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Türkiye Develops a National Sustainable Tourism Program with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council

Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) has signed a collaboration agreement with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). The signing of the agreement marks an exemplary step toward sustainability as Türkiye (Turkey) becomes the first government in the world to develop a mandatory national program with the GSTC. Thanks to the new program, the Turkish tourism industry will accelerate its global sustainability practices.

The Turkish tourism industry will be restructured with the 3-year agreement signed with the GSTC, which manages the global standards in sustainable tourism, known as the GSTC Criteria. In the first stage of the agreement, which Türkiye signed as a government with the utmost gravity towards sustainability, the national program criteria will be determined and inspection firms will receive training. The first stage of the program will become operational in 2023. The second stage will be carried out gradually in 2025. The program is planned to be concluded by 2030, when all international standards will be met.

Bringing Türkiye to the forefront in sustainable tourism, the agreement will also help achieve the goals of The Paris Agreement, signed by Türkiye at the end of last year. As of 2022, Türkiye launched a transformation towards sustainability in the tourism industry and the collaboration with GSTC will highlight the country as a strong competitor in the international arena, while helping Türkiye catch up with international tourism trends.

Türkiye has taken an extensive series of measures with regards to transportation, accommodation, food and beverage, and congress facilities as well as the well-being and health conditions of passengers/guests and employees with the Safe Tourism Certification Program, which was implemented in 2020 and the first of its kind in the world. Nearly 12,000 facilities have been granted the Safe Tourism Certification so far. Within the scope of the program, the tourism industry, especially the accommodation facilities, will be subjected to both safe and sustainable standards.

As of April 2022, accommodation facilities will gradually start to implement sustainable practices.

Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) stated that TGA is very aware of the need for a transformation towards sustainability within the tourism sector as Türkiye is steeped in nature and traditional heritage, and the protection of our environment is of utmost importance. “Thanks to our work with GSTC, our visitors will have the chance to enjoy a responsible holiday in Türkiye, and our industry and partners will have the necessary tools to achieve responsible tourism.”

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