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Two major South American tourism destinations –– Peru’s Cusco region and Chile’s Lake Llanquihue region –– have completed the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) Early Adopters pilot program. Overseen by GSTC and managed by NGO partner Sustainable Travel International (STI), the program aims to test GSTC’s new sustainable tourism standards, also called the Criteria and Indicators for Destinations.
“These two iconic South American destinations are demonstrating true global leadership,” said GSTC board chairperson Kelly Bricker. “We are confident that this second and final round of our pilot program will help GSTC continue our effort to incorporate diverse perspectives and improve the Criteria and Indicators for Destinations for world-wide application through a transparent, collaborative process.”
Sustainable Travel International conducted on-site evaluations of both regions in Peru and Chile over a period of 10 business days after which comprehensive reports were provided by STI. Each report included key sustainability areas covered by the GSTC Destination Criteria that the region can improve upon based on the evaluation’s findings.
Stakeholders validated the report and the Criteria and Indicators development process by providing their feedback. Once feedback has been collected from all Early Adopter destinations and synthesized, a final version of the Criteria and Indicators for Destinations will be developed and distributed by the projected date of November 2013.
The standards are designed to help destination managers, communities and businesses sustain their natural and cultural resources, while helping local communities.