The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) was created jointly by UN agencies and prominent international conservation NGOs to develop global standards for sustainable tourism and to create tools to verify legitimate claims of sustainable businesses while fighting against false claims, sometimes known as greenwashing.
There are two sets of standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. They are based on 4 pillars of sustainability: sustainable management, social and economic practices, cultural respect and conservation, and the natural environment. First the GSTC Criteria for Hotels & Tour Operators was released, later renamed the GSTC Industry Criteria. Later came the GSTC Criteria for Destinations, to apply by the public sector for destination management and tourism policy at various levels -- national, provincial, and municipal.
GSTC offers accreditation via its partner ASI (Assurance Services International). GSTC does not directly certify. However, GSTC is very much involved in certification because it offers accreditation to those organizations that do certify, and the GSTC provides the GSTC Criteria as the global set of standards for sustainable tourism.
GSTC also offers these programs:
* Sustainable Tourism Training Program; available to anyone working in tourism
* Destination assessments and other support to Destination Managers
Video footage: Courtesy of The Peninsula Hotels, Khiri Travel, Hopineo (by Lea Mellon & Simon Louvard)
Music: Italian Afternoon - Twin Musicom