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Guiding Principle #2:

Use Sustainability Standards

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Respect the publicly available, internationally approved minimum criteria for sustainable tourism practices maintained by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for both industry and destinations.

Arrived at by extensive international consultation and cooperation, the GSTC Criteria provide the minimums for protecting destinations and the people who live and work in them. They serve as basic guidelines for destinations and tourism businesses that wish to become more sustainable. The GSTC Criteria indicate what should be done, not how to do it or whether the goal has been achieved. Performance indicators help do that, along with educational materials, tools for implementation, and help from numerous NGOs and private businesses who specialize in sustainability and improved destination stewardship. The GSTC Criteria constitute the basis for sustainability certification, which can help travelers identify sound sustainable tourism destinations.

A real-life example: Vail, Colorado has been certified as a sustainable destination in adherence with the GSTC Criteria for destinations (by a GSTC-Accredited certifying body, Green Destinations). As part of their strategy to ingrain sustainability at all layers of the destination, Vail developed Actively Green, a business training and certification program that helps local businesses incorporate best practices, such as energy efficiency, reducing waste, and educating guests. Learn More.

Further resources:

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