Four Directions joins Global Sustainable Tourism Council

Posted on September 16, 2011

Organization Committed to Educating Travelers on Sustainable Tourism

Guatemala and Washington, D.C. May 26, 2011) – Four Directions announced today that they have 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 travel and tourism companies, organizations or individuals interested in sustainable travel.

“Joining GSTC is for us a step forward in our commitment to sustainability as a global concept and sustainable tourism as the mean we are involved with, GSTC´s logo combining the infinitum symbol with the foot print of a traveler is a perfect example of a our shared responsibility towards a tourism industry that should last forever benefiting all the links in the business chain, especially local communities”, said Alfonso Muralles, Four Directions´ Founder and Manager.

“We are pleased that Four Directions is joining in our efforts. 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 Four Directions 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 organization is currently active in 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, Four Directions 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.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council is made up of tourism and travel industry professionals, UN agencies, tour operators, travel companies, individual hotels and government tourism councils. Members include: Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA);AGEG Consultants ;American Hotel and Lodging Association  (AH&LA);American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA);asr – alliance of independent travel traders registered federal association,;Audobon International;Belize Tourism Board (BTB);Big Five Tours & Expeditions;Blackstone Valley Tourism Council- Sustainable Tourism Planning and Development Laboratory;Botswana Tourism Organisation;Cathy Parsons; Caesars Entertainment; Center for Responsible Travel  (CREST);Camps International Ltd.; Consorcio Cooperativo Red Ecoturística Nacional (COOPRENA R.L.); Development Alternatives International (DAI); Department of Tourism-Leisure- Hotel and Sport Management-Griffith University; Destination Ventures; Dr. Jurgen Ringbeck; Earth Check (EC3 Global); EcoBrasil; EcoSustainability; Ecotourism Australia;Ecotourism Israel;ECOTRANS; Enclave Rising; European Centre for Ecological  (ECEAT) and Agricultural Tourism; Evolución Empresarial, S.A.; Fabrizio Antognelli; Fairmont Hotels & Resorts; Fairtourist; Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA); ZFEDEC- Federación Colombiana de Eco Parques; Ecoturismo y Turismo de Aventura; Fundación Ecoturismo Argentina, Fundación Natura; Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE); Fundación Plan 21; GAP Adventures /Planeterra  Foundation; Geoff Penrose; Glion Institute of Higher Education; Global Center of Excellence for Destination; Glocal Tourism Consulting GREAT Green Deal; Green Globe Certification; Green Hotels Global; Green Leaf Foundation; Green Seal; Gretchen Anderson; HM Design; Honey Guide Foundation; Hostelling International (HI); Hotel Association of Canada; Hotel Manatus; Hotel Villa del Arco; Huab Lodge & BushSPA; Instituto de Turismo Responsible (ITR); International Community Foundation (ICF); Janice Lichtenwaldt; Jeff Cozart; Jorge de Vicente; Joseph Rath; Journey Mexico; Land Ethic Action Foundation; M/s. Wood Certification Pvt. Ltd.; Mexico Tourism Board; Mt. Huangshan Scenic Area; National Geographic;Nordic World Heritage Foundation; NepCon Denmark; Our Native Village; Pacific Asia Tourism Pty Ltd; Professor Francois J Odendaal; Pronatura Sur; Q Certification H&R; Rara Avis; Rosemary Black; Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL); Sabre Holdings; Salvanatura Fundacion Ecologica de El Salvador; San Francisco Department of the Environment; School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management University of North Texas; Shrinking Foot; Snow Leopard Adventures; Solimar International; Spenceley Tourism and Development; TourCert; Travel Operators for Tigers (TOFT); Turisme de Barcelona; STA Travel International Limited; Sustainable Travel International  (STI); The Travel Foundation; Tourism Concern; United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); United Nations Foundation; Waves of Change; World Tourism Organization  (UNWTO); University of Utah; VISIT; VNT Verband neue Touristik e.V.; Waves of Change; Wild Asia, Wild China; Yacutinga Lodge and Private Nature Reserve; Four Directions

Information about membership can be found at www.gstcouncil.org.

About the GSTC

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is a global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism efforts around the world. The GSTC works to expand understanding of and access to sustainable tourism practices; helps identify and generate markets for sustainable tourism; educates about and advocates for a set of universal principles, as defined by the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The Criteria, a set of voluntary principles that provide a framework for the sustainability of tourism businesses across the globe, is the cornerstone of our initiative. For more information visit www.gstcouncil.org.

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Certified in compliance with GREAT Green Deal requirements on sustainable tourism Silver Level

FOUR DIRECTIONS has obtained a Silver Degree Certification in Sustainable Tourism, issued by GREAT Green Deal.

FOUR DIRECTIONS is a Tour Operator and Destination Management Company -DMC- with operations in Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador. This year, the company undertook the challenge to certify its sustainable tourism practices and accomplished such endeavor with the Silver degree distinction. The GREAT Green Deal certificate number is CCGGD002-101-10, expiration date Sept. 16th, 2011.