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The Global Sustainable Tourism Council Seeks Input on Global Criteria for Sustainable Destinations

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Interested Parties from Emerging and Developed Destinations Encouraged to Comment

Portland, OR – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council announces the release of its new Destination Criteria. Through a consultancy led by Sustainable Travel International (STI), the GSTC is soliciting input and comments from all travel and tourism stakeholders on this exciting project, ensuring diverse feedback is collected as the project evolves. The GSTC is also requesting support in reaching out to other parties which might be interested in participating.

The Destination Criteria are a set of guiding principles and performance indicators designed to lead destination managers, communities, and businesses on a path to sustainability: maximizing social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits while minimizing negative impacts. The Destination Criteria complement the existing GSTC Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, which have become a worldwide standard for tourism sustainability.

“While many destinations have been impacted by unsustainable development in the past, more and more destinations are now realizing the importance of sustainable tourism and are seeking outside support and guidelines to help set them on the right path,” says Erika Harms, Executive Director of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. “The GSTC’s Destination Criteria outline 45 specific actions that a destination can take to choose a different future—to make their cultural and natural attractions a source of delight for visitors, and a source of employment for locals, for many generations to come.”

“We believe these efforts to more clearly define sustainability at the destination level are critical, and will lead to even better tools for destinations looking to implement sustainability policy, strategies, and management systems,” added STI’s Founder and CEO Brian Mullis. “Keeping in mind that destinations are unique, we encourage as much participation in this global call for feedback as possible. This will help us consider the diverse needs of all stakeholders who can benefit from this project’s outcomes.”

The GSTC invites all interested parties to comment on or suggest improvements to the Destination Criteria until June 2, 2012 at:

The survey is available in English, French, Spanish, and Mandarin. These comments, along with feedback received through a pilot-testing program set to commence at five early-adopter destinations, will inform a final version of the Destination Criteria, to be produced later in 2012.

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