Global Sustainable Tourism

Our sustainable tourism class this week celebrated World Tourism Day with listening to World Tourism day messages, and a good discussion on the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.

USF Patel College of Global Sustainability, Sustainable Tourism Class

Following the reading of the message from U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and the video message from Taleb Rifial, Secretary General of the U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

WTD 2014 Official Message by UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai from UNWTO on Vimeo.

We then enjoyed some fair trade coffee and special tourism cake as we discussed the principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and its relationship to community development and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Tourism Cake To Celebrate World Tourism Day

The discussion resulted in three important conclusions by the class.

The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism provides an important framework of ethical principles to guide tourism development and operations.

Some of the highlights in the ten articles include:

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is one such NGO with the UNWTO having expertise in the field of tourism and with both the UNTWO & UNEP having permanent seats on the GSTC board.

The GSTC has defined minimum criteria for sustainable tourism and developed a process to recognize other certification programs that meet the minimum GSTC criteria.

The GSTC Criteria are the result of a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability in tourism. Focusing on social and environmental responsibility, as well as the positive and negative economic and cultural impacts of tourism, the criteria are organized into four topics.

Third party certification is needed for sustainable tourism and the process is a valuable tool for community development. Without a third party certification process the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism risks remaining little more than great principles that are not implemented.

The GSTC criteria provides a framework for responsible community development including criteria contained in the Global Code of Ethics including but not limited to the following requirements:

The above is a partial list of the GSTC criteria shows how the certification process promotes responsible community development within the tourism industry. Unlike a code that some tourism industries might pick and choose which items to adopt in principle and implement in practice, the certification process requires that all items be implemented at the minimal levels with encouragement to do more.

Destinations & Activities

Learn more about the natural and cultural attractions and activities of each country featured in the database! Jump to the Activities or Tours section.


Tour Itineraries

These sustainable travel itineraries are offered by members of Tour Operators Promoting Sustainability (TOPS). Book one of these tours for a travel experience that is beneficial to the environment and local communities!