Folder Quality Assessment, Certification and Marketing


About this topic

Certification, based on transparent and objective procedures, provides a reliable basis for identifying tourism businesses (and sometimes destinations and other services) that meet sustainability criteria. It provides guidance for travelers and other purchasers and a checklist and target for businesses to work towards. More generally, effective marketing of tourism products and offers that embrace sustainability, relating this to the quality of the offer and the visitor experience, is critically important to success.

There are more than 100 independent certificates for environmentally friendly and/or socially responsible "sustainable" tourism services, destinations and tour operators reflecting worldwide diversity based on local circumstances. A set of Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria for hotels and tour operators has been developed to harmonize the discussion on what sustainable tourism means for business development, giving guidance to regional, national and international certificates and other stakeholders in the global market place.

We are currently witnessing the linking of quality and sustainability evaluation processes, in which the assessment of product and service quality requires the inclusion of sustainability criteria and vice-versa. This combined approach addresses the need for sustainable businesses and destinations to be competitive and give customer satisfaction.

Marketing and branding of certified tourism have become important features of sustainable tourism development. The growing number of marketing tools and channels reflect the diversity of tourism worldwide.

Increasing the coverage of sustainability issues, ensuring the transparency of standards and procedures, maintaining the credibility of assessments and promised qualities, and improving visibility of the best choices are key to raising the market share of sustainable tourism. Independent control and financial affordability are essential to secure the short and long term participation of tourism businesses and stakeholders.


Your Role

Experience shows that improved implementation of certification schemes requires a multi-stakeholder process. All stakeholders have a role to play in making certification a success, and in many cases the same applies to raising quality and improving marketing.

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Folder Administration:
Herbert Hamele, ECOTRANS