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Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)



PATA endorses the work of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), a non-profit organization unique in setting global standards and definitions for sustainability in travel and tourism.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) serves as the international body for fostering increased knowledge and understanding of sustainable tourism practices, promoting the adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles and building demand for sustainable travel.  This is accomplished through the work executed by its diverse programs:  international standard settingdestinationseducation and training, market access, and accreditation.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria are recognized and endorsed by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), both of which are Permanent Members of the Board of Directors of the GSTC.

GSTC activities include:

  • Development and dissemination of criteria for sustainability:
  • Criteria for Hotels & Tour Operators developed in 2008, and revised in 2012 and 2016
  • Criteria for Destinations developed in 2013
  • Recognition of certification bodies that follow GSTC criteria in their certification and ratings schemes for travel/tourism/hospitality companies and organization
  • Promotion and education of sustainability in travel and tourism

PATA joins the GSTC in recommending to all its members that they seek out GSTC-Accredited certification and ratings schemes.  Currently, those that serve the Asia-Pacific region include:


Learn more about the Global Sustainable Tourism Council

Learn more about the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria