The Sustainable Tourism Conference, organized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), which sets international standards for sustainable travel and tourism and guides the implementation of these standards, was held in Antalya on 9-12 May 2023. the first time this year in Turkey and is ” signature event” of GSTC, brought together all tourism stakeholders involved in developing and promoting sustainable travel and tourism.
Speaking at the opening of the conference, the Minister of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, expressed his pleasure in welcoming the experts and thought leaders of Turkey’s tourism industry. Ersoy said the GSTC 2023 Global Sustainable Tourism conference will be a place to exchange information and ideas, creating great value for tourism around the world. Minister Ersoy also said that in addition to pioneering by being the first country in the world to sign an agreement with GSTC for a sustainable national program for the government, it has already become a world leader in sustainable transport.
Explaining that Turkey is setting a global example with this program, Ersoy added that sustainable travel and tourism services are not limited to this. Ersoy said that the number of blue beaches in Turkey has increased to 531, Türkiye has the 3rd place in the world as a country while Antalya is the first city in the world; there are also 19 places registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List, Turkey is one of the three countries that have registered the most things in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List, and it has a Certificate of Support for Sleeping on Bicycles. Ersoy said that they are trying to add Turkish food to the steps taken to be sustainable and added that Rami Library, İzmir Culture and Arts Factory and Adana Museum have Biosphere certificates. The Minister of Culture and Tourism added that “Within the National Sustainable Tourism Program of Türkiye, all tourist destinations in the country will be Sustainable Tourism approved by 2030. If we look at today’s statistics, we see that from May 8, 2023, in meeting the requirements. Businesses 1,382 received 1. Level Certificate. The number of businesses that have received 3. Level Certification is 202, and the number of certificates has reached 1,584. All the places that have the right to receive certificates with 100% compliance within the Program are announced on the Ministry of Defense and TGA and website GoTürkiye’s official Türkiye website.
Speaking at the opening of the conference, GSTC President, Luigi Cabrini, shared his concerns about the industry facing global challenges. scarcity as droughts increase, biodiversity declines. Tourism should be improved by preventing exploitation, promoting quality services, increasing accessibility. We cannot and do not want to go back to tourism that seems to be doing more harm than good to the communities where it originates. ” He expressed his gratitude to the authorities of Türkiye “I cannot finish my comments without repeating our gratitude to the management of tourism in Türkiye not only for the invitation but also for the ambitious and far-sighted commitment that was made in creating a sustainable plan for international tourism based on the GSTC Requirements of Destinations.”
Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC said: “Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has taken a bold step forward with their tourism program. We are excited to bring our international team to Antalya to help share solutions to the challenges that make tourism sustainable in Turkey is the world.
The GSTC Sustainable Tourism Conference was attended by more than 300 people from 45 countries, including government agencies, hotels, tourism operators, private companies, academics, development agencies, online travel agencies, and non-governmental organizations. The conference program, which lasted four days, included many lectures, discussions, meetings, and interesting activities. Within the program of the conference, the participants also had the opportunity to discover Antalya, the “heaven of tourism” in Türkiye.
GSTC sets international standards for transport information
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council, the world’s leading platform, oversees and regulates international standards designed to ensure sustainable travel and tourism, known as the GSTC Criteria. This independent non-profit organization aims to create a shared understanding of sustainable tourism.
GSTC also organizes meetings with international leaders to discuss important issues in the tourism industry. The Sustainable Tourism Conference, held annually by the organization in a city around the world, aims to bring together tourism stakeholders to exchange ideas and increase the effectiveness of sustainable tourism standards.
Turkey sets an example for the whole world in terms of tourism.
With the cooperation agreement signed with GSTC at the beginning of 2022, Türkiye determined the road map that the country will follow in the field of transportation and improve its international performance. With this three-year plan, the National Sustainable Tourism Program was established to rehabilitate tourism in Turkey, which is the first country to cooperate with the government on tourism.
With the program, which includes tourist destinations, especially accommodation, a steady change is aimed at tourism in Turkey. The first phase of the program will be carried out gradually, it will end this year, the second phase in 2025 and the third phase in 2030, and all international standards will be met.
Accommodations must obtain a Sustainable Tourism Certificate within the framework of the Sustainable Tourism Program, which has 42 internationally recognized criteria for accommodation. Accommodations that are independently inspected are awarded a certificate or certificate each year.