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Turner helps develop criteria for sustainable tourism.
"Sustainability is just like the old business adage: ‘You don’t encroach on the principal, you live off the interest,’" said Turner. "Unfortunately, up to this point, the travel industry and tourists haven’t had a common framework to let them know if they’re really living up to that maxim. But the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) will change that. This is a win-win initiative — good for the environment and good for the world’s tourism industry."
The criteria were developed over the last 15 months by the GSTC Partnership, a new coalition of 27 organizations that includes tourism leaders from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. The criteria focus on four areas that experts recommend as the most critical aspects of sustainable tourism: maximizing tourism’s social and economic benefits to local communities; reducing negative impacts on cultural heritage; reducing harm to local environments; and planning for sustainability. The GSTC Partnership is developing educational materials and technical tools to guide hotels and tour operators in implementing the criteria.