The GSTC Criteria for Destinations (GSTC Destination Criteria) is going under revision and is open for public consultation.

The GSTC Criteria serve as the global baseline standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. They are the result of a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability in tourism.

The the first round of consultation is open for all until 28 February 2019.

Implemented in

  • Africa
  • Asia / Pacific
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Latin America / Caribbean
  • Middle East
  • North America

Sector of activity

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Policy Frameworks & Tools, Research, Analysis, Assessment

Start date

End date

Shared by

Roi Ariel

General Manager

Global Sustainable Tourism Council

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The GSTC Criteria for Destinations and the related Performance Indicators were developed based on already recognized criteria and approaches including, for example, the UNWTO destination level indicators, GSTC Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, and nearly 40 other widely accepted principles and guidelines, certification criteria and indicators. They reflect certification standards, indicators, criteria, and best practices from different cultural and geo-political contexts around the world in tourism and other sectors where applicable. Potential indicators were screened for relevance and practicality, as well as their applicability to a broad range of destination types. They were field-tested around the world. For details on how the criteria were developed click here.

Some of the expected uses of the criteria by tourism management organizations include the following:
- Serve as basic guidelines for destinations which wish to become more sustainable
- Help consumers identify sound sustainable tourism destinations
- Serve as a common denominator for information media to recognize destinations and inform the public regarding their sustainability
- Help certification and other voluntary destination level programs ensure that their standards meet a broadly-accepted baseline
- Offer governmental, non-governmental, and private sector programs a starting point for developing sustainable tourism requirements
- Serve as basic guidelines for education and training bodies, such as hotel schools and universities


As collected through the One Planet Reporting

Output level

Knowledge resource and technical tool

  • GSTC Destination Criteria Revision: 2nd round of public consultation
  • GSTC Destination Criteria v2.0 Formally Released

Impact and Results

The GSTC Destination Criteria is being applied in numerous destinations - from the attraction level to the country level.

Next steps and how to get involved

The the first round of consultation is now open for all. We welcome you to take part in the consultation and comment on the GSTC Destination Criteria.