Managing tourism in a sustainable way is like managing an ecosystem: the destination is a tree, i.e. it behaves like a living organism, rooted in the territory, constantly evolving, made up of multiple interconnected parts and functions and endowed with its own identity.
In tourism, sustainability will increasingly be a synonym for quality. The entire supply chain is implementing actions to improve its impact, but only certification by an independent body – such as those accredited by GSTC – can give authority to those who have decided to take this path with conviction.
The GSTC standard has certain characteristics that make it the best for guaranteeing the sustainability and quality of the tourism offer:
- it is an international standard, which forms the basis for the commitment to sustainable tourism;
- it is recognised worldwide by institutions, tourists and the main intermediaries;
- it originates from tourism for tourism, so the principles are not engineering but derive from tourism methodology;
- it is multi-sectoral, as it addresses the entire supply chain;
- it provides access to a community with international players and partners;
- includes all aspects of sustainability, e.g. managerial, socio-economic, cultural, environmental;
- it is based on an iterative process that aims at continuous improvement of company management.
The GSTC standard is constantly evolving. Currently, the operators eligible for certification are:
In addition the GSTC offers different certification possibilities:
- multi-site certification, for organisations referring to a central office (e.g. chains, franchises);
- group certification, an evolution of product clubs in sustainability terms aimed at independent organisations sharing the same mission.