The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has put together a brand-new set of criteria that will help put travel destinations, not just hotels, restaurants or airlines, on the path toward social, cultural, and environmental sustainability.
The four places that have signed up to be the world’s first sustainable destinations are…
- Why go: Hiking, skiing, scenery. Port for cruises.
- Issue: How to balance preservation and development.
- Focus: Promote low-impact versions of adventure travel activities.
Jackson Hole, WY
- Why go: Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Great for hiking, camping, watching wildlife and outdoor activities.
- Issue: Jobs are seasonal as crowd peak in summer.
- Focus: Environmental preservation and creative steady year round jobs.
- Why go: Landscapes attract artists and painters. Location of the film Avatar. UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Issue: At 2.5 million tourists every year, the trails are at maximum capacity.
- Focus: Control of noise and sight pollution; water and energy conservation; convey the message of sustainability to the visiting public.
St. Kitts and Nevis Islands
- Why go: Pristine white sand beaches, water sports, rich history.
- Issue: Preserving the heritage for generations to come.
- Focus: A partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises. They are enforcing green technology and have an environmental program officer on every ship.
Photos courtesy of Global Sustainable Tourism Council