GSTC Holds 2nd Annual Membership Council Meeting

Global Sustainable Tourism Council Holds 2nd Annual Membership Council Meeting, hosted by the city of Barcelona. Over 150 organizations gatherer in support of sustainable tourism and to celebrate Barcelona as the first city to receive the sustainable destination BIOSPHERE certification. Barcelona, Spain (June 29, 2011).

Today, over 150 participants gathered in the City of Barcelona, Spain to learn more about and discuss actions to be taken toward mainstreaming Sustainable Tourism. With only one year in existence The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), a global organization dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism around the world, held its 2nd Annual Membership Council Meeting. A highlight of the gathering came when the city of Barcelona was awarded the ITR BIOSPHERE certification as a World Class Destination in recognition of the city’s efforts to become a sustainable destination.

“We wish to congratulate the Global Sustainable Tourism Council on its success. In one year it has positioned itself as a leading organization in transforming the tourism industry to a more sustainable business model. The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria today is the platform for countries, cities, businesses and other organizations engaging in sustainable tourism practices. We also extend our congratulations to Barcelona and encourage other cities to follow the path,” says Bruce Poon Tip, Founder of Gap Adventures.

Hosted by the city of Barcelona, the event brought together tourism industry leaders from around the world, including representatives from UNWTO, UNEP, Melia, TUI, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Google Travel, Sabre Holdings, Amadeus, Adventure Travel Trade Association, Rainforest Alliance and others. The topics of the meeting included the promotion of sustainable destinations, the value of doing business sustainably, and the use of technology in hastening the pace of economic, environmental and cultural sustainability in tourism. Members also discussed how to more effectively promote and market credible sustainable tourism offerings.

At the meeting The Global Sustainable Tourism Council launched it’s campaign Travel Forever, geared towards demonstrating the power of positive change that comes from sustainable tourism. Other outcomes included the revisions of the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, which will be up for public consultation, and the reveal of the new website.

The city of Barcelona received the Biosphere Certification from Tomas Azcarate, President of ITR, and Luis Ramallo Massanet, President of UNESCO.“The GSTC is honored to hold our 2nd annual meeting in Barcelona, the city where we launched the GSTC Criteria at the IUCN Congress in 2008.

We are very grateful to our hosts, the city of Barcelona and congratulate them on earning the BIOSPHERE certification. They are a model for other cities around the globe,” said Erika Harms, GSTC Executive Director.Contact: Janice Lichtenwaldt, Communications Director, or +1 206 406 6052

About the GSTCThe Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is a global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism efforts around the world. The GSTC works to expand understanding of and access to sustainable tourism practices; helps identify and generate markets for sustainable tourism; educates about and advocates for a set of universal principles, as defined by the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The Criteria, a set of voluntary principles that provide a framework for the sustainability of tourism businesses

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