The Utah Office of Tourism has joined the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) as a destination member, becoming one of only four US destinations and one of only five North American destinations to become members with a focus to lead in sustainable tourism practices. 

The development is in line with the Utah Office of Tourism’s mission “to elevate life in Utah through responsible tourism stewardship.” Renowned for its Mighty 5® national parks, multiple national monuments, state parks and vast stretches of national forest and open lands, Utah is the American southwest’s adventure playground.

“From The Mighty 5® national parks to The Greatest Snow on Earth®, our unparalleled outdoor recreation depends on the thoughtful stewardship of our natural resources,” said Vicki Varela, Managing Director of the Utah Office of Tourism.

“Our Red Emerald Strategic Plan strives to continue powerful branding, promote responsible visitation, and help preserve our world-class quality of life for future generations. We are proud to join the Global Sustainable Tourism Council in establishing Utah as an industry leader in responsible visitation to ensure our treasured places remain forever mighty.”

“We applaud the Utah Office of Tourism’s commitment to seeking new approaches for more sustainable tourism in their state, and GSTC stands ready to assist in that journey,” added Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC.

“As a state blessed with outstanding scenery, wonderful people, unique natural and cultural resources, phenomenal dark skies, and extraordinary state and national parks and monuments – Utah’s leadership in sustainable tourism management and development will only further elevate quality of life and visitor experiences now and for future generations,” commented Dr. Kelly Bricker, GSTC Vice-Chair and Associate Professor and Director at the University of Utah in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.

GSTC encourages destinations pursuing sustainability practices in development and management of tourism, to join as destination members and apply the GSTC Destination Criteria, which eventually can lead to achieving certification by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body.


For more information about Utah, visit: www.visitutah.com. Image : Bryce Canyon National Park, credit Tom Till 

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