Sonoma County Tourism (SCT), as part of its continued commitment to encourage responsible stewardship from visitors and residents, is pleased to announce its membership to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC®).
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council® is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that establishes and manages global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, known as the GSTC Criteria. The GSTC Criteria form the foundation accreditation for certification bodies that certify lodging properties, tour operators/transport providers, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place.
“GSTC’s global team is delighted that Sonoma County Tourism has joined our network of expert practitioners to provide even more support and tools to their already strong approach to more sustainable forms of tourism,” says Randy Durband, CEO of the GSTC.
Encouraging responsible stewardship of the community’s resources is a key pillar of SCT’s mission and 2021-2023 Strategic Plan. The plan prioritizes responsible travel behavior by aligning with local organizations and national programs that have a similar mission, communicating a broad-based approach to destination stewardship, and by maximizing the Accredited Hospitality Professional (AHP) program to empower industry professionals to promote responsible travel and visitor safety.
SCT’s membership to GSTC complements its partnership with Sonoma County Regional Parks and the national Leave No Trace (LNT) organization, which was formed to help mitigate impacts to Sonoma County’s parks and outdoor spaces. Last year, the partnership unveiled the Sonoma County Leave No Trace Seven Principles – a tailored framework of minimum impact practices for anyone visiting Sonoma County’s outdoors. Future deliverables from this partnership include the formation of an advisory group and comprehensive program design to guide the destination’s stewardship efforts for years.
“Joining the Global Sustainable Tourism Council provides Sonoma County Tourism with valuable resources as we move through our destination master plan,” says Claudia Vecchio, President and CEO of Sonoma County Tourism. “Resiliency and sustainability continue to be a key focus as we thoughtfully map out our destination’s future and accelerate the recovery of our industry.”