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GSTC – Global Sustainable Tourism Council


Travel and tourism account for around 10 percent of the world’s economic activity, and international tourism is forecast to grow to around 1.8 billion by 2030. The impact of travel and tourism on environments and host communities can be positive and negative, creating both opportunities and responsibilities.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) criteria are an effort to come to a common understanding of sustainable tourism and are the minimum that any tourism business should aspire to reach. They are organised around four main themes:

  1. Sustainable management
  2. Social and economic
  3. Cultural
  4. Environmental

Click here to download the GSTC criteria for hotels.

Click here to download the GSTC criteria for tour operators.

All criteria included in these standards are mandatory and you must comply with them before being able to become certified. If you want to know to what extent you currently comply with these standards, Control Union Certifications can perform a pre-assessment on your tourism enterprise. Alternatively, you can use the standard as a checklist to verify if all criteria are complied with. If you need more extensive, tailored support, we can connect you to partner consultancy organisations.

Control Union Bulgaria is delivering GSTC certification services on behalf of  Control Union Certifications B.V.

How you benefit

GSTC certification provides:

  • Compliance with the highest social and environmental standards.
  • Credibility: CUC was the first certifying body with an ASI accredited status for the GSTC program.
  • Increased access to consumers seeking sustainable tourism.
  • Preferred choice for websites and agencies offering sustainable tourism.
  • Inclusion on the websites of Bookdifferent (supported by and the GSTC.
  • Positive impact on surroundings.
  • Use of the GSTC logo.
  • Improved image.

We provide certification against the GSTC Industry Criteria for Hotels & Tour Operators for individual enterprises and groups of hotels or tour operators.