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Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)

related: certification, consultation
facebook: GlobalSustainableTourismCouncil
editing: certification

This page reviews the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) which has evolved from the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) .


What would it take to trust the GSTC?

Greater transparency
Livestreaming meetings
Public evaluation of tourism boards

2017 Headlines

https://www.travindy.com/2017/02/control-union-certifications-tourism-sustainability-sector-interview

2016 Headlines

https://annaspenceley.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/gstc-training-course


2016 meeting



2015 News
http://sustainability-leaders.com/global-sustainable-tourism-council-2015-agm-huangshan-china/

2013 Update

Breaking News - GSTC Appoints Chief Executive Officer, Opens Madrid Office at World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
We're pleased to announce the appointment of Mauro Marrocu as its new Chief Executive Officer. Beginning today, Marrocu will lead the organization through its next phase of growth and extended global partnerships, which includes its official relocation within the offices of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Madrid.

Marrocu is an experienced executive and entrepreneur in the travel industry. He has worked on various continents in developed and developing markets. His passion for travel will lead the organization in encouraging public and private sector partnerships necessary to build sustainable travel systems, strategies and policies for future growth and prosperity.

“Mauro brings valuable experience from the aviation industry and tour operator industry, as well as entrepreneurship and turn-around experience to the role,” GSTC President Kelly Bricker said. “He is full of enthusiasm and energy, which he transmits to all who meet him.”

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to shape and lead the future direction of the GSTC”, Marrocu said. “The organization plays a vital role in working with governments, private industry partners, trade associations and other coalitions to help grow the world’s largest industry, whilst implementing global frameworks for sustainable and responsible travel.”

http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=f46198bfc5b1630821e955309&id=762ae422cb

2012 Meeting as Discussed on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rtnetworking/10151387762847388

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Gopinath Parayil This debate could for ever continue. The comment says, "Destinations now speak the same language of sustainability using GST Criteria.'' Isn't that a bit scary? How can my social reality in one place speak the same language of sustainability elsewhere? Am not really getting this.
Come to GSTC's September Meeting on Sustainable Tourismus4.campaign-archive2.comThe Global Sustainable Tourism Council Invites All Tourism Industry Stakeholders To Attend its Annual Meeting Sept. 25-28
Ron Mader Hopefully the GSTC 'open meeting' will be open online and we can raise these questions with them in real-time.

Heidi van der Watt Ron Mader and Gopinath Parayil, maybe you could post your comments directly on GSTC page rather than divert to Responsible Tourism Networking where it is less likely to be seen and not contributing to open conversation . I'm also bringing this to the attention of fellow GSTC board members and staff - Martha Honey, Richard G. Edwards, Erika Harms
Ron Mader Thanks, Heidi. To post on the GSTC page, does one has to 'like' it because I don't. I tried posting on their blog last year but they took months to respond.
Heidi van der Watt Ron, as far as I know you can simply leave a comment...
Ron Mader Posted! https://www.facebook.com/GlobalSustainableTourismCounci

Richard G. Edwards There is no definition that the only way a meeting can be open is to have live streaming. Everyone in the whole world is invited to attend.

Ron Mader It's time to set minimum standards for meetings. That said, if you want to hold your meeting without livestreaming or interacting with colleagues on Twitter, you're welcome to do so. That said, you will be criticized for lack of transparency and willingness to engage in a constructive manner.
Richard G. Edwards I have 2300 Twitter followers and I'll be tweeting. GSTCouncil has 1100 and it's manned by Uncornered Market who has 30K. Bruce Poon Tip will be speaking and he has 15K or so, I believe. It's always good to do a little homework before criticizing.
Ron Mader Tweeting is a step forward but it's not the same as having a way for those not in the room to see and hear what's going on AND have a voice in the conversation. Gopi asked a very good question at the top of this thread. It would be good to see it discussed in your 'open' meeting.

Karen Simmonds I tried live streaming at an event earlier in the year with advice from Ron. For those on a limited or non existing budget for this sort of thing www.justin.tv was a good start.

Richard G. EdwardsLive streaming can be a way to increase participation and the GSTC has been having the discussion about feasibility, given the venues. Twitter is another tool that works to engage those not at the conference to some extent and it will be used whether we were supporting that effort or not. However, after attending nearly every major tourism conference with at least a sustainability track in the world at one time or another in the last few years, I know personally live streaming not the norm and not always practical. So to base an opinion on whether a open forum is open or not on whether it has live streaming is ridiculous.
Richard G. Edwards To address Gopi's comment - Have you read the Criteria around the social aspects of sustainable tourism? Your question was taken seriously by hundreds of professionals in the development of the Criteria.

Ron Mader Live streaming has not been the norm, but I have greater trust in Karen's work. Are we here to maintain the 'business as usual' approach or strive to make things better? If the GSTC meeting does not have livestreaming, then expect serious criticism. Ridiculous? I think not. To borrow your phrase, you might want to do some 'homework.' Or you can be a laggard and not push the envelope. You can be hypocritical, insisting on 'minimum standards' for destinations and businesses but not events that have a global impact


Richard G. Edwards You're mixing your arguments, Ron. You're saying the forum is not open, because it might not have live streaming. That's the ridiculous part. Period. You say it would push the envelope if we had it. It would be one way. We haven't had any demand for it, though, except from you and now Heidi and Gopi have mentioned it.

Ron Mader
Oh, Richard. How I disagree with you!

Raj GyawaliI disagree that there is no demand... most of the time, because live streaming is not the standard at these conferences, people like me who would like to participate but cannot be all around the world all the time, miss out. Would love to participate and be on the cutting edge of sustainable tourism..... One more thing that live streaming will do is allow for recordings to be available.... Listening in on twitter is not the same as hearing someone... the passion, the conviction, the believability goes up when you see and hear someone!

  • ON Gopi's original topic however! This is one side of the debate I will never support. Sustainability has to be custom, developed for each reality... never one standard... there might be parts of concepts of sustainability and even practice that might be standard, but the vast majority of practice has to be adapted to local realities...

  • I think if these strategists and sustainability philosophers could come out in the real world and practice what they preach, this could be seen easily enough!

  • Also one standard is old age... Today's reality is adaptability and customisation, if we do not do that... we will end up not maintaining the unique aspects of each reality in a sustainable way, and that will NOT be responsible! How difficult is it to see that?

Gopinath Parayil
Is it fair enough to say that Global Sustainable Tourism Council looks at sustainability from a holistic regional perspective, but is failing to communicate that by using sentences like , "Destinations now speak the same language of sustainability using GST Criteria".?

Paul MiedemaYour last comment is more accurate Gopi. We agree that issues of environmental, social and economic justice have a set of common realities around the world right? Like human rights do. But the material conditions on the ground may vary. It is the material conditions that determine our priorities and our actions as sustainable tourism role players. The criteria of the GSTC represent to me this broader overarching paradigm. But to suggest we speak the same language as destinations is taking it a bit too far. Like way to far. If we unpack the GSTC, who sits on its board, its organisational culture etc, it is heavily represented by the North. Luckily people like Heidi and Jennifer have voice there - but it is dominated by a sector, and an agenda aligned to that. So yeah Gopi - its a ridiculous statement.


Paul Miedema Fair points Mr Ron Mader


Richard G. EdwardsRaj - there has been no demand expressed directly to us, except Ron giving an opinion that it's necessary. Personally, I've never seen the technology work well, or seen huge uptake on videos posted post-conference in tourism, but that's only the experience of those of us close to the GSTC. Examples of success would be appreciated.
  • Gopi- there is no attempt to say that destinations are the same. Only that some common language has been developed that hundreds of tourism thinkers AND practitioners have agreed to be relevant. This common language lifts up the need to look at different social realities in different destinations, as we all are keenly aware exist.
  • Paul- Not sure what you unpacked, but the GSTC board actually has several practitioners, like me, who work in private sector dealing with the realities of day-to-day operations, and have been for years.

Raj Gyawali

Richard - I do not personally think that the volume uptake of the videos is important. Players who are interested but unable to attend would be given a chance to participate should these technologies be used thats all. We are all equally in this sphere, and probably equally intellectually and experientially capable to contribute and willing, though some might have more opportunity to participate in intellectual debates with their presences.

  • Actually, examples of success exist. I participated from Nepal in a live streaming from Portland last year (gopi coordinated that along with Ron) and I thought it was very beneficial. Technological hurdles are there. We have done live streaming from Berlin at the RT Inspiring Stories and RT Networking sessions last year (I was there and so was Gopi) and have been doing this (Sometimes very successfully and sometimes with tech hurdles) from the RT networking sessions in London and Berlin before too.

  • On the topic of common language though, no doubt that it is required, but I guess some of us are just concerned that standardisation can be counter productive once it reaches over-standardisation status, specially to an responsible issue like sustainability. And I think we are all well aware how much the industry loves over-standardisation! It already exists!


Ron Mader
Raj, it should be obvious that we are not all equal. The playing field is not level. Those who have promoted a global standard for certification have done everything possible to limit discussion and to exclude criticisms that get in the way of business as usual. The GSTC wants to establish standards for businesses, but not for governments, nor events, nor consultants like Richard. Hashtag: #gstcfail


Richard G. EdwardsRaj - Homogeneity is a problem. As is the potential for the big voices to dominate the conversation and have policies and requirements that limit opportunities for smaller players. Those are the reasons I got involved. Getting involved was a process I found easy, even though I knew almost no one that had been active to that point. I was with Gap (now G) at that time, and even though the company is very large in our space, its product line depends on smaller players getting fair opportunities, training and fair representation of their sustainability efforts.
  • Ron - as has been the case in your uninformed crusade against the GSTC, your due diligence is lacking on the process, activities and actors. Actually, the destination work is very much involved with local governments. There have been repeated calls for inputs and changes to the Criteria, open to anyone globally - with considerable effort through multiple channels to get the word out about those opportunities. And, personally, my day is dominated by my role as a tour operator owner and marketer, and I don't consult on sustainable tourism policy.

Ron Mader

Thank you, Richard. Years ago when I did my first research on ecotourism certification, I was distressed that the good debates were limited to email conversations. It's good to discuss this in public. That said, I strongly disagree with you. I have long opposed not only the GSTC but any global certification program that cherry picks who to certify.http://www.planeta.com/ecotravel/tour/certification3.htmlWe need a more holistic model and a more open conversation. The opposite of 'open' after all is not closed but broken. GSTC's 'repeated calls for input' usually took the form of qualitative surveys with no room to comment. You speak of due diligence. That's a difficult task when the doors are shut to those who have different views than your own.


Relatedhttps://www.facebook.com/GlobalSustainableTourismCouncil/posts/132985383514600

Raj Gyawali

Great to see a debate emerging on this important issue - we need to be very careful of over standardisation - its easy to make everything standard, boxing everything to make it easier to monitor, but if standards bulldoze over uniques issues presented by different locations, this is NOT responsible.

2012: Launch of GSTC Criteria for Destinations & Public consultation


The GSTC would like to announce the launch of the GSTC Criteria for Destinations. We invite you to participate in the public consultation period for the English version until June 2nd. The public consultation is available here: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/876118/GSTC-Destination-Criteria-Consultation-2012-English. The consultation will soon be available in French, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, German, and Mandarin. Once the translated documents are posted the public consultation will be available for a 60 day period. All comments will be reviewed and addressed to produce a revised draft of the GSTC Criteria for Destinations. Please find attached and here the GSTC Criteria for Destinations Press Release from April 22nd.

The GSTC Criteria for Destinations are designed to orient destination managers, communities, and businesses towards the steps that are needed to sustain the natural and cultural attractions that draw tourists to a destination, while benefitting the local community and businesses economically. The GSTC Criteria for Destinations complement the existing GSTC Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, which have become a worldwide standard for the minimum that tourism businesses should do to approach sustainability. To find out more please visit our website.

Please email GSTCmember@unfoundation.org if you would like to share this information with any other stakeholders. The GSTC would like to thank you in advance for your contributions to the GSTC Criteria for Destinations.
Sincerely,
GSTC Secretariat


Tough questions for global sustainable tourism - Travelmole
http://travelllll.com/2012/04/11/bloggers-retained-by-un-gstc
Ron's response:
Having tracked the development of GSTC over a few years - http://planeta.wikispaces.com/gstc - all I can say is I am not impressed. Lack of transparency and inclusion are among the biggest problems. I honestly wish the UN Foundation would use its powers to integrate programs among the various institutions because so far we're not seeing 'tourism' addressed during World Environment Day or social or environmental issues addressed during World Tourism Day. Social media should be used to connect the dots, not trumpet one dot in particular.


Which leads me to respond to Richard's comment: "Proponents of sustainable tourism, outside the operators themselves, have not even begun to effectively utilize social media. " I see resellers and consultants using social media, but rarely rarely the local operators themselves. I spend a lot of time trying to explain to good friends how to 'claim their place' on Google or Facebook. These are people who know the old school ways of doing things, but are overwhelmed by blogs, twitter accounts and facebook.

Should GSTC exist? I say 'no.' It's a distraction and if we want a global community we should start from scratch using the tools we have now to build an authentic local travel movement from the grassroots up.



The GSTC Criteria tells us “what should be done, not how to do it or whether the goal has been achieved.” - Harold Goodwin

Ron's response: In June I recorded a skype chat with Sallie Grayson, Heidi Van Der Watt and GSTC's Janice Lichtenwaldt and Amos Bien. http://ipad.io/cTF

It is to my knowledge the only public conversation among proponents and critics of the GSTC.

Amos was openly hostile to the notion that there was opposition and that while aware of Harold and Justin's letter, he would get around to contacting those who signed the letter in a year or two!

Frankly, the road chosen by GSTC is one that bullies SMEs while doing nothing to insure that government institutions, academics and consultants raise their game. In our conversation Amos admitted that targeting the hotels first was a matter of going after the low hanging fruit.

In the past ten years since Planeta.com first held the public, online workshops -- http://www.planeta.com/ecotravel/tour/certsummary.html -- debating the merits of ecotourism certification, we have seen a powerful advance in the Web with sites including TripAdvisor, Facebook and Twitter. In my mind, as it stands GSTC should be scrapped and a new venture should take its place, one that embeds the local travel movement and Web 2.0 from the start.

I concur 100% with Alex who wrote "Irresponsible tourism often happens when local people are not allowed to define their own destinies and relationships with tourism." If there is any interest in a crafting a petition asking for the immediate cessation of funding to the GSTC, I'd like to add my name to this document. In today's struggling global economy, we simply cannot afford another lackluster bureaucracy that does not yield positive and immediate benefits to locals and visitors in a timely manner.

Blogs
http://www.gstcouncil.org/blog/1050/sustainable-tourism-and-the-visitor-experience/

Are we talking past each other?

http://www.responsibletravel.com/copy/open-letter-and-petition-on-the-global-sustainable-tourism-criteria
http://www.sustainabletourismcriteria.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=270&Itemid=485


Questions

How is the GSTC financed?

Survey Questions

http://new.gstcouncil.org/blog/?p=418#comment-68

Open letter from GSTC
Claiming there have been misunderstandings about the purpose of their common mission, the GSTC has published an open letter (Word format) . Also see http://new.gstcouncil.org/ under 'News and announcements'


June Skypechat

http://ronmader.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/gstc
http://www.gstcouncil.org/?p=69&option=com_wordpress&Itemid=325
date and time for the chat http://t.co/GU4BhDi
@waterwisegirl @pandpvolunteer @GSTCouncil



2011 Headlines

Leading Travel Companies Commit To Sustainable Tourism through the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria


The Global Sustainable Tourism Council announces the first GSTC-Recognized Standards

Washington, D.C. Jan 16, 2011 - The Global Sustainable Tourism Council is pleased to announce that Amadeus, Melia, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Sabre Holdings and TUI Travel are among the first group of global Travel and Tourism corporations to publicly commit to promoting sustainable tourism products and services recognized by the GSTC. Furthermore each of these companies has committed to using the GSTC Criteria – the first and only global framework for defining a sustainable travel benchmark – as the reference for sustainable travel.
The objective of the program is to recognize and reward genuine practitioners of sustainable tourism, which in turn builds confidence and credibility with consumers. The commitment from these organizations demonstrates their belief that sustainable tourism is an important component of their business practice and that the widespread adoption of sustainable tourism standards is relevant.
“Amadeus, Melia, Sabre, Royal Caribbean and TUI Travel have shown remarkable leadership in making this public commitment to sustainable travel. Their pledge supports the development of consumer confidence and a credible marketplace for sustainable travel and tourism,” said former U.S. Senator Timothy E. Wirth, president of the U.N. Foundation.
Today the GSTC is also pleased to announce the first GSTC-Recognized standards:

  • Bundesministerium für Land - und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft (BMLFUW)‘s Austrian Ecolabel for Tourism (Österreichisches Umweltzeichen)
  • Costa Rica Tourist Board (ICT)'s Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST)
  • Ecotourism Australia's Advanced EcoCertification
  • Ecotourism Ireland’s Ecotourism Ireland Label
  • European Ecotourism Knowledge Network’s European Ecotourism Labelling Standard (EETLS)
  • Fair Trade in Tourism for South Africa (FTTSA)
  • Instituto de Turismo Responsable's Biosphere Hotels
  • Japan Ecolodge Association’s Environmentally sustainable accommodations standard
  • Rainforest Alliance’s Standard for Tourism Operations
  • Sustainable Tourism International's Sustainable Tourism Eco-Certification Program (STEP)

Each standard went through a rigorous review and authorization procedure and are considered equivalent to the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria are the worldwide minimum requirements for tourism businesses of all size to approach sustainability.
Today marks a significant milestone in the development of credible sustainable travel and tourism products. The GSTC-Recognized standards are the cornerstone and first step of a 3-stage GSTC Process. Stage 1 recognizes that a standard, which is a written statement that can be verified, is compatible with the GSTC Criteria. Stage 2 is the evaluation of the processes for certification to ensure they are transparent, impartial and conducted by people with technical competence. The 2nd stage is called GSTC Approval of a certification program that uses a GSTC-recognized standard. The third and final stage is full accreditation (GSTC-Accredited) and will begin implementation in December of 2014. To learn more about the GSTC Process please visit the GSTC website.

“Travelers and agencies need simple tools to find and purchase sustainable travel offerings. The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria helps by harmonizing the numerous global certification programs in the marketplace to provide travelers with clear and trustworthy sustainable travel choices. Sabre and Travelocity’s Green Hotel program help people easily pick certified “sustainable” hotels from a full list of hotel offerings, and we’ll continue to expand our programs to offer more sustainable travel options and additional tools to measure and report on travel impact. Tomorrow’s travellers expect this, and we need to be ready to offer them this choice,” said Leilani Latimer, Director, Sustainability Initiatives, Sabre Holdings and GSTC Board Member.
The GSTC Council congratulates these first standards for achieving GSTC-Recognized status. The GSTC will continue to work with standard owners around the world to provide GSTC recognition. An initial call for standard applications was successful, with almost 30 standards applying for recognition, GSTC hopes to soon announce the next recognized standards. All standards are encouraged to apply for GSTC-Recognized status and all certification programs to apply for Approval.




RSS


    CertificationWatch

    ATTA Webinar: Using Tourism Certification to Position your Business in the Market
    http://www.adventuretravelnews.com/atta-webinar-using-tourism-certification-to-position-your-business-in-the-market


    CouncilMeeting

    Barcelona hosted the 2nd Annual GSTC Membership Council Meeting 28-30 June 2011.
    Will the event have livestreaming video? was posted on the GSTC blog. Unanswered, the response was 'no.'

    The GSTC Open Forum took place Wednesday, June 29. It did not have livestreaming video or audio, nor were questions or comments solicited via Twitter.


    Europe

    http://destinet.eu/News/2011/5/gstc-standards-recognition-program-underway-fee-waived-if-submitted-before-june

    Quotes

    I do not believe that it is possible to have sustainable tourism criteria that are applicable globally; the world’s diversity precludes it. All tourism has local impacts and these need to be identified, prioritised and managed locally. Taking such a broad approach as the GSTC reduces focus and ignores local and national issues.
    - Andrea Nicholas, Over half hotels greenwash says certification boss


    I know that the eco-labels that we have contact with do not welcome this initiative. It erodes their national distinctiveness and dilutes the impact that these successful certification initiatives are making by addressing issues that are relevant and significant to their region. Global accreditation for tourism is a nonsense and the GSTC is pursuing this with no mandate from those they wish to engage with.
    - Andrea Nicholas, personal communication, September 2010


    The TSC has done the easy bit – they have a list of 37 criteria, the hard part will be deciding which are important. When the weights are assigned we shall be able to judge whether the priorities are right globally – but they will not be right locally.
    - Harold Goodwin, The Tourism Sustainability Council - what is the point?


    I have been involved in these discussions form the beginning, and stepped out 10 years ago because of the
    1. The lack of transparency and openness of the process and
    2. The drive towards accreditation without questioning whether that is the way forward
    Perhaps it is time to voice our concerns in a more strategical way?
    - Frans de Man, The Tourism Sustainability Council - what is the point?


    It is my suggestions that the TSC and the previous GSTC should show how they have spent funds to date, and what measurable outcomes they have offered. They should be measured by the same system they are proposing to measure others. There needs to be a system by which those who give funds to this effort hold the overall system accountable. I would suggest not only transparency but also oversight. I would suggest monitoring and evaluation of this effort with measurable indicators. This should not only be done for the effort going forward, but for what has transpired in the last 5 years.
    - Megan Epler Wood, The Tourism Sustainability Council - what is the point?


    It seems to me that the Tourism Sustainability Council is beginning to wake up to the amount of criticism there has been and may be looking for a new role…. Personally I think it will require some major change if further donors’ money is not to be wasted.
    - Harold Goodwin, Is the Tourism Sustainability Council beginning to listen?


    Having worked on the early proposals for a Sustainable Tourism Stewardship Council, and edited the first book on tourism ecolabelling, I have followed the debate and contributed to certification for some time. That doesn’t mean I agree with what is taking place.
    - Xavier Font, About the creation of more certifications…


    I believe the most important thing is to be having tourists asking more informed questions of their holidays and themselves, and for those in the tourism industry to be thinking about the key big issues in their destination rather than one size fits all checklists of global criteria. This is far more important than any attempt to create a global accreditation scheme or criteria, which in fact may be detrimental to both the encouragement of rebellious tourists and the identification of the biggest issues to address in each destination.
    - Justin Francis, Global sustainable tourism accreditation and criteria will not work


    It could be argued that applying a top down global accreditation scheme or criteria is in fact the antithesis of responsible tourism, which seeks to work bottom up to involve local people in deciding what type of tourism suits them and to recognise that every place and every community is different. It also goes against what we are seeing emerge from the market - lots of more locally relevant accreditation schemes. A global scheme would be reductive; it would reduce destinations down to one common level rather than acknowledging what makes them different.
    - Justin Francis, Global sustainable tourism accreditation and criteria will not work


    The case for certification has not been made, a great deal of money has been spent on it over the last ten years but there is still little or no evidence that it delivers for the businesses that have to pay for it. The labels are opaque; consumers do not know what the businesses have achieved. The labels are process based; the business gets rewarded for introducing low flow showers, not for reducing water consumption per bed night. The certification schemes cannot tell us what they have achieved, how much water has been saved, or waste recycled.
    - Harold Goodwin, Global sustainable tourism accreditation and criteria will not work


    The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria meet the requirements of neither consumers nor tourism businesses. It is not possible to provide sustainable tourism experiences by focusing only on the tourism businesses. The criteria are no more than a wish list which distract from the focus necessary to tackle the most important issues in particular places. The GSTC is another process based initiative which fails to transparently report on real achievements; and it provides no apparent mechanism for addressing the differing and important economic, social and environmental issues in the world’s diverse destinations.
    Harold Goodwin and Justin Young


    We believe that a 'one size fits all' approach to sustainable tourism is not the answer either in terms of offering consumers a useful point of reference, or indeed in the future advancement of responsible tourism within the industry.
    Time to debate sustainable tourism criteria


    The GSTC cannot guarantee that this certification label will become embedded within the consumer conscience in the tourism industry and cannot therefore reassure the enterprises involved that they will reap the tangible benefits of financial investment within certification. It is not only the consumer that requires trust in a label, but the enterprises also.
    - Prue Payne, The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria - The debate gathers pace


    Official Spin

    2011 http://www.gstcouncil.org/?option=com_wordpress&Itemid=325
    2009 - The Partnership for Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) and the Sustainable Tourism Stewardship Council (STSC) announced their official merger. The result will be a new initiative that will launch in 2010 called the Tourism Sustainability Council (TSC), a global membership council that will offer a common understanding of sustainable tourism and the adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles and criteria. The TSC will bring together tourism businesses presently operating to various degrees of sustainability performance, governments, UN bodies, research and academic institutions, social and environmental NGOs, certification programs, and others from distinct regions of the world. - Partnership for Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria and Sustainable Tourism Stewardship Council Announce Merge to Form Tourism Sustainability Council
    The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria advocate 37 criteria, which act as guidelines to what is good sustainable tourism. (There was) surprisingly little opposition and there were a couple of reasons for this. One, we proposed nothing new – all the criteria had been out there for years. Second, the process for consultation was wide and deep. There were four rounds of public consultation, outreach to groups all over the world and we reckon that about 80,000 saw the criteria and had the opportunity to express an opinion on it. It is not a standard. We are developing an accreditation standard based on the GSTC but the GSTC do not themselves form a standard. The accreditation standard should be up and running before the end of 2010 and we want to make it ISEAL compliant and become a full member of ISEAL. - Amos Bien, The Myth of Sustainable Tourism
    The GSTC offers a unique opportunity for engaging like-minded organizations so we can join forces, learn from each other, avoid unnecessarily replicating efforts and together do much more than what we could do in isolation. - Ronald Sanabria, Rainforest Alliance

    organization

    http://www.unfoundation.org/global-issues/sustainable-development/partnership-global-sustainable-tourism-criteria.html

    Twitter

    http://twitter.com/GSTCouncil
    https://twitter.com/GSTC_CEO


    criticisms

    The Tourism Sustainability Council - what is the point?
    http://haroldgoodwin.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2010/2/4/4446887.html
    http://haroldgoodwin.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2009/7/12/4250814.html
    http://www.responsibletravel.com/copy/copy101753.htm
    The case for spending public money on international certification of GSTC has still not been made.
    http://responsibletravel.blogspot.com/2009/06/reasons-not-to-have-global-sustainable.html
    Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria Under Fire from Responsible Tourism Chief
    http://www.responsibletravelnews.com/articles/2009-10-15-034-global-sustainable-tourism-criteria-debate-gathers-pace.htm
    debate on The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria
    The Rainforest Alliance new verification mark


    member news

    http://sustainable.visitmexico.com/sustentable/alianzas
    http://www.solimarinternational.com/?p=236&option=com_wordpress&Itemid=134


    other
    How green is my travel?
    Tuvalu (/tuːˈvɑːluː/ ( listen) too-vah-loo or /ˈtuːvəluː/ too-və-loo), formerly known as the Ellice Islands,[2] is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia. Its nearest neighbours are Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa and Fiji.


    Reviewing the GSTC Website (August 2010)

    In our review of the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria website we find the following items to be of concern:
    Recent news - http://www.sustainabletourismcriteria.org - is from 2009
    Share your knowledge uses a survey that does not include open questions or show the previous responses
    Providing feedback - is limited to surveys that do not include open questions
    There are no records of public meetings. How should their consultation be measured?


    09.2010

    The GSTC Workshop (Thursday, September 9th, 9:45-11:35am) at this year's ESTC featured Ronald Sanabria, Vice President of Sustainable Tourism, Rainforest Alliance; Erika Harms, Senior Adviser on Tourism, United Nations Foundation; Dr. Kelly Bricker, Chair, TIES
    video: http://www.justin.tv/ronmader/b/269800796



    Watch live video from ronmader on Justin.tv