Dispatches From The Field: Louise In D.C. & Norway

On the week of October 8th 2012 the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)met with its six GSTC-early Adopter Destinations in Washington D.C. to discuss lessons learned from piloting the recently developed Destination Criteria. The event, hosted by the George Washington University and the United Nations Foundation was a historic occurrence that marked the first time destinations from the developed and developing world have come together to compare the experience of implementing global standards for sustainability. This meeting has been a long time in the making. Since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, there have been calls for the international tourism industry to adopt principles of sustainable development that will help to protect the environment and well-being of current and future generations.

Beginning in 2008, the GSTC has been actively working on the development of business and destination-level standards of best practice. After years of compilation, review and comparison of criteria and methodologies from around the world with a multi-disciplinary working group and multiple rounds of public consultation, the GSTC landed on 45 principles of sustainable destination management.  Throughout this process Sustainable Travel International is proud to have been involved by serving as the technical experts and chief implementers of the pilot phase of this project. Specifically our team helped develop the criteria and pilot them in China, Botswana, Norway, Spain, St. Kitts and Nevis and the United States.

Now for the second time in a month, Sustainable Travel International has being asked to tell the story of global standards for sustainable tourism. This October 15th Chief Technical Officer, Dr. Louise Twining-Ward, traveled to Stavenger Norway as the keynote speaker for Fjord-Norway's Fjord 2.0 conference. The event is an opportunity to share lessons learned, exchange sustainability experiences and collaborate on sustainability solutions. While the challenges facing some of the world’s wettest destinations are quite different from those of the world’s driest, many of the principles of sustainability, and the tools needed to track progress against these principles are the same.


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