The Sustainability Management System provided by SOCOTEC Certification International helps organizations and tourism businesses (travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGOs and communities, to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism. The GSTC-Recognized status refers to the standard itself, indicating that a sustainable tourism standard or system has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed the standard or system equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. It shows that the set of standards is based on the four pillars of the GSTC Criteria: Sustainable Management, Socioeconomic, Cultural, and Environmental principles. GSTC Recognition does not relate to the process of certification or accreditation.
“As an internationally recognized and independent third-party certification body, we are very pleased to achieve this important pillar in our mission to build a safer and more sustainable world. Result of few months of workshops preparation and on-the-field research with hotel groups, our standard is fully designed and adapted to elevate and recognize the significant efforts of the hotel sector to contribute to the CSR and Sustainability challenges of today. Based on our worldwide auditing experience in various sectors, we are convinced that our teams of experts will bring a real added value to the hotel sector sustainability challenges,” said Xavier Daniel, SOCOTEC Certification International General Manager.
“GSTC is pleased to see SOCOTEC join other standards owners in harmonizing their approach with the GSTC Criteria, the inclusively-created global standards for sustainable tourism,” said Randy Durband, Chief Executive Officer of GSTC.
Currently, 11 destination standards, 36 hotel standards, and 15 tour operator standards have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The status offers the market proof that these standards adhere to international norms. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that a certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria. GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to follow and complete the accreditation process, which assures that the certification process used to apply the standard meets international best practice, transparency, and rigor. A list of GSTC-Accredited certification bodies is available here.
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; GSTC provides an accreditation program through its partner Assurance Services International to accredit Certification Bodies. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGO’s, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.
SOCOTEC Certification International is a subsidiary of the SOCOTEC group, that provides management system assessments and accredited ISO certification services to organizations around the world since 1995.
Accompanying companies for 70 years, the SOCOTEC Group, chaired by Hervé Montjotin, has built its reputation as an independent trusted third-party in the fields of risk management, compliance, safety, health and environment in the Building, Real Estate, Infrastructure and Industry sectors.As a guarantor of the integrity, sustainability and performance of built assets, SOCOTEC is developing a range of services in testing, inspection and certification, from technical control, the group’s historical expertise, to technical consulting and risk management services. Its expertise enables it to support its private and public sector clients throughout the life cycle of their buildings and equipment in order to strengthen their sustainability.
No. 1 in construction inspection in France, No. 1 in geotechnical services and construction quality control in the United Kingdom and Italy, the group is a major player in TIC (Testing Inspection Certification) services in the Construction and Infrastructure sectors in Europe and the United States. The SOCOTEC group has consolidated revenues of €1 billion in 2021 (50% of which generated outside France) with 200,000 clients. With a presence in 25 countries and 10,000 employees, it has more than 250 external accreditations, enabling it to act as a trusted third-party in many projects.