Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria Open to Public Comment


(c) 2011 Global Sustainable Tourism Council

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has launched a 60-day public comment period on a survey for shaping Version 2 of the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.

This consultation survey is based on guidelines from the ISEAL Alliance, a global association for social and environmental standards. Available from now until October 15, the survey is open to anyone interested in how the future of travel should be managed.

Stakeholder groups can include travel and tourism businesses; non-profit, community-based tourism programs; government and municipality representatives; and consumers and businesses that support the tourism industry. The GSTC is also focused on involving groups that are the most difficult to reach.

Along with in-person interviews and targeted conference calls, the survey will also be translated into several languages, such as Mandarin, Spanish and French.

Input will go toward shaping the next version of the GSTC Criteria. The GSTC Criteria are a universal language that defines a minimum standard for sustainability in travel and tourism. They fall under four main pillars: Sustainability Management, Social & Economic, Culture and Environment.

Businesses, organizations and governments use the criteria to create their own sustainability programs.

“Global stakeholder input is vital to the success and strength of the Criteria,” said Erika Harms, GSTC’s executive director. “This next version will provide even more specific and actionable guidance.”

The original GSTC Criteria, launched in 2008 in Barcelona, resulted from an 18-month process that included outreach to more than 80,000 constituencies reviewing 4,500 existing criteria. Each criterion in the first round received a 91 percent approval rating from survey respondents.

The survey for Version 2 can be accessed through or directly through this link.