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Open letter to the Board of the GSTC

Dear GSTC Board Members,
We are committed to the development of responsible and sustainable tourism. We believe that tourists want more information about how the impacts of tourism in destinations are being addressed, and about how they can play a positive part in this. Businesses want credible approaches which have value in the market place and which enable them to demonstrate what they have achieved.
 
However we feel that the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria meet the requirements of neither consumers nor tourism businesses. It is not possible to provide sustainable tourism experiences by focusing only on the tourism businesses. The criteria are no more than a wish list which distract from the focus necessary to tackle the most important issues in particular places.  The GSTC is another process based initiative which fails to transparently report on real achievements; and it provides no apparent mechanism for addressing the differing and important economic, social and environmental issues in the world’s diverse destinations.
 
We, and our supporters, would like to debate these points with you further. We have created a campaign which outlines our concerns, and the specific points that we think merit further debate. You can read about it here www.responsibletravel.com/gstcdebate
 
There is a forum to enable you to share you thoughts with us, the travel industry and policy makers and the growing number of people supporting our call an open debate around these issues and the results of the consultation process which you and so many contributed to.
 
We very much look forward to hearing your thoughts,
 
Kind regards,
 
Justin Francis
www.responsibletravel.com

 
Harold Goodwin
The International Centre for Responsible Tourism

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