Assessment and reporting system

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Starter optionsQuality AwardsQuality CertificationGreen 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 provide local data for indicators and you summarise what is done to adhere with the criteria. After verification this information leads to ratings (scores 1-10) for:

  1. Your ‘sustainability profile’, calculated from the indicator values (our database calculates these ratings after comparing the values with those of 1500 other destinations), for each of the six main themes. This will be your Indicator Rating.
  2. Your adherence with the criteria, also for each of the six main themes, and the average for all criteria. This will be your Policy Rating.

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 hire an independent external expert (auditor) who checks your adherence with the criteria. This is the way the Policy Rating is adjusted.
  • The first audit is an online audit (or desk audit). In case of an onsite audit the auditor will visit you, check evidence, and interview the sustainability coordinator, stakeholders, and a council member. Online and onsite audit alternate, so an onsite audit takes place in the 3rd or 4th
  • A Bronze Award 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 not possible to perfectly comply to all criteria in just 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 re: your achievements are more interesting for travellers than destination certification

For more infomation and fees, go to 

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.

QualityCoast  Certification

Because of the cost of a GSTC-Accredited 'Green Destinations Certification"  you may request a lower level certification: QualityTourism Certified or QualityCoast Certified. These certifications are not accredited by GSTC. You pay a membership fee that is only slightly higher than for the Award programme (€1000 extra per year), which is to cover the cost of the biannual onsite audits.

Green Destinations & QualityCoast AwardsQualityCoast CertifiedGreen Destinations Certified
Assessment of indicators (desk audit)
GD Standard assessment (desk audit)
You must comply with all mandatory criteria of the GD Standard
On-site audit (length and frequency of the audit)1 day, in year 3 or 41-2 days,
3-5 days,
Accredited by GSTC

Use of GSTC-logo (GSTC Certified)

Selection for Sustainable Top 100Gold, Platinum

Green Destinations Certification Programme


Membership of the Green Destinations Certition Programme gives access to the most comprehensive and rigorous sustainability recognition available, based on the international (Global Sustainable Tourism Council) standards for sustainable tourosm 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 

Details of the Awards and Certification options can be found here

Starter options

If you are not yet convinced of the benefits of our Awards and Certification programme, you may be interested in our stepwise approach. The first two steps for starters do not require Green Destinations membership, just a one-time fee.

Starter Service – Basic Quality Benchmarking

Services and benefits include (during one year):

  • Access to the online Green Destinations assessment platform.
  • Online Green Destinations Indicator Reporting, upload of your data.
  • Technical assistance and verification of the criteria of the Quick Scan (these are also used for the nomination of the Sustainable Destinations Top 100).


  • BasiQ Benchmark certificate confirming quality and Quick Scan result (valid for 2 years). Destination featured on Viami Travel Map and Ratings listings.

Starter Plus Service – Assessment & Verification

Services and benefits include BasiQ Benchmarking benefits plus:

  • Guidance and tools to help achieve compliance with the Green Destinations Standard.
  • Destination Baseline Assessment supported by a Green Destinations coach.


  • Independent desk assessment, the results confirmed in a Green Destinations Verified certificate (valid for 2 years).
  • Improved visibility and score on the Viami Travel Map and in the Sustainable Destinations Top 100
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