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Starter optionsQuality AwardsGreen Destinations Certification

QualityCoast & Green Destinations Awards

Awards recognize excellence in the primary aspects connected to destination’s quality offer to travellers. Awards recognise excellence based on Green Destinations Standard criteria and indicators.

Participants summarise what is done to adhere to the criteria and upload supporting evidence. After verification by an independent auditor, this information leads to ratings (scores 1-10) for your adherence to the criteria, for each of the six main themes, and the average for all criteria. 

QualityCoast Awards

Especially for seaside and waterfront destinations who prefer that title, e.g. QualityCoast Gold Destination. Specific attention is given to waterfronts, beach management and bathing water quality

Green Destinations Awards

For any type of destination

The following rules apply to the Awards programme:

  • Every two years we assign an independent trained external expert (auditor) to check your adherence with the criteria. 
  • The first audit is an on-site audit (unless agreed otherwise). In case of an onsite audit the auditor will visit you, check evidence, and interview the sustainability coordinator, stakeholders, and your destnation's leadership (council member, mayor, vice-mayor, director etc.). Online and onsite audit alternate,
  • Bronze and Silver Awards can already be assigned after a desk audit. Higher Award levels can only be assigned after at least one onsite audit. When you request an extra onsite audit, extra costs will apply (Annex 1).
  • It is usually not possible to fully comply with all criteria within a few years. Therefore, the coaching we provide aims at stepwise strengthening your capacity in policy and management.
  • Annual or biannual Awards provide a recognition of progress made.
  • You can take advantage of the annual Award presentations in your marketing. Our Awards and the stories regarding your achievements are just as interesting for travellers as your destination certification.

For more information and fees, please contact us. 

A verified Green Destinations Standard score (% compliance); ready to be awarded by one of the partner Award & Certification programmes, yielding additional marketing & promotion benefits (additional fees for participation in the Award & Certification programmes apply, including costs of an on-site audit.

Green Destinations Certification Program


Membership of the Green Destinations Certification Program gives access to the most comprehensive and rigorous sustainability recognition available, based on the international (Global Sustainable Tourism Council) standards for sustainable tourism certification. Therefore, in addition the Green Destinations Certified status provides you with an international 'GSTC Certified' recognition for your excellence in sustainability.

Your destination's Self Assessment shall be based on the Green Destinations Standard (GSTC-Recognised) and is reviewed by an independent third-party auditor, first online and subsequently during an on-site visit. 

See Certification Procedures for more information.

Find out here about the rights and duties of certified Members about how refer to certification. 

Details & Pricing 

For more information and pricing, please contact us. 


If you are not yet convinced whether to choose Awards or Certification, you may start with a year of 'Engagement', allowing a destination full reporting to the GD Standard. The Engagement period consists of a standard package of services and benefits for a maximum of one year:

  • GD Platform tools & resources: Licence to online assessment & reporting system, incl helpdesk
  • Training - Foundations of Sustainable Tourism & Destination Management: Self-paced training to develop the basic knowledge for sustainable destination management (2 people)
  • Training - Understanding the GD Standard: Self-paced training providing background, guidance and interpretation of the 75 GD Standard criteria (2 people)
  • Top 100 Application (Supported): Registration, online training and coaching to develop a high-quality 2023 Top 100 story submission  (1 supported application)
  • Tourism Impact Assessment Support: Online training module and coaching to develop this essential tool as foundation for sustainable destination management
  • Technical Check of application for award/certification: Verification if the submitted reporting on the GD Standard criteria is sufficiently complete and relevant for an audit.

Additional optional support elements include: 

    • Business Sector Sustainability Scan + Report
    • Destination KPI Benchmark Report
    • GD standard rapid assessment
    • GD standard update assessment (renewal)
    • Destination Traveller Dashboard
    • Public Sustainability Report
    • Indicators, KPIs and Monitoring
    • Climate Action Planning (incl. Climate Impact map)
    • GD Standard Action Planning
    • Resident & business surveys

For more information and pricing, please see our membership fees.

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