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Green Destinations is Now GSTC-Accredited

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) announced that Green Destinations has achieved GSTC-Accredited status. The awarded status affirms Green Destinations’ commitment to promoting sustainable tourism products and services.

Green Destinations (GD) is a nonprofit organization of experts and destination ambassadors working in 80 countries. GD supports a large community of local, regional and country destination managers and stakeholders, enhancing destination sustainability, market visibility, and tourism quality. Green Destinations developed a complete, affordable and easy-to-use Assessment & Certification program that fits the needs of both small and larger destinations. It is operated through an online Assessment & Reporting platform based upon the GSTC-Recognized Green Destinations Standard and the GD Database with data from 2,000 destinations. The platform helps destinations to improve sustainability management and performance.

Achieving the GSTC-Accredited status means that a certification program is following processes and procedures that have been reviewed and approved by the GSTC Accreditation Panel. Businesses and destinations certified by a GSTC-Accredited certification program can also use the GSTC language and logo when they meet all GSTC Criteria. The purpose of the GSTC programs is to reward genuine practitioners of sustainable tourism, which in turn builds confidence and credibility with consumers.

Groups Share Same Principles, Approaches

“The Green Destinations program provides an effective incentive to hundreds of destinations to shift their operations toward greater sustainability,” says Luigi Cabrini, GSTC Chair. “Green Destinations and GSTC [have been] cooperating a long time and share the same principles and approaches. It is therefore with great satisfaction that we now welcome Green Destinations amongst the selected group of certification bodies that meet the highest standards.”

“Green Destinations is really happy to receive this highest possible recognition,” says GD’s founder Albert Salman. “We try to offer destinations and countries the best possible support in the market, but we have to be aware that it can take several years to conclude the process towards GSTC-Accredited certification. This is why we issue benchmark awards (Bronze, Silver, Gold) to annually celebrate partial compliance to the GD Standard. This model has been developed in cooperation with country-wide programs, e.g. the National Tourism Board Slovenia. Following this model, we offer a GSTC-Accredited certification mechanism to countries that developed their own national standard. I hope this will help avoid the development of a destination-label jungle, as happened in the hotels certification.”

To date, four accommodation programs, five tour-operator programs, and two destination programs have achieved GSTC-Accredited status. The completion of these step-wise programs rewards certification bodies for their commitment to sustainability while offering the market benefit of proof that their certification process is credible and adhere to international norms.

GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to join the leading GSTC-Accredited programs (accommodations, tour operators, destinations) and complete the Accreditation process which relates to the quality and neutrality of their certification process. Achieving a GSTC-Accredited status affirms that their certification process follows the highest international standards while further distinguishing their standards and processes amongst other certification programs. Learn more about GSTC Accreditation.

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