GSTC-FEST Partnership For Effective Sustainable Tourism Management

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and the Foundation for European Sustainable Tourism (FEST) have signed an MOU establishing a strategic alliance between the two organizations, promoting effective tourism project management.

The partnership supports professional skills development in sustainable tourism, emphasizing the importance of the GSTC Criteria as the baseline standards for sustainability in travel and tourism, and the PM4SD (Project Management for Sustainable Development) method as an effective tool for implementing sustainability practices.

The strategic alliance is an important part of the GSTC’s goals of increasing the knowledge of sustainable tourism and “developing and identifying the tools and resources to facilitate the transition to sustainable practices”.

PM4SD: Effective Tool for Tourism Project Management

PM4SD (Project Management for Sustainable Development) is an internationally recognized methodology and professional qualification designed to help ensure tourism projects deliver benefits for all stakeholders and achieve lasting impacts.

While the GSTC Criteria, as the baseline standard for sustainability in travel and tourism, provide what should be done to achieve sustainable tourism best practices by businesses (hotels and tour operators) and destinations, the PM4SD method empowers professionals with tools and techniques to better plan and manage projects in sustainable tourism (how to implement sustainable tourism best practices).


In particular, PM4SD as a holistic management system is relevant to destination organizations and their implementation of the Sustainable Management pillar (Section A) of the GSTC-Destination Criteria.

Sustainable Tourism Training and Skills Development

The strategic alliance between the GSTC and FEST focuses on the two organizations’ respective training program: the Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP) by the GSTC, and the PM4SD training, which is part of the professional qualification certification for project managers, offered through APMG International.

  • PM4SD as a Tool for Applying the GSTC Criteria: Through this partnership, key aspects of the PM4SD method will be incorporated into the training curriculum of the GSTC STTP, as one of the tools and mechanisms to be recommended for tourism industry stakeholders.
  • GSTC Criteria as Part of the “Sustainable Tourism Context” for PM4SD: The PM4SD training curriculum recognizes the GSTC Criteria as an important standard providing a detailed definition of sustainable tourism and helping establish the context for the PM4SD training.

PM4SD Training and Certificate

A specialized training scheme for tourism professionals, the PM4SD training forms an important benchmark for competitiveness and growth in the tourism industry and the achievement of sustainable development goals.

In collaboration with Jlag, a PM4SD accredited training organization, and TrainingAid, an international tourism training company specialized in sustainable tourism (GSTC member and GSTC training program partner), the PM4SD certificate courses are now available online, with two Foundation-level courses* scheduled for 2018:

Please refer to GSTC website for more information.