Green Destinations Awards & Certification Program


Our awards and certification programs offer something for all types of destinations: large or small, new to or experienced in sustainable destination management Municipalities, cities, islands, regions, protected areas and private destinations can apply; while countries, states or provinces can opt for our Global Leaders Program to collectively introduce sustainable destination management and certification to a number of destinations within a territory.

Certification Logos

About the Green Destinations Awards & Certification Program

Who is this program for?


Certificate Validity

2 years for Awards and 3 years for certificates


1 year engagement period followed by 2 years membership


Based on the type and size of the destination

Green Destinations & Quality Coast Award - Logos

Green Destinations & Quality Coast Award

Awards recognize excellence in the primary aspects connected to destination’s quality offer to travellers. The Awards are presented at our annual Global Green Destinations Days conference and our yearly ITB Berlin event. These events provide our destinations international exposure and publicity opportunities about their sustainability achievements.

Destinations can apply for the following Awards with four different Award levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

GD Certified - Logo

Green Destinations Certified

Certification through the Green Destinations Standard is the ultimate level of global recognition for destination quality and sustainable destination management.

Green Destinations Certified is our GSTC-Accredited program for destinations that aim for full adherence to the Green Destinations Standard guidelines. The audit is more rigorous involving broad stakeholder consultation to verify compliance, and all compliance should be fully supported by evidence.


Our certification programs are structured by the sustainability management guidelines of our Green Destinations Standard, which is recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) to cover globally agreed sustainability requirements. Progress is monitored through indicators, which makes the program concrete and measurable. You can easily implement our guidelines and indicators in your management system.

Destinations signing up for the Awards & Certification program engage in a sustainability management cycle aimed at continuous improvement with periodic assessment and independent verification. The main steps include:

Engagement and reporting

Induction training to destination sustainability, the certification program, how to apply the GD Standard, and its online assessment platform. Coaching by GD secretariat.


Technical check and independent audit of reported sustainability compliance.


A Certification Committee evaluates auditor conclusions and issues the Award or Certification, which remains valid for 2 or 3 years, respectively.

Action planning

For improvements based on provided recommendations, guidance, and good practice examples

The Green Destinations Recognized Standard

The Green Destinations Standard (V2) is a GSTC-recognised set of criteria to measure, monitor and improve the sustainability policy and management of destinations and regions. It makes sustainable development concrete, objective and demonstrable. In 2020, the 1st GD Standard (developed in 2016) was updated based on consultation with the GD Partnership and re-aligned with the GSTC Destination Criteria V2 – prolonging its ‘GSTC Recognised Status’ in 2021.

Why join this program?

Destinations enrolled in the Awards and Certification Program participate in a sustainability management cycle aimed at continuous improvement through regular assessments and independent verifications.

Hugo de Jong
Hugo de Jong

Head of Destination Certification

Register your interest to join the Awards and Certifications program today


Two types of recognition exist: Pre-certification Awards and Full Certification.

Our awards and certification programs offer something for all types of destinations: large or small, new to or experienced in sustainable destination management.