How to get Certified

The first step is to tell us that you are interested by Creating an Account!

If further information is required for you to make a decision, first complete the Contact Us and we will get back to you.

  1. After Creating an Account, you will be shown a price schedule and asked to pay a small upfront fee to download the Application Form and other information on how to proceed.
    1. This will help determine how sustainable your business is and how well it complies with the GSTC Criteria for sustainability
    2. Answer all Criteria accurately and honestly – it is a form of self-assessment, and will allow you to determine where you have “gaps” that need to be closed
  2. Once you have determined how well you comply with the sustainable Criteria, you may feel you need outside help to improve the business and close any gaps.
    1. In-house assistance can be provided up to a point to an extent by Eco-tourism Africa, giving advice on how to change to meet the Criteria

    2. Outside consultants may be preferred to assist with the actual business changes

    3. Often government advisors will assist free of charge to clarify regulatory and statutory requirements

    4. Benchmarks for water, energy and waste disposal are available from many websites for accommodation, as are carbon footprint calculators

    5. Larger companies may find it beneficial and cost-effective to establish an environmental or sustainable management department to work closely with business managers, or assign responsibilities to employees. The objective is for the company to incorporate and embrace the goals of sustainability as its own

  3. Once the forms have been completed, you will, together with Eco-tourism Africa, carry out a "Desktop" assessment of the criteria you have completed. This will determine your eligibility to become Certified. Eco-tourism Africa will discuss the Criteria and any non-conformances or gaps with you, with the aim to get them closed and compliant as soon as possible. You will be given the opportunity to correct / rectify any such non-conformities before the next step

  4. Once the Desktop Assessment is completed and any gaps or non-conformities have been completed, you will be notified of your readiness for Certification. Certification requires an external independent audit of your Criteria, to verify its accuracy and validity. You will have to address any non-conformances found by the Auditor, make corrections and re-submit for further audit and closure (we endeavour to find those gaps beforehand)

  5. On completion of the audit and final payment of any Certification fees, you will be provided with your Certificate and a letter giving you permission to display the Eco-Tourism Certification logo. In addition, your company will be listed on the COMET Corporation, Eco-tourism Africa and Ecotourism Australia websites. The Certification is valid for 1 year, renewable annually on receipt of the annual Certification Fee and Agreement to continue to adhere to the conditions of Certification.

  6. The certification will be automatically renewed each time for 3 years, whereafter another external Audit is required to extend Certification an additional 3 years, to verify continued compliance and any improvements to the business programs

Note

  1. Do not think about certifying your business unless you are sure you will meet or exceed the expectation of your clients in terms of safety, access, quality and price. The best certification programs will not certify a business that is not economically sustainable in terms of offering what its clients need, and that cannot verify the offering

  2. Certification will not automatically flood your business with new clients. The Certification process is not designed to give a competitive edge on its own – the sales and marketing functions still need to be pursued