London, United Kingdom, September 17, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has formally became an ISEAL Community Member. The ISEAL is the global membership organisation for ambitious, collaborative and transparent sustainability systems. ISEAL advocates for the development and adoption of credible, effective sustainability systems, and works to promote the conditions for their uptake. ISEAL members are sustainability systems and accreditation bodies dedicated to delivering benefits for people and the planet. They are committed to continually improving their systems and impacts through learning and innovation; collaborating with stakeholders and peers; and are transparent and truthful about how their systems work and how they measure their impacts.
The GSTC establishes and manages the GSTC Criteria, global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, the result of a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability in tourism.
GSTC Chairman Luigi Cabrini said, “As a tourism-related scheme, we are proud that GSTC meets ISEAL’s eligibility criteria to become an ISEAL Community Member, be part of the important group of organizations that form the alliance. The GSTC has been dedicating years of effort to adhere to the concepts inherent in ISEAL and to apply them to the travel and tourism industry. From our inception our Bylaws have continuously referenced doing so, and as an ISEAL Community Member, GSTC will continue to improve its system.”
GSTC Assurance Manager Claudia Bustinza said, “One of the key activities of the GSTC is Providing Assurance for Sustainable Tourism, which includes Accreditation of Certification Bodies and Recognition of Standards and Systems.”
GSTC Accreditation: GSTC partners with ASI (Assurance Services International) to provide accreditation services for Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations and tour operators as sustainable. GSTC also provides accreditation services for Certification Bodies that certify destinations as sustainable. This provides the marketplace a credible means of selecting Certification Bodies that have been verified by an impartial, credible assurance provider.*
GSTC Recognition: GSTC provides a formal indication of other standards that align with the GSTC Criteria. GSTC-Recognized means that a sustainable tourism standard has been deemed equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. This designation is made by GSTC’s expert, independent Assurance Panel. GSTC-Recognized refers to a standard or a system and does not mean that the Certification Body using the standard is accredited.
ISEAL Executive Director Karin Kreider stated she is delighted to be able to welcome GSTC to the ISEAL community. “I applaud the Global Sustainable Tourism Council on becoming an ISEAL Community Member. This step reflects their commitment to credible and effective practices. I look forward to GSTC sharing their experience as a well-established sustainability system and becoming a valuable part of the ISEAL learning community.”
* The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation for Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators/transport providers, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but provides an accreditation program through its partner ASI (Assurance Services International) to accredit Certification Bodies.
About the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. They are the result of a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability in tourism. The Criteria are arranged in four pillars: (A) Sustainable management; (B) Socioeconomic impacts; (C) Cultural impacts; and (D) Environmental impacts (including consumption of resources, reducing pollution, and conserving biodiversity and landscapes). Since tourism destinations each have their own culture, environment, customs, and laws, the Criteria are designed to be adapted to local conditions and supplemented by additional criteria for the specific location and activity.
The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation of Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it accredits those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGO’s, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.
ISEAL is the global membership organisation for ambitious, collaborative and transparent sustainability systems. We’re driving collective efforts to tackle the most pressing sustainability issues and create a world where markets are a force for good. Joining ISEAL’s learning community helps sustainability systems and their partners to deliver real, lasting, positive change. Our Community Members are sustainability standards and similar systems that collaborate to scale and demonstrate positive impact. Our Code Compliant members go further, adhering to our Codes of Good Practice – a globally recognised framework for best practice.