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GSTC Sustainable Presentation at CruiseShippingMiami

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Overview of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and the comprehensive standards developed for travel & tourism

Overview of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and the comprehensive standards developed for travel & tourism

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  • 1. Global Standards for Sustainability in Travel & Tourism March 12th, 2014 Cruise Shipping Miami Melissa Teates American Society of Travel Agents
  • 2. What Is the GSTC? Global Sustainable Tourism Council It is the leading global authority in setting standards for what can be called “sustainable” in travel & tourism 2
  • 3. “Sustainable tourism is a level of tourism activity that can be maintained over the long- term because it results in a net benefit for the socio-cultural, economic and natural environments of the area in which it takes place.” What Is ”Sustainable Tourism”
  • 4. Sustainable Tourism Joins Together Green with Social Responsibility GSTC Criteria are divided into four categories: • Sustainable management • Socioeconomic impacts • Cultural impacts • Environmental impacts
  • 5. • Expand the understanding of and access to sustainable tourism practices. • Identify and generate markets for sustainable tourism, as well as provides sustainability education and training. • Advocate for a set of universal principles clearly outlining a global, standardized criteria, known as the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, and administers its accreditation of standards and certification. GSTC’s Primary Objectives 5
  • 6. Supporters include: – UNWTO, UNEP, UN Foundation – IUCN, Rainforest Alliance, Conservation International – TUI Travel, Expedia, Travelocity, Sabre, Fairmont, Marriott, Royal Caribbean – PATA, ATTA, ASTA, ANVR – Travelife, Travel Weekly Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) 6
  • 7. • The assortment of labels has made sustainability difficult to identify and define. We often see it referred to as green tourism, ecotourism, responsible tourism, and a variety of other titles. • There is confusion in the marketplace and a lack of clarity as to what sustainable tourism entails. • Hundreds of organizations are doing the right thing, but in many different ways. It is hard to compare apples-to- apples This is why we launched a global initiative focused on a universal set of principles and a certification program. Challenges for Sustainable Travel 7
  • 8. 1. Criteria for Sustainability – Hotel & Tour Operator Criteria - 2008, revised 2012 – Destination Criteria - released Nov 2013 2. “Certify the Certifiers” – 140+ certifiers – 3 tiers of GSTC verification levels of certification schemes: Recognized, Approved, Accredited – 19 are “Recognized” & 1 “Approved” as of Feb 2014 GSTC’s Core Activities 8 /18
  • 9. 3. Destinations – “Early Adopters” program 2012-13 – “Destination Partner Program” - new for 2014 – assessments, recommendations, training for sustainability 4. Education & Training 5. Advocacy for sustainability in travel & tourism GSTC’s Core Activities, continued 9 /18
  • 10. • Created with the input of experts, groups and companies from around the planet. • Define sustainable tourism in a way that is actionable, measurable and credible. • A minimum standard of sustainability for tourism businesses and destinations across the globe. The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria 10
  • 11. • Effective sustainability planning • Maximizing social and economic benefits for the local community • Enhancing cultural heritage • Reducing negative impacts to the environment. Four Main Themes Organize the Criteria 11
  • 12. • Hospitality industry professionals • Tour operators • Consumers/Travelers • Governments • Schools • Travel Agents • Non-Governmental Organizations (Non-profits) Who Needs Them?
  • 13. Criteria Applicability • Worldwide applicability • Suitable for developed and developing countries • For large and small businesses and destinations • For urban, rural, and natural areas • Considering traditional and indigenous communities 13
  • 14. Certification Framework GSTC sets standards Certification Bodies become GSTC-Recognized -- CB’s can be non-profit, gov’t agencies, for-profits -- Travel Companies get certified as “sustainable” -- hotels, tour operators, cruise lines, destinations, sellers of travel -- 14
  • 15. Certification Levels Third-Party Certification by GSTC-Recognized certifier Third-Party Certification Third-Party Verification Self-Assessment 15
  • 16. Sustainable tourism has the power to create change on a global scale by: – Preserving destinations for generations to come – Revitalizing local economies and communities – Alleviating poverty – Safeguarding our cultural heritage – Utilizing the power of sustainable tourism to contribute to the UN Summit’s Millennium Development Goals – Creating jobs within and beyond destinations – Keeping tourism dollars within destinations Everyone benefits from implementing sustainable tourism practices. Why Should You Care? 16
  • 17. More of the world’s 7 billion people are traveling….
  • 18. Consumer Demand Is Growing for Sustainability 92% [of consumers] would buy a product with a social and/or environmental benefit if given the opportunity, and more than two-thirds (67%) have done so in the past 12 months. Nine-in-10 global citizens say they would boycott if they learned of a company’s irresponsible business practices, and more than half (55%) have done so in the past 12 months. (2013 Cone Communications/EchoGlobal CSR Study 2013) As many as 75 percent of travelers want a more responsible vacation, while 66 percent would like to be able to more easily identify a greener vacation. (Survival of the Fittest: Sustainable Tourism Means Business 2012) The UNWTO reports that more than a third of travelers who favor environmentally responsible travel are “willing to pay between 2 percent and 40 percent more for this experience.” (Tourism in the Green Economy – Background Report 2012) 18
  • 19. • Gain education about how to become more sustainable in your business practices. • Add legitimacy to your sustainability program by aligning with GSTC and the criteria. • Gain access to experts in sustainable tourism. Consider Joining GSTC 19
  • 20. • Certify your business or destination through a GSTC- Recognized certification scheme • Use the criteria in your processes, and promote the fact that you use them After You Join Consider
  • 21. ASTA is a charter member of GSTC and was a member of the precursor taskforce at the UN Foundation. ASTA currently serves on GSTC’s Market Access Committee. We have developed our own CSR statement and goals for our internal operations as well as educating our members on sustainable operations and travel. We are also supporters of key programs that are aligned with our goals: ASTA’s Own Efforts to Be Sustainable 21
  • 22. • Recognize fight against global warming is of critical importance to the future of tourism • Provide information on how to implement sustainable business practices to our members • Assist our members in providing sustainable tourism options to consumers • Conduct our operations in a sustainable and socially-conscious manner. ASTA’s Sustainability Goals 22
  • 23. • An education and self-assessment program for travel agents. • The core of the program is the Green Guide, which provides an overview of sustainable travel as well as a large section on sustainable operations. – There are sections on each travel segment (air, hotel, cruise, tour) with details on what constitutes sustainable travel for that travel type. • Members who complete the self-assessment sign-off on our Green Code of Ethics and complete the application become Green Members. ASTA’s Green Program 23
  • 24. • The Program has recently been expanded to cover all four areas in the GSTC criteria and a new Green Guide has been published. • Next step will be to move the program from being a self-assessment to a certification program. Future of the Green Program 24
  • 25. www.gstcouncil.org Thank you for your interest! 25

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