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GSTC – Global Sustainable Tourism Council

Travel and tourism account for around 10% of the world’s economic activity. It is a rapidly growing sector, with international tourist arrivals forecast to grow from 1.1 billion in 2014 to around 1.8 billion in 2030”. The UNWTO is working with governments, public and private partners, development banks, international and regional financial institutions, UN agencies and international organizations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The impact of travel and tourism on global and local environments and on host communities can be both positive and negative, providing both opportunities and responsibilities.

How you benefit.

By obtaining certification against the GSTC Criteria, you enjoy the following benefits:

Credibility:

  • Control Union Certifications is the first Certifying Body (CB) to achieve GSTC Accredited status, which provides the highest level in terms of credibility within the GSTC Integrity Program framework.
  • The certification is recognized as a standard that aligns with universal criteria for sustainable management, social and economic benefits to the local community, cultural heritage preservation and the reduction of pollution.

Marketing:

  • Inclusion in a GSTC directory on its website.
  • Inclusion in a GSTC index that will be promoted to online travel agencies (OTAs) and offline to various travel providers to use for purposes of preferential buying.
  • Use of the GSTC Certified logo.

Control Union can offer certification against the GSTC Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators for both individual tourism enterprises as well as groups of hotels or tour operators (group certification). The latter need to be part of the same management system, located in the same country, and provide similar tourism services. Also, we have vast experience in providing services to large scale multinational business which can be interesting for hotel chains. Finally, we can offer many other certification programmes that hotels and tour operators might be interested in.

What the standard looks like

The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria are an effort to come to a common understanding of sustainable tourism, and are the minimum that any tourism business should aspire to reach. They are organized around four main themes:

  1. Effective sustainability planning;
  2. Maximizing social and economic benefits for the local community;
  3. Enhancing cultural heritage; and
  4. Reducing negative impacts to the environment.

Although the criteria are initially intended for use by the accommodation and tour operation sectors, they have applicability to the entire tourism industry. The criteria are part of the response of the tourism community to the global challenges of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. Poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability – including climate change – are the main cross‐cutting issues that are addressed through the criteria.