Limassol, Cyprus, June 24, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that United Certification Systems has achieved the ‘GSTC-Accredited’ status for certifying hotels and tour operators.
Achieving the GSTC-Accredited status means that a certification program is following processes and procedures that have been reviewed and approved by the GSTC Accreditation Panel and by ASI (Assurance Services International), GSTC’s partner in managing the accreditation process, in order to provide an independent and trustworthy qualification of the GSTC-Accredited certification body.
Businesses and Destinations certified by a GSTC-Accredited certification program can also use the GSTC language and logo when they meet all GSTC Criteria. The purpose of the GSTC programs is to reward genuine practitioners of sustainable tourism, which in turn builds confidence and credibility with consumers.
UCSL United Certification Systems Limited is a global brand providing certification services under sustainability schemes. Established in 2017 in Cyprus, it currently provides services worldwide while being officially represented in the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, Russia, South Asia and China.
“Being GSTC-Accredited, UCSL verifies accommodations and tour operators in a transparent, trustable and impartial way towards GSTC Criteria, the well-known global sustainability standard in the global tourism sphere. For companies choosing an accredited certification body, like UCSL, it is an excellent opportunity to use the GSTC logo in daily communications and marketing as it provides the highest level of recognition and loyalty on the global market,” says Olga Shuvalova, UCSL CEO.
“Personally, staying in a hotel with the GSTC logo confirms my devotion and support of a sustainable way of life and provides a visible positive impact on the Earth. For my own travel, I choose hotels and tour operators with a GSTC logo. I hope that with our common actions and intentions there will be many of them in the near future,” she adds.
“Tourism is slowly starting its recovery and sustainability is more important than ever. Businesses will need to respond to the increased demand for a responsible tourism that respects the environment and the communities where it develops. United Certification Systems joins the selected group of certification bodies that proved to meet the highest standards through the GSTC accreditation process and will therefore stand out as a reference in the tourism sector,” says Luigi Cabrini, GSTC Chair.
Currently, 4 accommodation programs, 5 tour-operator programs, and 3 destination programs hold the GSTC-Accredited status. The completion of these step-wise programs rewards certification bodies for their commitment to sustainability while offering the market benefit of proof that their certification process is credible and adheres to international norms.
GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to join the leading GSTC-Accredited programs and complete the Accreditation process which relates to the quality and neutrality of their certification process. Achieving a GSTC-Accredited status affirms that the certification process follows the highest international standards while further distinguishing their standards and processes amongst other certification programs.
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.
The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation of Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it accredits those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including UN agencies, NGO’s, national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.
UCSL United Certification Systems Limited is an independent international certification body registered in Cyprus and operating in Eastern and Western Europe, Russia, Middle East, India and China. UCSL currently provides forest (FSC, PEFC), marine (ASC, MSC) and tourism (GSTC) certification services and develops its involvement in other spheres such as biofuel, water, metals and sustainable enterprise schemes. The team of certification body involves over 100 professionals with vast experience in the sustainability sector. UCSL aims to contribute to the environmental well-being of the planet through provision of excellent services to like-minded sustainable businesses.