Travel and tourism has become one of the world’s largest and fastest growing industries.

Standards Development

Standards provide visitors with the assurance that a destination or tourism business is on the path toward sustainability and has met globally recognized criteria for clean water, responsible energy use, local employment and sustainable sourcing. We have been at the forefront of sustainability standard development since 2002.

  1. To develop a new sustainability standard, our team works with destination stakeholders—conducting research and in-person interviews— to identify their particular concerns, risks and goals.
  2. Next, we lead informational workshops before drafting a set of customized criteria and indicators.
  3. We then test the new standard and based on stakeholder feedback, revise as necessary.
  4. Based on a partner’s needs and the requirements of the standard, our team develops a customized IT solution using secure, cloud-based technology. Online systems can include simple assessment and verification tools or more sophisticated monitoring platforms.
  5. During the final phase of development, we provide partners with training manuals and conduct remote and on-site training workshops for assessors, consultants, tourism businesses and destination managers, allowing them to successfully adopt the new standard and IT solution.

Our experience in sustainability standards development includes…

The Global Tourism Council’s Criteria and Indicators for Destinations (GSTC-D), which specifies the minimum criteria that a destination must meet in order to move toward social, cultural, and environmental sustainability. Sustainable Travel International was chosen to develop and implement the GSTC-D Early Adopter Program in 2012-14.

The European Tourism Indicators System for Sustainable Management at Destination, which provides destination management organizations across Europe with a reliable and user-friendly toolkit and system of indicators that they can use to assess, monitor and manage the sustainability of tourism destinations. In collaboration with The University of Surrey and The INTASAVE Partnership, we identified critical indicators, pilot tested their feasibility and developed an interactive database and monitoring framework to collect data and analyze results.

The Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label is designed to inspire more efficient and sustainable ways of doing business in the biodiversity-rich archipelago. Our team was tasked with providing expert review of the draft standard and scoring system, creating toolkits and assessment manuals and developing a business and marketing plan for the adoption of the label.