The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is requesting input from travel and tourism stakeholders for their Destination Criteria.
With sustainable tourism on the rise, GSTC has laid out its Destination Criteria as part of a consultancy led by Sustainable Travel International. They are appealing to stakeholders and other interested parties to ensure that diverse feedback is collected as the project progresses.
The criteria are designed to lead destination managers, communities, and businesses on a path to sustainability. This includes guiding principles and performance indicators to take advantage of social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits whilst reducing negative impacts. Previously, the GSTC created Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, which are now a worldwide standard for sustainability in tourism.
However, more destinations are now seeking support and simple guidelines to set them in the right direction. Specifically, the Destination Criteria outline 45 specific actions that a destination can take to make their cultural and natural attractions a source of entertainment and a source of employment for generations to come.
The criteria are designed to clearly define sustainability in tourism and aid in the implementation of sustainability policies. The calls for participation are to ensure that the uniqueness of the destinations is also considered so that the benefit from the project extends to all.
Up until now, other than the World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) set of ‘Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations’, there has been no simple guide for destinations across the globe, setting out basic requirements for sustainability.
The GSTC Destination Criteria were developed by a panel of business owners, academics, government officials and other experts as a means of working with the UNWTO’s Indicators of Sustainable Development but providing a baseline that each destination is able to work with.
Luigi Cabrini, Director of Sustainable Development of Tourism at UNWTO said, “The UN World Tourism Organisation is pleased to see how the GTSC has built on instruments like the UNWTO’s Guidebook on Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations, by establishing a methodology for the application of global standards for destinations”.
The Destination Criteria is currently in draft form and subject to public consultation until June 2, 2012. Anyone interested is putting forward their opinions or suggestions should take part in the survey.