The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and The Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN) have formalized a partnership through a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Areas of cooperation that the groups have agreed on include the support and endorsement of GSTC Criteria, awareness of good sustainability practices and joint advocacy and policy development activities.
The MOU was signed during GSTC’s Annual General Meeting in Huangshan, China, which was attended by AEN’s Chair Masaru Takayama of Japan and AEN board members Dr. Alan Wong of Hong Kong and Dr. Mihee Kang of South Korea.
Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC notes, “Ecotourism is the star of sustainable tourism, and while GSTC strives to affect change in all parts of the travel and tourism sector, we are pleased to work together with ecotourism thought leaders in order to advance our mutual goals. Tourism is growing dramatically in Asia, and we hope that AEN can help ecotourism flourish.”
Masaru Takayama, Chair of AEN says, “Until now, Asia did not have the platform to promote authentic ecotourism. Some may say it is a niche market though we operate in one of the most culturally and environmentally sensitive areas where tourism is booming. Since no ecotourism standard exists in Asia to date, we want to work with GSTC to set a good working model so that the rest of the world can recognize the top runners in the Asia while contributing to bottom up the mainstream industry.”
The agreement between AEN and GSTC strives to build a stronger future for sustainable tourism in Asia. Through the sharing of valuable best practices and advocacy for sustainable tourism, the AEN and GSTC jointly contribute to a future for tourism that’s globally sustainable for all stakeholders.