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Japan Sustainable Tourism Standard for Destinations gets GSTC recognition

Japan Sustainable Tourism Standard for Destinations gets GSTC recognition
April 8, 2021

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the Japan Sustainable Tourism Standard for Destinations (JSTS-D) has achieved the ‘GSTC-Recognised Standard’ status.

Based on the GSTC Criteria for Destinations, the JSTS-D was developed by Japan Tourism Agency (JTA), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism during 2019.

Consisting of 47 criteria with added Japan-specific features, the standard development committee consisted of academia along with representatives of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Japan National Tourism Office (JNTO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA), local governments, JTA departments, and was chaired by Dr Kumi Kato - who last year was elected to the GSTC Board of Directors by GSTC’s members. JSTS-D was compiled as a comprehensive booklet, including a range of resources, how-to use manual, good practices, glossary, templates, and useful links.

As part of the development and implementation project, a national survey was conducted among Japan’s 1765 local governments to benchmark the state of sustainability nationally.

Welcoming the Standard, GSTC Chief Executive, Randy Durband stated “JTA has taken a very organised and systematic approach to helping the hundreds of destinations within Japan to operate more sustainably.

“That includes applying standards that comply with the GSTC Criteria, training destination managers holistically on sustainable management practices, and developing an entire system of rewards and support for continuous improvement.”

Ono Hajime, JTA’s Chief Official - Office of Director for Travel Promotion, added “we will continue to promote JSTS-D in Japan, respecting the GSTC’s philosophy, so that we can proudly claim to be ‘a sustainable tourism nation’ to the world.”

With GSTC-Recognised status offering the market a proof that these standards adhere to international norms, currently, 12 destination standards, 32 hotel standards, and 16 tour operator standards have achieved the accolade.

About the author

James Croll

With a background in adventure tourism, events management and marketing, James Croll is a regular contributor to Australasian Leisure Management.

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