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Singapore achieves Global Sustainable Tourism Council certification as sustainable urban destination

Singapore achieves Global Sustainable Tourism Council certification as sustainable urban destination
April 18, 2023

Singapore’s efforts and commitment in becoming a sustainable urban destination has been recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) with the city-state being recognised as a sustainable urban destination.

Singapore’s achievement in reaching the GSTC destination criteria comes as a result of the commitment towards the Singapore Green Plan 2030, and is also in line with the Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) Tourism Sustainability Strategy. The Tourism Sustainability Strategy was launched in 2022 and sets out actionable strategies for the tourism industry so that Singapore can become a sustainable urban destination.

Singapore’s attainment of the GSTC’s certification follows similar achievements by other tourism partners such as Sentosa Development Corporation, Resorts World Sentosa, and Marina Bay Sands Singapore, which had also achieved certification based on the relevant GSTC Criteria and are GSTC Members.

Welcoming the Singapore’s recognition, STB Chief Executive, Keith Tan stated “we are proud to receive this certification, which reflects Singapore’s commitment to the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and becoming a City in Nature, where large experiences come with a small footprint. Being certified is just the beginning of our journey.

“Tourism businesses must do more to internalize sustainability as part of their offerings, so that they can contribute to making Singapore greener and more liveable. Our vision is to become one of the world’s most sustainable urban destinations and we now know we are on the right track.”

GSTC Chief Executive, Randy Durband added “the commitment from Singapore’s tourism sector to support their national Singapore Green Plan 2030 is apparent based on their holistic approach to sustainable tourism.

“We see first-hand some of their efforts to engage key subsectors of tourism in meaningful ways.

“Gaining destination certification requires that level of commitment and holistic approach. We commend them and are pleased to support their efforts for continuous improvement.”

Also developing new criteria to provide clear global sustainability standards for the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) sector, the GSTC has certified Singapore to the body’s destination criteria - undertaken by Vireo Srl, a GSTC-accredited certification body.

Durband added “the development of GSTC MICE Criteria will provide a globally-created and globally-applicable set of sustainability standards that serves as a platform for universal approaches to measurement, monitoring, reporting, and various forms of external verification needed to drive positive impacts from good practices.”

The GSTC establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria.

There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.

For more information go to

Image: Singapore's Gardens by the Bay. Credit: Shutterstock.

19th April 2023. Article and title amended to clarify that GSTC is not the certifier of its destination certification. That role is undertaken by Accredited Certification Bodies.

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