• The Global Sustainable Tourism Council has recognised the criteria of Berlin’s sustainability certification programmes used for tourism and events industry.
  • Pioneer: Sustainability criteria of a German region awarded for the first time. A confirmation of Berlin’s commitment to the path of sustainable development.

The German capital is the first German region to have an internationally recognised set of sustainability criteria for the Visitor Economy – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has recognised Berlin’s sustainability criteria as being equivalent to the GSTC Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. Thi validates Berlin’s sustainability initiatives, which VisitBerlin launched back in the year 2018 with Sustainable Meetings Berlin and expanded to include Sustainable Tourism Berlin at the end of the year 2022.

“Berlin is ready for the future,” says Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin. “The criteria of our Berlin sustainability initiatives for the tourism and events industry are now also compliant with international standards. We are thus in a strong position to provide Berlin companies a good head start towards long-term and sustainable development.”

“Congratulations to visitBerlin for the continued development of their sustainability programmes, providing a systematic and holistic approach for tourism businesses in the region,” says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.

The 65 criteria according to which Berlin companies can be certified with the visitBerlin sustainability programmes like Sustainable Tourism Berlin and Sustainable Meetings Berlin cover the fields such as governance, risk and compliance, environment, society and economy. These include, for example, proof of a sustainability strategy, the recording and reduction of CO₂ emissions, the promotion of human resources development and training or a sustainable orientation of the supply and value chain. All 65 criteria comply with the exacting GSTC Industry Criteria. In doing so, they reconfirm the high quality standards and the holistic sustainability approach of the “Sustainable Berlin” initiative and bear witness to the international pertinence of the audited criteria for certified partners.

Extensive set of criteria checked for highest environmental and social standards

Berlin’s set of criteria is modelled on international standards such as ISO standards, the German Sustainability Code and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Criteria. These criteria has been evaluated against the GSTC Criteria for hotels and tour operators. Berlin is the first region in Germany with a set of criteria that are deemed equivalent to the GSTC Industry Criteria, thus achieving the “GSTC Recognised Standard” status.

Tourism businesses in particular have a growing sense of responsibility to implement comprehensible and recognised sustainability standards in order to steadily minimise their own footprint. VisitBerlin supports this effort and raises awareness among Berlin’s tourism stakeholders and guests for more sustainable travel.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria, focusing on sustainable management and contribution to social, cultural and environmental life. Since August 2021, VisitBerlin is a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and is thus committed to the common understanding of sustainable tourism.

To find out more about Berlin’s sustainability efforts visit Sustainable Berlin and Sustainable tourism development.