. 

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