Sustainable Tourism Criteria Developed for Destinations

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Interest in sustainable tourism and travel is on the rise, and ecotourism and other related industries are poised for growth, but how does a traveler decide whether a destination is actually sustainable, and what standards are used to determine that?

In order to develop a common language about sustainable tourism, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has launched a set of criteria for destinations to be considered as sustainable.

The criteria from GSTC are categorized under cultural impacts, environmental impacts, sustainable management, and socioeconomic impacts, and attempt to set a minimum for destinations and businesses to achieve sustainability in those areas.

“The GSTC Criteria have been built on decades of prior work and experience around the world, and they take into account the numerous guidelines and standards for sustainable tourism from every continent. During the process of development, they were widely consulted throughout the globe, in both developed and developing countries, in several languages. They reflect our goal in attaining a global consensus on sustainable tourism.” – GSTC

These criteria can be used in a number of ways, from general guidelines that tourism entities for destinations can use to become more sustainable, to enabling travelers to determine which destinations are the most sustainable, to serving as educational tools for the hospitality and travel industry. Last year, the GSTC released their Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, and the launch of the Criteria for Destinations adds to their work toward a more sustainable tourism and travel industry.

Find out more at the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

[Image: jrubinic]

About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!