GSTC-Recognized Standards are sustainable tourism standards that adhere to and are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria. This means that the GSTC Criteria are included within the set of standards owned by a Certification Body, by a municipal, provincial, or national tourism authority, by specialized tourism organization, or by large tourism businesses with multiple business units.

Implemented in

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

Sectors of activity
Environmental Services, Consumer Goods, Culture and recreation, Education, Public Procurement, Tourism

Type of initiative
Policy Frameworks & Tools, Research, Analysis, Assessment, Other

Start date
01/01/2012

Shared by

Roi Ariel

General Manager

Global Sustainable Tourism Council

Send an email

Objectives

GSTC-Recognized Standards are sustainable tourism standards that adhere to and are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria. This means that the GSTC Criteria are included within the set of standards owned by a Certification Body, by a municipal, provincial, or national tourism authority, by specialized tourism organization, or by large tourism businesses with multiple business units.

GSTC-Recognized means that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel, and deemed equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. This means that the GSTC has verified that the standard aligns with the GSTC Criteria and that any additional clauses do not contradict GSTC Criteria requirements. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that the certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify includes the minimum elements to ensure sustainability. A Certification Body that utilizes a GSTC-Recognized standard may apply for GSTC-Accreditation which relates to the quality and neutrality of their certification process.


https://www.gstcouncil.org/certification/achieve-gstc-recognized/

Activities

As collected through the One Planet Reporting

Outcome level

SCP changes in practice

  • The Mauritian Standard on Sustainable Tourism is Now a GSTC-Recognized Standard
  • Costa Rica CST Standard is a GSTC-Recognized Standard

Output level

Knowledge resource and technical tool

  • Adventure Green Alaska is Now a GSTC-Recognized Standard
  • Hilton LightStay Standard is Now a GSTC-Recognized Standard
  • Greenview Portal Announced as First GSTC-Recognized Sustainable Tourism Management System
  • GreenStep Sustainable Tourism Standard is a GSTC-Recognized Standard

Impact and Results

International credibility that 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.

The following standards have been Recognized as aligned with the GSTC Industry Criteria for Hotels and Accommodations:
https://www.gstcouncil.org/gstc-criteria/gstc-recognized-standards-for-hotels/

The following standards have been Recognized as aligned with the GSTC Industry Criteria for Tour Operators:
https://www.gstcouncil.org/gstc-criteria/gstc-recognized-standards-for-tour-operators/

The following standards have been Recognized as aligned with the GSTC Criteria for Destinations:
https://www.gstcouncil.org/gstc-criteria/gstc-recognized-standards-for-destinations/

Next steps and how to get involved

Who can apply?
------------------------
Any entity that has developed or owns the rights to a sustainable tourism standard can apply for recognition. The standard must take into account the socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental impacts of tourism, both positive and negative, as well as sustainable management. This can be a certification or verification program, standardization body, hotel chain, tour operator for its commercialization chain, etc. In other words, any organization that has developed a standard that can be verified in a hotel, tour operator, or related activity.

Process
--------------
Standard owner submits an application to the GSTC technical team for review. The GSTC team evaluates the standard against the GSTC Criteria. If the standard meets GSTC requirements, a report is prepared and sent to the GSTC Accreditation Panel for final review and approval. If the standard does not meet the requirements the standard owner will be informed and an attempt will be made to help them meet the requirements. If the non-conformities cannot be remedied, the Accreditation Panel will decline the petition. Standard owners can resubmit once they have complied with the requirements.

Standard owners will be notified via email or regular post whether their standard has been recognized, recognized with conditions for future improvement, or rejected with an explanation of the areas that must be improved.

More details: https://www.gstcouncil.org/certification/achieve-gstc-recognized/