Global Sustainable Tourism Council Seeks Input on Second Phase of Global Criteria for Sustainable Destinations

6 December 2012

Interested Parties From Emerging and Developed Destinations Encouraged to Comment on Revised Criteria

Washington, D.C. - The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) recently announced the second phase of its new Destination Criteria. Overseen by GSTC’s Destination Working Group and managed by NGO partner Sustainable Travel International, the GSTC is once again soliciting input and comments from all travel and tourism stakeholders on this exciting project, ensuring diverse feedback is collected. The GSTC is also requesting support in reaching out to other parties that might be interested in participating.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s Criteria for Destinations are designed to orient destination managers, communities, and businesses toward the steps that are needed to sustain their natural and cultural assets, while benefitting local communities. The Destination Criteria complement the existing GSTC Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, which have become a worldwide standard for tourism businesses.

Based on the results of the first phase of this project, which included an international public call for feedback and pilot testing of the criteria in six Early Adopter Destinations around the world, the GSTC has revised and improved the Destination Criteria. The new draft version is available for public consultation and input until February 15, 2013

“Our goal with the public consultancy is to gather input from industry leaders regarding how sustainability can be measured and credibly demonstrated within destinations.  We are pleased with the success of Phase One in defining sustainable tourism at a global level,” said GSTC Board Chairperson Kelly S. Bricker, Ph.D. “We aim to enhance the criteria in Phase Two and further build consumer confidence, promote business prosperity, foster community benefits, and fight false claims.”

“We are proud to continue supporting these efforts to more clearly define sustainability at the destination level. After visiting all six early-adopter destinations during Phase One of the pilot, we are confident that the end result will be better tools for destinations looking to implement sustainability policy, strategies, and management systems,” added Sustainable Travel International President and CEO Brian Mullis. “The feedback received from the initial public consultation was extremely useful, and we encourage participation in this next round. This will help us to consider the diverse needs of all stakeholders who can benefit from the project’s outcomes.”

The GSTC invites all interested parties to comment on or suggest improvements to the Destination Criteria until February 15, 2013 and all interested destinations to apply for Phase Two of the pilot by January 15, 2013; contact [email protected] for an application for the pilot.

The survey is available in English and Spanish. These comments, along with feedback received via early-adopter destinations, will inform a final version of the Destination Criteria.