April 2020 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that Bureau Veritas Certification Hong Kong has achieved the ‘GSTC-Accredited’ status for certifying hotels and tour operators.
Achieving the GSTC-Accredited status means that a certification program is following processes and procedures that have been reviewed and approved by the GSTC Accreditation Panel and by ASI (Assurance Services International), GSTC’s partner in managing the accreditation process, in order to provide an independent and trustworthy qualification of the GSTC-Accredited certification body.
Businesses and Destinations certified by a GSTC-Accredited certification program can also use the GSTC language and logo when they meet all GSTC Criteria. The purpose of the GSTC programs is to reward genuine practitioners of sustainable tourism, which in turn builds confidence and credibility with consumers.
Bureau Veritas is a world leader in testing, inspection and certification services. Since its creation in 1828, Bureau Veritas has been supporting its clients on every continent to continually improve their performance via certification of management systems, product certifications and customized audits.
“Increasingly, travelers and travel providers are seeking confirmation that sustainability practices are in place. Also increasingly, travel companies are looking for services that are not only certified sustainable, but certified sustainable by an accredited certifying body, such as Bureau Veritas Certification. Our certified businesses will be able to use the GSTC logo and participate in the GSTC’s market access program.” Says Fanny Zou, Bureau Veritas Certification General Manager, Greater China.
“This is a time when the pandemic forces tourism to stop but it also gives us the opportunity to reflect on its impacts and how these can be transformed into benefits. With its accreditation, Bureau Veritas Certification is now placed amongst a selected group of certification bodies that meet the highest standards. As soon as the recovery begins, it will offer the tourism businesses the option of managing all their operations in a truly sustainable manner,” says Luigi Cabrini, GSTC Chair.
Currently, 3 accommodation programs, 4 tour-operator programs, and 3 destination programs hold the GSTC-Accredited status. The completion of these step-wise programs rewards certification bodies for their commitment to sustainability while offering the market benefit of proof that their certification process is credible and adheres to international norms.
GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to join the leading GSTC-Accredited programs and complete the Accreditation process which relates to the quality and neutrality of their certification process. Achieving a GSTC-Accredited status affirms that the certification process follows the highest international standards while further distinguishing their standards and processes amongst other certification programs.
About the GSTC
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.
The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation of Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it accredits those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including UN agencies, NGO’s, national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.
Information for media and the press: https://www.gstcouncil.org/about/for-the-press/