Green Destinations Standard

A GSTC-Recognised tool for destination sustainability

The Green Destinations Standard is a GSTC-recognised set of criteria to measure, monitor and improve the sustainability policy and management of destinations and regions. It makes sustainable development concrete, objective and demonstrable; covering the following themes:

Destination Management

Nature & Scenery

Environment & Climate

Culture & Tradition

Social Well-being

Business & Hospitality

Compliance and Awards

Assessment against the Green Destinations Standard results in a score based on the compliance levels (%) with the compulsory criteria. Currently, Green Destinations is not awarding individual destinations, but allows countries, regions and existing or new sustainability certification programmes to use the Green Destinations standard and its reporting system. Current programmes that apply the standard are:


These programmes provide recognition of destinations’ achievements, including means of communication (logo, ceremony, certificate, flags, banners etc.) regarding their visitors and stakeholders. These programmes use the Green Destinations standard and platform, through which an independent auditor will assess the destination’s compliance level which will then define the destination’s final award level (e.g. Bronze, Silver, Gold in the case of QualityCoast; or ‘Certified’ in case of 100%  compliance).


The Green Destinations Standard originates from an assessment system to gauge sustainability and quality of coastal destinations: the QualityCoast programme. Based on this system, an initial Global Sustainable Tourism Review (GSTR) was developed to cover also non-coastal destinations. Through a consultation round in the months of July-August 2015 under Green Destinations partners, the current Green Destinations Standard was developed.

The Green Destinations Standard is inspired by internationally recognised standards such as ETIS, ISO 14001, EMAS and the Global Reporting Initiative. In March 2016, the standard was granted “Recognised” status by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

The Green Destinations Standard is a collaborative initiative by the European Centre for Eco and Agro Tourism (ECEAT), the Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC) and Green Destinations.

More information

The Green Destinations Standard can be consulted via our Assessment & Reporting System, an innovative online platform that enables assessment, planning, reporting and auditing of a destination’s sustainability performance.

Register for the Quick Scan   to find out quickly how your destination is doing, and get to know the system and its functionalities!