One of the first steps of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council were the Recognition of sustainability certification standards in hotels and tour operators and, more recently, destinations, so the GSTC selected ITR as an institution whose standards must be recognized. Thus, the Standard BIOSPHERE RESPONSIBLE TOURISM for the accommodation industry has become one of the first international certifications GSTC-Recognized. The Standard has been recognized by the GSTC after passing a rigorous examination and subjected to strict authorization procedure, after which their requirements have been considered in line with the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria are the minimum requirements that all tourism businesses, worldwide, must meet to follow a sustainable approach.
On the other hand, after a rigorous process, the Responsible Tourism System is the first Certification Body in the world to be Approved by the GSTC. This approval is a review and verification process that publicly ensures that our certification procedures are transparent, fair, and carried out with the necessary expertise. The standard, therefore, acquires a solidity in his application that ensures certified entities and their customers a complete assurance that the activities conducted are aligned with the GSTC criteria.
Approval has 3 main objectives:
1) The guarantee by the only accreditation body in the world in sustainable tourism that our procedures and processes comply with all the parameters of reliability, impartiality and correct technical and human performance.
2) That the establishment could use the GSTC-Approved logo along with the certification approved (in this case Biosphere Responsible Tourism)
3) That every tourist who comes to a facility certified by a recognized standard by the GSTC (as Biosphere Hotel) under an approved certification body (such as the Responsible Tourism System), and see both logos (Biosphere + GSTC), wherever he/she/it comes from will know that this facility meets the globally accepted criteria for sustainable tourism and has received certification by an excellent technical and human group.
Thus, as the STR is a "GSTC-Approved" certification scheme, certified entities with our label that meet all the GSTC criteria, are entitled to use the GSTC-Approval logo along with ours to be placed on their property, for promotional purposes, etc. In addition, all the compliant certified businesses will be able to participate in our market access program with global distribution systems and other major travel industry actors. So, they will be placed at the head of certified entities worldwide in responsible tourism, supported by the GSTC.
More information here and here