Achieving the GSTC-Recognized status means that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Accreditation Panel and deemed equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism.
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) announced that Thailand’s Sustainable Tourism Management Standard, published by Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), has achieved the ‘GSTC-Recognized Standard’ status.
DASTA’s Thailand’s Sustainable Tourism Management Standard has been created for managing tourism and aims at helping all types and sizes of tourism-related organizations to manage tourism systematically and sustainably. It is expected to enable those related organizations to achieve a performance that is higher than the basic level required by law. These standards, therefore, can be challenging for organizations that want to improve the efficiency of their operation, leading to ’Sustainable Tourism.’
Achieving the GSTC-Recognized status means that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Accreditation Panel and deemed equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. Additionally, an organization that meets GSTC requirements must administer the standard. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that the certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify includes the minimum elements to ensure sustainability. The purpose of the GSTC programs is to reward genuine practitioners of sustainable tourism, which in turn builds confidence and credibility with consumers.
“By gaining GSTC-Recognized status for Thailand’s Sustainable Tourism Management Standard for Destinations, another step has been achieved in harmonizing national sustainability standards, set by DASTA, with global sustainability standards, set by GSTC,” Says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO. “This harmonization provides clarity for the management and market-facing communication of the application of these standards. That message includes the inclusion of the four pillars of sustainability: sustainable management, social/community, cultural, and environmental issues.”
"DASTA developed and has used Thailand’s Sustainable Tourism Management Standard for training and verified tourism-related organizations for years. Now it became the first tourism-related standard in Thailand that has GSTC-Recognized status. However, it is not an achievement, but only another milestone proving that our work is accurate in accordance with the international standard", says Dr. Nalikatibhag Sangsnit, Director-General of DASTA. "We know that there is still room for improvement and DASTA will continuously perform even harder to achieve GSTC-Accredited status eventually," adds Dr. Sangsnit.
To date, 10 destination standards, and 30 hotels and tour operators standards have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The completion of these step-wise programs rewards standard owners for their commitment to sustainability while offering the market a proof that these standards adhere to international norms.
The GSTC will continue to work with organizations around the world to provide GSTC Recognition of standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that a certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria.
GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to 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.