Sentrum – Sustainable Green Destinations Project

What is the project about? 

The aim of the project is to contribute significantly to community-based socio-economic development by aligning national priorities in sustainable tourism development under the initiatives of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism with globally accepted destination standards, particularly addressing the unique needs and requirements of local communities, especially in small-scale destinations across different regions of Türkiye.

The project is designed under five components to facilitate the necessary steps for certification within the framework of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Destination Standards and to make improvements in destinations. 

  • Raising Awareness on Sustainable Community-Based Tourism
  • Sustainable Management of Destinations
  • Socio-Economic Sustainability of Destinations
  • Cultural Sustainability of Destinations
  • Environmental Sustainability of Destinations


What is the current situation?

Tourism is a dynamic sector that makes significant contributions to the global economy. However, when not managed sustainably, it can cause irreversible damage to the environment and local communities. The rapidly increasing number of tourists leads to excessive pressure on natural resources and pollution, with increasing energy, water and waste consumption.

Türkiye, in close cooperation with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), aims to develop destinations that comply with the GSTC's international standards. In this way, Türkiye aims to play a leading role in sustainable tourism practices internationally and to be recognized as a responsible tourism destination.

By supporting initiatives such as the SENTRUM Project, it aims to promote sustainability in both green and digital areas in the tourism sector and to adopt the "Dual Transformation" approach. In this context, studies are being carried out on energy efficiency and renewable energy use, water saving and waste management, and activities are being organized to raise awareness among tourists.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Enerjisa Enerji, in cooperation with Sabancı University, first started the SENTRUM Project in Ayvalık Küçükköy in 2021. Within the scope of efforts to create a green destination model, sustainable tourism transformation of Küçükköy was achieved with energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability practices. The SENTRUM project will be implemented in the historical Birgi Village of Izmir, which was selected as the second location of the project as of 2024, in cooperation with UNDP, Enerjisa Enerji and T.R. Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA).


What is our mission? 

Our mission is to align globally accepted destination standards with the unique needs and requirements of local communities in Türkiye, particularly in small-scale destinations. By doing so, we aim to substantially contribute to community-based socio-economic development and ensure the sustainability of tourism practices.


How are we doing this?

The project is committed to raising awareness and promoting sustainable tourism practices across various destinations in Türkiye. This will be achieved through the actions given below: 

1. Creating Sustainable Community-Based Tourism Awareness:

  • Establishment of an advisory board consisting of experts for project guidance
  • Establishment of Sustainable Energy-Based Tourism Centre (SENTRUM Coordination Office) in newly selected destinations (firstly in Birgi, İzmir).
  • Preparation of a guidebook on sustainable tourism and green destinations 
  • Dissemination of project outcomes and best practices through social media, conferences, and press visits.
  • Development of content serving as a comprehensive guide for visitors.
  • Supporting the participation in programs such as the UNESCO World Heritage List and UNWTO Best Tourism Villages.
  • Development of capacity-building training sessions for local communities and tourism businesses on sustainable tourism.
  • Organization of study visits to two sustainable green destinations
  • Experience sharing among sustainable green destinations in Türkiye 

2. Sustainable Management of Destinations

  • Preparation of current situation reports, which will be first prepared for Birgi and then for each destination that will be selected within the project The reports will detail natural resources, historical and cultural heritage, current tourism infrastructure, and main strengths and challenges in terms of sustainability.
  • Evaluation of sustainability practices according to GSTC criteria for each destination and development of action plan.
  • Creation of a management framework defining participants' roles and ensuring public participation.
  • Developing marketing strategy for each destination, considering visitor demand and expectations.
  • Analysing visitor carrying capacity for each destination, and preparation of management recommendations
  • Conducting climate risk assessment for each destination.
  • Developing gender equality action plan to ensure the participation of women in the project and promote equal access to education activities.

3. Socio-Economic Sustainability of Destinations:

  • Developing proper skill training programs for local communities in each destination.
  • Creating internship opportunities for students in tourism vocational schools and universities.
  • Organization of volunteering activities for students in tourism vocational schools and universities.

4. Cultural Sustainability of Destinations

  • Identification and listing of tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
  • Supporting arts and crafts through innovative technologies.
  • Improvement of existing routes and creation of new sustainable tourism routes.

5. Environmental Sustainability of Destinations:

  • Conducting energy audits for local tourism businesses and public buildings.
  • Encouragement of eco-friendly transportation such as electric vehicles and bicycles.
  • Capacity-building training sessions for tourism businesses on water usage, reduction of single-use products, and energy efficiency.
  • Ensuring energy-efficient transformation of selected public buildings 


How will Türkiye benefit? 

The SENTRUM project is a significant initiative that will help improve sustainable development in Türkiye's tourism sector and enhance the competitiveness of destinations internationally.


General Benefits:

Contribution to Sustainable Tourism: The SENTRUM project will help improve the sustainability of tourism practices in Türkiye's small-scale destinations, contributing to the preservation of natural and cultural heritage, strengthening local economies, and increasing tourism revenue.

Social Development: Training programs and capacity-building activities organized under the project will enhance the skills of local people and create new job opportunities, thereby contributing to socio-economic development in destinations.

International Recognition: Through the standards and criteria implemented under the SENTRUM project, destinations in Türkiye will gain recognition and reputation internationally. This will lead to increased tourist arrivals and tourism revenue.


Specific Benefits for Destinations:

Destination Management: The project will facilitate the development of current situation reports, sustainability action plans, and destination management frameworks for each destination, ensuring more organized and sustainable management.

Marketing and Promotion: Marketing strategies and promotional activities will be tailored for each destination, attracting more visitors and increasing tourism revenue.

Environmental Sustainability: Energy audits, promotion of eco-friendly transportation, and capacity-building activities will help reduce the environmental footprint of destinations.

Preservation of Cultural Heritage: The identification, listing, and support for cultural heritage, along with the creation of sustainable tourism routes, will contribute to the preservation of destinations' cultural heritage.

Related Materials



December 2023


December 2025






TUR - Min. of Tourism Culture


Enerjisa Enerji A.Ş.





Full Project information