Our partners, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) announced that the TourCert Set of Criteria for Destinations has achieved ‘GSTC-Recognized Standard’ status. The TourCert standard for destinations was established in 2014. All criteria catalogues of TourCert are based on the international quality and environmental management standards according to ISO and EMAS as well as the ISO guidelines for corporate responsibility (ISO 26000) and are also oriented to the international regulations of the GSTC.
The GSTC-Recognized status refers to the standard itself and means that a sustainable tourism standard or system has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed the standard or system equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. It shows that the set of standards are based on the 4 pillars of the GSTC Criteria: Environment, Social, Cultural, and Management principles. This does not relate to the process of certification, nor to accreditation.
“We are convinced that business operations should also serve the common good. This requires clear rules, guidelines and incentives for all businesses and travel destinations. With our standards in tourism, we enable the implementation of binding environmental and social standards. The businesses and destinations we certify are exemplary in the area of sustainability. They are forerunners who show how the global sustainability goals of the UN Agenda 2030 can be achieved. They promote a future-oriented transformation of tourism. The GSTC recognition is a further acknowledgement of our work, and we see it as an encouraging sign in continuing to successfully demonstrate quality leadership,” said Marco Giraldo, Managing Partner TourCert.
“We commend TourCert on their future-oriented approach and commitment to sustainable tourism. By gaining GSTC-Recognized status for their set of standards for destinations, TourCert has provided the marketplace and their stakeholders strong evidence that they see sustainability broadly, to include the four pillars of sustainability: management, social, cultural, and environmental issues,” said Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.
Currently, 12 destination standards, 36 hotel standards, and 15 tour operator standards have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The status offers the market proof that these standards adhere to international norms. 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-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to follow and complete the accreditation process, which assures that the certification process used to apply the standard meets international best practice, transparency, and rigor.