Pursuing Sustainability in Alignment with Global Criteria:
A Groundbreaking MOU Between JTB and GSTC
11 Mar 2022
Tokyo, Japan, March 11, 2022 – As a proud, new member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), the JTB Group signed a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with GSTC on March 3, 2022, heralding the beginning of a new chapter in JTB’s journey towards sustainability in alignment with GSTC’s sustainable global tourism criteria.
■ JTB Sustainability Online: https://www.jtbcorp.jp/en/sustainability/
On March 12, 2022, the JTB Group celebrates its 110th corporate anniversary. To mark this historic milestone, JTB is ramping up sustainability initiatives across all of its operating domains under a comprehensive sustainability strategy* that reinforces JTB’s commitment to ‘bringing people, places and possibilities together’ in ways that contribute to the preservation of the world’s natural and cultural heritage. Under its MOU with GSTC, the JTB Group will seek to align its sustainability policies and practices with GSTC’s global tourism criteria as a framework for promoting the long-term health and success of its business and the industry as a whole.
■ About the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
GSTC is a non-profit organization established in 2007 with the support of various United Nations agencies and leading public/private sector stakeholders for the purpose of formulating and promoting best practices for sustainable global travel and tourism. In addition to developing and disseminating criteria for sustainable destination management and industry practices, GSTC is actively involved in education and accreditation efforts worldwide. While GSTC does not directly certify tourism industry operators, the organization plays a leadership role in sustainability standardization as the global accreditation body for Sustainability Certification Programs worldwide.
The GSTC Criteria for Sustainable Global Tourism
①Destination Criteria for Policy-Makers and Destination Managers (GSTC-D)
②Industry Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators (GSTC-I)
■ Purpose of the JTB-GSTC MOU
（1） JTB to harness GSTC’s global standards, expertise and market access to promote alignment of the JTB Group’s management, operations and value chain with the internationally-recognized GSTC sustainability criteria.
JTB seeks to align its market deliverables (information, products, services and solutions) with GSTC global criteria in order to promote greater environmental, cultural and socioeconomic sustainability across all of its operating domains and enhance its lineup of sustainable offerings and engagement opportunities. JTB also seeks to raise customer and stakeholder awareness of destination-specific and industry-wide sustainability challenges, strengthen partnerships with industry operators and destination management companies certified by GSTC-accredited certification bodies, and advance new supply chain protocols aimed at promoting responsible and sustainable tourism.
（2） JTB to harness GSTC’s global know-how, tools and network to propel internal and external sustainability efforts
The JTB Group seeks to collaborate with GSTC in the implementation of a robust training and awareness-raising program designed to help JTB colleagues, suppliers and stakeholders understand and apply GSTC sustainability criteria in their day-to-day decision-making and activities. JTB will make a particularly focused effort to educate and inspire its future decision-makers to ensure the ongoing development of policies, practices, products and services that promote the long-range viability of the organization and the travel industry at large.
■ Leadership Viewpoints
“A growing number of businesses around the world are expanding their sustainability initiatives in alignment with GSTC global criteria. It is clear to JTB that the time is ripe to step up the pace of the industry’s journey towards sustainability in the domestic Japan market and beyond. Through an exhaustive materiality assessment, JTB has identified the following three sustainability priorities: (1) Enriching the Human Experience, (2) Nurturing our Surroundings, and (3) Engaged Partnering. Our MOU with GSTC establishes the framework for a powerful, far-reaching sustainability partnership that will guide JTB’s sustainability efforts in the months and years to come. Working closely with GSTC, JTB is committed to bringing its management and operations into alignment with GSTC’s global standards in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of its business and the markets and communities in which it operates.”
Eijiro Yamakita, President and CEO of JTB Corp.
“"GSTC well recognizes the importance of JTB in the marketplace and we are delighted to support their continued enhancement of sustainable approaches to their business practices, we look forward to a productive collaboration.”
Randy Durband, GSTC CEO
“JTB’s sustainability strategy is expected to bring significant changes to the Asia-based tourism businesses. I have no doubt that the capacity building of their human resources and cooperation with suppliers and partners will in the near future present a model for the tourism industry in Asia and will further promote sustainability in all tourism industries globally.”
Dr. Mihee Kang, Asia-Pacific Program Director, GSTC
MOU signing ceremony (held online)
Left: Mr. Randy Durband, CEO, GSTC; Right: Eijiro Yamakita, President & CEO, JTB Corp.
The JTB Group is committed to the development of a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable society through the delivery of excitement, wonder, results and real value to its customer base around the world in alignment with the Group’s mission, vision and values.
* For an overview of JTB Group’s sustainability strategy, see JTB Press Release dated January 25, 2022:
“Tackling Sustainability Head-On: JTB Group Ramps Up Efforts to Reduce Environmental Footprint”
Today's JTB traces its roots back to Japan Tourist Bureau, an agency formed in 1912 to service the ticketing needs of foreign visitors in Japan. Over a course of more than a century, JTB has evolved into a travel and tourism industry leader in Japan and beyond. Through vision, integrity, innovation, and unsurpassed industry know-how, and an abiding commitment to responsible and sustainable tourism, the JTB Group consistently delivers unparalleled value to its customers and stakeholders around the world.
* Unless otherwise noted, trademarks and service marks are the sole and exclusive property of JTB Corp.
JTB Corp. Public Relations & Communication Team
Phone: +81 3 5796 5833