Türkiye signed a collaboration agreement with the world’s top environment and sustainability platform Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). With the agreement, Türkiye and GSTC will introduce for the first time a National Sustainable Tourism Scheme, an official GSTC status. Thanks to the new program, the Turkish tourism industry will accelerate its global sustainability practices.
Having attracted record numbers of tourists last year despite Covid-19 thanks to its Safe Tourism Certification Program, Türkiye signed a collaboration agreement with Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), the world-leading organization for sustainable tourism accreditation certification. The signing of the agreement marks an exemplary step toward sustainability as Türkiye becomes the first government in the world to sign an agreement to develop a national program with GSTC.
The Turkish tourism industry will be restructured with the 3-year agreement signed with GSTC, which sets the best and most widespread standards in sustainable tourism.
In the first stage of the agreement, which Türkiye signed as a government with the utmost gravity towards sustainability, the national program criteria will be determined, and inspection firms will receive training. As of the first week of February, Turkish tourism stakeholders will join the program, as well. The first stage of the program, planned to be wholly concluded by 2030, will become operational in 2023; and the second stage will be carried out gradually in 2025. In 2030, all international standards will be met.
Bringing Türkiye to the fore in sustainable tourism, the agreement will also reach the goals of The Paris Agreement, signed by Türkiye at the end of last year. As of 2022, Türkiye launched a transformation towards sustainability in the tourism industry and the collaboration with GSTC will highlight the country as a strong competitor in the international arena, as well as help Türkiye catch up with international tourism trends.
Türkiye has taken an extensive series of measures with regards to transportation, accommodation, food & beverage, and congress facilities as well as the well-being and health conditions of passengers/guests and employees with the Safe Tourism Certification Program, implemented in 2020 and the first of its kind in the world.
Nearly 12,000 facilities have been granted the Safe Tourism Certification so far. Within the scope of the program, the tourism industry, especially the accommodation facilities, will be subject to both safe and sustainable standards. As of April 2022, accommodation facilities will gradually start to implement sustainable practices.