04/29/10 SPRE 2005 NK Bricker Understanding the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) Module 1
To provide a brief introduction to sustainable tourism
To understand the origin of the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria
To understand the intent of the criteria
To understand the content of the criteria
To demonstrate proficiency in use of the criteria for business and/or scholarly applications
To achieve these objectives, this module will:
Briefly describe the concepts behind sustainable tourism
Identify the purpose and need for a common set of standards that drive the sustainability efforts, claims, and offerings of the tourism industry
Identify the Stakeholders involved
List and discuss the criteria themselves
Present exercises for familiarization with the criteria
At intervals throughout this module, there will be exercises to assist you in fully engaging in the material and accomplishing the learning objectives.
When you have completed this module, please save it under your last name followed by an underscore, then followed by the date of completion.
Where did Sustainable Tourism concepts originate?
The changing views of nature and man’s relationship with the environment.
Tourism gave value to lands that were otherwise useless in terms of other forms of economic development…
National Parks were seen as an attraction, a way to bring economic value
Sustainable Tourism Events
The 1987 World Commission on the Environment For a summary of this meeting and outcomes, go to: http://www.wsu.edu/~susdev/WCED87.html Sustainable Tourism Events
Link to Agenda 21 Document Sustainable Tourism Events
So in summary… Sustainable tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. It is envisioned leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social, and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled, while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems. Sustainable tourism products are products which are operated in harmony with the local environment, community, and cultures, so that these become permanent beneficiaries, not the victims of tourism development…” (WTTC, WTO, Earth Council ) Sustainable Tourism…
What is GSTC?
Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria
Global…International in scope
Sustainable…renewable into perpetuity
Tourism…the temporary movement of people to a destination for the purpose of leisure for greater than 24 hours and less than one year
Criteria…A standard upon which a judgment can be based (this is the heart of this training module )
How did the criteria come about?
In 2007, a coalition of 27 organizations (the GSTC Partnership) came together to develop the criteria.
Since then the Partnership has…
analyzed more than 4,500 criteria from more than 60 existing certification criteria banks, and
received comments from over 2000 stakeholders
The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria have been developed in accordance with The International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling (ISEAL) Alliance Code of Good Practice.
The Code requires the GSTC to receive input every two years until feedback is no longer provided or longer unique.
Time to Think
Go the ISEAL link below and find the statement that lets you complete this sentence:
“ In order to be credible, criteria have been included that help to ensure that a standard reflects…”
ISEAL Code of Good Practice
Then write a short paragraph (mini-essay) about what this might mean for your business or organization. To do this, advance to the next slide.
Click on the link below and enter your answer in the response form. Click on the X at the top right-hand side of the response form when you are done. This will return you to the module.
Exercise 1 Response Form
Why are the GSTC necessary ?
Simply put, to avoid ‘greenwashing’, a marketing ploy in which businesses attempt to capitalize on rising consumer demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly goods and services.
Jeff Glueck, chief marketing officer of Travelocity/Sabre, and a member of the GSTC Partnership states…
“ Consumers deserve widely accepted standards to distinguish green from greenwashed.
These criteria will allow true certification of sustainable practices in hotels and resorts as well as other travel suppliers.
They will give travelers confidence that they can make choices to help the sustainability cause.”
Who Needs Them?
The potential Stakeholders are …
Hospitality industry professionals
Non-Governmental Organizations (Non-profits)
How are they to be used?
Tourism providers and/or managers can use the GSTC as part of their process of identifying and assessing sustainability performance, both internally and externally.
Also, the GSTC Partnership is developing an accreditation program that will work with existing certification programs to align themselves with the GSTC and will accredit those that meet or exceed the GSTC and other procedural criteria.
Through the input of the Scoring System Development Working Group , the Partnership is also working to develop market access solutions to get sustainable products and services that are aligned with the GSTC to new markets.
Competition with existing Certification Programs?
The GSTC Partnership is a voluntary initiative and the criteria were designed as a way to harmonize and build credibility for existing certification and other programs .
And… The GSTC use common issues and themes that are globally relevant, measurable, and applicable to all sizes of accommodation providers and tour operators.
… They are designed as an input for certification and other programs to demonstrate credibility by aligning with a globally accepted and endorsed baseline standard.
The GSTC will help organizations and businesses to:
Achieve credibility and legitimacy through increased transparency of their certification procedures,
Achieve beneficial cooperative links with international tourism distribution channels, and
Align their internal standards with those of other businesses and organizations in ways that lead to partnerships between certification programs.
Time to Think! Exercise 2
The criteria are organized around 4 central themes. Click on the link below and search the web page for these 4 themes. When finished with the information on the link, minimize the screen. You will need it again later.
Click on the link below to go back to the answer sheet. Record your response to Exercise 2 under the space designated.
Exercise 2 Response Form
And Now For The Main Event!
For the full criteria, click on the link below. Browse the themes point by point. Then return to the module. The following portion of the module will summarize the intent of each of the four themes of the GSTC.
Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria
Sustainable Management Practices
Compliance with local, state or provincial, and national laws and regulations that govern tourism offerings is essential.
Appropriate training, communication, wages, and safety measures are in place and periodically reviewed and revised as needed.
Construction of facilities is conducted in a sensitive manner, with placement of buildings that harmonize with the surroundings and use of local materials emphasized.
Information and interpretation of local natural and cultural resources that help guide visitor behaviors are offered.
Local and indigenous peoples are employed, consulted with, and considered stakeholders.
Local goods, services and expertise and used whenever possible.
Socially responsible purchasing of fair trade and similar programs
that keep revenue in the community are used.
Wages are fair, and women are employed and consulted for all levels of involvement.
Child labor is restrained. The dignity and safety of a community’s children is respected and protected.
The activities of the tourism facility or offering does not jeopardize the integrity of the communities resources such as air, water, soil and energy.
The tourism enterprise has measures in place to protect and interpret the value of local archeological and cultural resources.
Efforts are made to embrace the uniqueness of these resources while still safeguarding their integrity.
Information is made available to visitors and clients about the history, meaning, and fragility of the resource.
The enterprise fosters an appreciation of the resource through theming, but never to the extent of compromising local values, customs, and traditions.
The viability and diversity of the biosphere is respected and supported.
Whenever possible, measures are taken to enhance the survival and flourishing of indigenous species.
Measures are taken to recognize, analyze, and then mitigate, manage, or eliminate all forms of pollutants.
Efforts are made to reuse, recycle, and reduce consumption of renewable and non-renewable resources. Renewable resources are substituted whenever possible. Green technologies are employed whenever possible.
Go back to the GSTC. Use the link at the bottom of the page.
Find one criteria out of each of the four themes that you feel that your organization or business does particularly well (or one of the examples your instructor has provided).
Then find one criteria out of each of the four subgroups that you feel needs development by your organization or business.
Go to the next slide to record your answers. Minimize the link when done.
Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria
Click on the link below to go back to the answer sheet. Record your response to Exercise 3 under the space designated.
Exercise 3 Response Form
Some final thoughts
You can see that the criteria are organized not just around themes, but also about actions.
Action 1 – Identify
Action 2 – Measure
Action 3 – Analyze
Action 4 – Actualize
Action 5 – Educate
Action 6 - Evaluate
Action 7 – Repeat!
Tourism enterprises that wish to adopt the standards set forth in the criteria will need to embrace a self-assessment strategy that follows the actions listed previously.
Any business enterprise is a dynamic entity that grows or dies with changing times. Tourism is no different. New information, research, products, technologies, and world events will always ensure that a sustainable tourism entity needs to remain alert and nimble in the face of opportunities and constraints. The GSTC will help them to do just that.
Last time to Think Exercise 4
On the next slide you will find 2 links to web-pages that advertise a ‘green’ tourism offering. On a scale of one to five (one being low, five being high) rate both of these offerings in terms of what you understand about sustainability as measured by the intent and the content of the GSTC.
Three Camel Lodge
After going to each link, evaluate each offering and then give a short (two to three sentence) explanation as to why you assigned the grade you did. Do this for each of the 4 ‘themes’ of the GSTC.
Complete this exercise with a considered comparison (three paragraphs) of these offerings in light of the intent and content of the criteria.