Tourism Kingston awarded Sustainable Tourism Destination Certification

Kingston’s Visitor Information Centre in the spring. Photo via Tourism Kingston on Google.

After a nine-month process, Tourism Kingston has announced they have been awarded GreenStep’s Sustainable Tourism Destination Certification (GSTC), by way of a rigorous assessment, review, and verification process.

The organization announced the award on Thursday, Apr. 18, 2024, explaining that the process requires the destination to assess their sustainability performance across four categories; environmental, socio-economic, natural and cultural, and management using GreenStep’s Sustainable Tourism Destination Standard.

According to a release from Tourism Kingston, the Standard has been formally recognized as meeting the criteria for sustainable destination management by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and is in alignment with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

“We are thrilled to award Tourism Kingston with our Sustainable Tourism Destination Certification. Through their commitment to sustainable tourism, Tourism Kingston is leading the way in fostering a more responsible and conscious approach to tourism that supports the overall well-being of the destination and Kingston residents,” said Jenn Burling, Director of Sustainable Tourism for GreenStep.

Following the destination assessment review, and through the submission of extensive evidence, a team of GreenStep assessors thoroughly evaluated the evidence to ensure acceptability in line with the requirements for Certification, according to the release. Tourism Kingston said it has been awarded a silver level grading and has achieved the GreenStep Destination Certification designation. Reportedly, they are now one of a handful of destinations in Canada certified based on GSTC-recognized criteria. 

“Tourism is a vital part of the Kingston economy. By integrating sustainability into our offerings, we can create positive experiences and outcomes for both visitors and residents. Having GreenStep certification is an important component in helping us work towards long-term sustainability goals as a community,” said Megan Knott, CEO of Tourism Kingston.

According to the release, GreenStep helps small to medium-sized enterprises measure and improve their sustainability performance. GreenStep Sustainable Tourism provides assessments, training, strategy development and certifications to tourism businesses and destinations. GreenStep is reportedly the only Canadian-based and owned provider of sustainable tourism certifications that are relevant to all tourism businesses and destinations with criteria recognized by the GSTC. For more information, visit www.greensteptourism.com 

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