A Group to help Italian GSTC Members in the promotion and implementation of the GSTC Standard for sustainable tourism. 

deforestation regulation

On the 14th of April 2023, the GSTC Italy Working Group held its first official meeting online. Including 13 members from Destination Management Organizations (DMOs), Consultancy and Travel Agencies, during the meeting participants got to know each other and discuss objectives and future action plans. Among the members there was a lot of enthusiasm, especially to see that several destinations and operators in Italy are mobilising towards the adoption of the GSTC Standard. Several key objectives emerged as top priorities during the discussions. These included promoting GSTC Certifications in Italy, encouraging the adoption of GSTC Criteria within the national tourism policy, and creating a network of good practices among operators and certified destinations through the Italy Working Group’s annual events.

Finally, leadership positions were assigned: Stefano Ravelli, Director of the Valsugana Tourism Board, was appointed as Chair and Federica Bosco, Sustainable Tourism Specialist at Etifor, was nominated Vice-Chair.

What is a GSTC Working Group?

A GSTC Working Group is a group of GSTC Members working together with a focus on an area that needs special attention. For this reason, there are different types of Working Groups, such as the Destination Stewardship Working Group, Research & Academic Working Group, Business Travel Working Group, Attractions Working Group, and many more. The Working Groups prepare an annual action plan on their focus area, as well as a plan of action for their members. Finally, these groups are an opportunity for members of the GSTC to feel more involved and allow them to work together on the application and implementation of a global standard in local contexts such as Italy.

What does the GSTC Italy Working Group do?

There are many GSTC Members in Italy: indeed, the GSTC Standard is often used across Italy, and the GSTC Certification is valued for virtuous hotels and destinations to drive sustainability within the country. However, promoting and implementing sustainability within the Italian tourism system still faces many challenges. Against this background, the creation of a network of tourism professionals can represent a key tool to navigate these challenges. That is the main goal of the GSTC Italy Working Group: supporting Italian GSTC Members in the implementation and promotion  of a reliable and quality standard for sustainability in tourism.

We are facing a social, economic and environmental challenge to which we are called to respond with a global commitment. GSTC provides us with guidelines to set the right direction for this path of sustainability, however the application of its principles must be confronted with the peculiarities of the local context. In Italy, the richness of cultural sites and biodiversity, the tradition of family-run accommodations, and a fragmented tourism policy across regions call for an internal comparison among adherents to the GSTC principles. We thank the various experts and operators who have decided to put their knowledge at the disposal of the Italy Working Group and hope that the example of these early adherents may also inspire other excellences in the national context.” Federica Bosco, Sustainable Tourism Specialist at Etifor.