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GSTC To Pilot Chile And Peru For New Criteria And Indicators For Destinations On Sustainable Tourism
29 March 2013

Mumbai:  The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has selected Machu Picchu corridor in Peru, and the shores of Lake Llanquihue, Puerto Varas, and Frutillar in Chile for the second round of its pilot programme to test the new Criteria and Indicators for Destinations. These new Early Adopters are the first South American destinations to participate, stated a release.

The GSTC’s Criteria for Destinations, overseen by GSTC’s Destination Working Group and managed by Sustainable Travel International, its NGO partner, are designed to orient destination managers, communities, and businesses towards the steps that are needed to sustain their natural and cultural assets, while benefitting local communities. The Destination Criteria complements the existing GSTC Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, which have become the worldwide sustainability standard for tourism businesses.

Destination management organisations in Peru and Chile will help to test and provide feedback on the Destination Criteria. They will be joined by a select group of additional destinations to be announced in the coming weeks. Early adoption of baseline Sustainable Tourism Criteria and Indicators will also offer these destinations improved decision-making frameworks, providing an increased ability to evaluate progress in the sustainable development of tourism.

“We are pleased to welcome Peru and Chile to the Early Adopter Program,” said Kelly S Bricker, Board Chairperson, GSTC. “These two iconic South American destinations are demonstrating true global leadership. We are confident that this second and final round of our pilot programme will help us continue to incorporate diverse perspectives and improve the Criteria and Indicators for Destinations for worldwide application through a transparent, collaborative process,” he added.

Sustainable Travel International’s team will visit each of the Early Adopter destinations to meet and consult key stakeholders, including destination management organisations, the tourism private sector, NGOs, community leaders, and other government agencies.

Peru and Chile were chosen for their positive impact on the environment, their economic and social benefits to communities, and their education of visitors and residents, among other criteria. “The outcomes of the GSTC Early Adopter Program will help us to prioritise the development of a regional destination sustainability action agenda for Cusco, Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu. This is an important first step for our destination,” said Fernando Santoyo Vargas, Director of Cusco’s Destination Management Organization.

Once feedback has been collected and synthesised, GSTC will develop and distribute a final version of the Criteria and Indicators for Destinations.