The Turkish government has claimed to be the first government in the world to sign a collaboration agreement with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for sustainable tourism standards and certification accreditation.
With the agreement, Turkey and GSTC will introduce a National Sustainable Tourism Scheme using the GSTC’s Destination Criteria. The three-year agreement will see a restructuring of the Turkish tourism industry.
In the first stage of the agreement, the national programme criteria will be determined and inspection firms will receive training. As of the first week of February, Turkish tourism stakeholders will join the programme. It will become operational in 2023 and a second stage will be carried out gradually from 2025. In 2030, all international standards are targeted to be met.
The agreement will also aim to meet the goals of The Paris Agreement, signed by Turkey at the end of last year.
Turkey’s Safe Tourism Certification Programme – implemented in 2020 – also includes an extensive series of measures with regards to transportation, accommodation, food and beverage, and congress facilities.
Nearly 12,000 facilities have been granted the Safe Tourism Certification so far and, as of April 2022, accommodation facilities will also gradually start to implement sustainable practices.
Asked how the new agreement might affect the meetings industry, a Turkish tourism spokesperson told CMW: “As a country that has taken an active and effective role in hosting green and sustainable meetings, Turkey is an exceptionally attractive destination with numerous ‘green meeting’ projects developed by conferences, meeting venues, hotels, PCOs and DMCs.
“Destinations and other tourism services, especially accommodation facilities, will gradually receive green and sustainability certification within the scope of the National Sustainable Tourism Scheme.
“These facilities and services will directly affect the travel, tourism and organisation services provided for international meetings, congresses and all other events held within the scope of business tourism and the MICE industry.
“With the implementation of the certification programme, Turkey will also take the lead in the green meetings movement in business tourism and events.”
For more information, visit www.goturkiye.com
Photo courtesy of The Stay Hotels, which is a collection of design-led and culturally-connected properties in Turkey. There are three in Istanbul and one in Alacati on the popular Cesme Peninsula. Details: The Stay Hotels