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VisitBrussels Joins Global Sustainable Tourism Council

VisitBrussels has joined the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), an international initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism practices around the world. The GSTC was founded in partnership by the World Tourism Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme, UN Foundation, Rainforest Alliance, Sabre/Travelocity and others. GSTC membership is open to all tourism and travel industry professionals, UN agencies, tour operators, travel companies, individual hotels and government tourism councils.

“We are pleased to join the GSTC. It is important to have a common understanding of what sustainable tourism is so that travelers can break through the clutter and make informed decisions,” said Patrick Bontinck, General Manager of VisitBrussels.

“The tourism industry is growing and we have a responsibility to ensure that growth is done in a responsible way,” said Erika Harms, Executive Director of the GSTC. “We look forward to working with VisitBrussels to help implement and explain sustainable tourism so that it becomes as ubiquitous as travel itself.”

The GSTC includes partners from around the globe. The organisation is currently active in Europe, Africa, the Americas, Middle East, and East Asia. More than 170 US cities have already adopted the GSTC Criteria including San Francisco, Miami, Maui, and Los Angeles.

As a new member, VisitBrussels will work with the GSTC in its region to promote sustainable tourism principles as well as encourage the adoption of the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. As part of the initiative, each member commits to promoting the GSTC to its customers, vendors and peers.

Sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development. A suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee lasting sustainability.