Sustainable Tourism Criteria Has Arrived

Over the past few years, the rise in awareness and attention to sustainable tourism effort has grown in leaps and bounds among both industry professionals and travelers themselves. Unfortunately, with this increased concern has also come a bit of confusion - how does one know the effect that their travel actually has on the environment, for worse or for better? There have been some efforts in estimating our carbon footprint and programs you can join that aim to counteract that by planting trees or donating to green efforts. Still, it is tricky to know just how accurate and effective these programs are. In November 2008, the brand new Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria was announced. The criteria was decided upon by the Partnership for Global Sustainable Tours, comprised of 32 organizations that lead the way in private, public and not-for-profit tourism sectors. Spearheaded by the United Nations Foundation, Rainforest Alliance, United Nations Environment Programme and United Nations, World Tourism Organization, the Partnership spent 15 months reviewing existing certifications and voluntary criteria. The criteria include items such as: guidelines for businesses of all sizes to become more sustainable, help for travelers in identifying sustainable programs, guidelines for education bodies such as hotel schools and plenty else. For more information on the Sustainable Tourism Criteria, visit their website at