ETW STAFF – Mumbai
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), which details three main areas of cooperation between the two organisations – PATA’s support and endorsement of GSTC’s sustainability criteria; joint advocacy and policy development, and collaborative awareness efforts regarding sustainability practices. PATA CEO Martin Craigs and GSTC board member Guy Chester signed the MoU during the PATA Annual Summit in Bangkok.
Among the various collaborative efforts being planned, the GSTC is developing a webinar about the GSTC’s recognised standards that will be presented to PATA’s members at the Bangkok headquarters in July. The GSTC’s standards are the only global sustainable tourism criteria in the world recognised by the United Nations. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are permanent members of the Council, and both are officially represented in its board of directors. “PATA’s reputation for promoting responsible development of travel and tourism, coupled with its prominence in the Asia Pacific region, will increase GSTC’s reach to other tourism partners in moving global sustainability efforts forward,” GSTC board chair Dr Kelly Bricker said. “Our collaboration with this large and established travel trade association will certainly provide new opportunities to learn from each other and share sustainability practices within this culturally rich and biologically diverse region of the world,” she said.
Craigs echoed Bricker’s remarks regarding the expansion of sustainability efforts in Asian Pacific markets. “GSTC’s sustainability benchmarking work in recent years is widely admired and very pragmatic. PATA has a proud 40-plus year history of pragmatic engagement on sustainability issues. Together with GSTC, we will strive to guide stakeholders in the Asia Pacific visitor economy between people, profits and planet,” he said.