Posted: October 2, 2023Category: Sustainability

A Qualmark Sustainability First

We are thrilled to share some fantastic news with you: Qualmark’s Sustainable Tourism Business (STB) Criteria has achieved a remarkable milestone by becoming the first in New Zealand to attain GSTC-Recognised Status from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). What this means for us here at Cross Hill Lodge and Geo Domes is that we can confidently rely on our Qualmark certification, knowing that it aligns with global sustainability standards.

This is great news for us, as sustainability is high on our personal priority list and we are always looking at ways to reduce our waste, operate as sustainably and environmentally as possible, and align with organisations with a like-minded ethos.

Earlier this year, in May, Qualmark updated its criteria for members to align with the GSTC Criteria. This important step reinforces Qualmark’s commitment to assisting New Zealand businesses in delivering quality and sustainable offerings. Steven Dixon, Qualmark’s General Manager, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “Gaining recognized status from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council for Qualmark’s criteria demonstrates the high quality of Qualmark’s accreditation and gives confidence to our members.”

Now, let’s delve into what the GSTC is all about. Established in 2007, the GSTC is a program initiated by the United Nations that sets the global baseline standards for sustainable travel and tourism. Qualmark proudly joined the GSTC as a member in 2021.

So, what exactly does this GSTC Recognition mean? It signifies that the Qualmark Sustainable Tourism Business Criteria aligns with the GSTC Industry Criteria, helping tourism businesses become more sustainable on a global scale, encompassing aspects related to people, the environment, and operations. Randy Durband, CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, commended Qualmark’s dedication to a broader and global strategy, stating that it aligns with the principles of the Four Pillars of the GSTC Criteria, demonstrating a commitment to a more sustainable future for New Zealand.

Now, you might be wondering how this recognition benefits you as guest at Cross Hill. Well, as a Qualmark member, it guarantees that we adhere to a standard that aligns with universal criteria for sustainable management, social and economic benefits to the local community, cultural heritage preservation, and the reduction of pollution. Moreover, we may be eligible to participate in GSTC’s Market Access program, where prominent online travel agencies and various international travel providers highlight sustainable accommodations, which means, you will be able to find us no matter where in the world you are, and be assured that we are a sustainably conscious business.

We are really proud to be certified by Qualmark, and are pleased as punch that their Sustainable Tourism Business (STB) Criteria is recognised by the GSTC for being equivalent to the GSTC Industry Criteria.

We hope this news fills you with as much excitement as it does us, and we look forward to continuing our journey toward a more sustainable future for now and for future generations at Cross Hill!

For more information about what this means, visit Qualmark.