EarthCheck Assessment & GSTC Evaluation Report (EAGER)

As more consumers globally are seeking sustainable destinations, experiences and vacations, how does your destination stack up?

The EarthCheck EAGER assessment is designed to explore destination management principals in relation to readiness for destination certification and against best practice destination stewardship.


EAGER will  introduce a destination management team to the elements required for best practice sustainable policies and practices by concurrently applying the EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations and GSTC Destinations Criteria to a defined destination. The Assessment process allows a destination to understand both sets of Criteria in relation to the destination, to understand sustainability performance against two of the world’s leading standards, and to identify areas for improvement.

Preliminary results from the assessment will be presented in a concise report outlining recommendations for overall sustainability improvement will also be provided. All assessments are guided by Emeritus Professor David Simmons who is the Chair of the not-for-profit EarthCheck Research Institute. David is the founder of tourism studies at Lincoln University and previously held the position as Director of Research at the Australian Sustainable Tourism Co-operative Research Centre where he provided expert content design and editorial oversight of the sustainable tourism online research portal. He has worked on tourism planning issues in Cambodia (WWF), Mauritius (UNDP), Niue, Vanuatu (WTO/UNDP), Nepal (MFAT and WWF), India (WWF), Sarawak (E. Malaysia), and DPR (North) Korea (UN/WTO)

Assessment Details

  • Initial engagement and liaison with stakeholders (in person or virtually).
  • An overview of the destination’s major areas of best practices, current sustainability achievements and risks.
  • An overview of select documented plans and policies coverage of both the EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations Standard and GSTC Destination Criteria.
  • Preliminary reporting identifying core destination strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Summaries of the Report, which can be easily communicated to stakeholders, decision makers, community members, and target markets.


  • Build capacity among destination stakeholders as they develop a deeper understanding of the principles of sustainable tourism and sustainable destination management.
  • Understand the destination’s current sustainability positioning in alignment with two of the world’s leading destination sustainability standards.
  • Explore the success of policies and practices and identify opportunities to improve efficient resource use and effective policy-making.
  • Generate positive marketing storylines about the destination’s commitment to sustainability and its areas of good practice.
  • Gain practical tools to compare sustainability performance across the major areas of destination sustainability: destination management, local economic benefit, community and cultural well-being, and environmental resource protection.
  • Identify concrete actions necessary to comply with the EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations Program.
  • Improve destination governance, policy making, stakeholder engagement, and performance in the areas of sustainability management, economic development, community and cultural well-being, and energy and environmental conservation.
  • Prioritise urgent, important, and achievable next steps to address the destination’s sustainability risks.
  • Develop a baseline for sustainability monitoring, to track progress over time, beginning with our expert analysis.