Ecolabels can help tourism suppliers identify critical environmental issues, speed
up the implementation of eco- efficient solutions, and lead to effective ways
of monitoring and reporting on environmental performance. Furthermore, while ecolabels
can help sell tourism products, they also mark products and services that can
decrease the use of resources such as energy and water, thus reducing costs for
the operator. Ecolabels are thus both a marketing and an environmental management
A UNEP publication, Ecolabels in the Tourism Industry,
examines the role of ecolabels within the context of voluntary self-regulation
in the tourism industry. It aims to help those applying for ecolabels understand
better the nature of ecolabel schemes, and to provide a guide for all those
involved in designing and operating ecolabel schemes -- the tourism industry,
local and national government, local communities and non- governmental organizations.
The publication describes the key elements needed to make a tourism ecolabel
effective, credible and efficient. These include the framing of effective criteria
for qualification, an objective procedure for assessing the performance of applicants
and a sound monitoring system. Examples from existing schemes are used to demonstrate
the range of solutions available in each case.
The structural framework of tourism ecolabels is examined next the financial
and human resources needed, the levels of membership fees that are levied, the
amount of technical assistance provided, and the forms in which marketing support
can be offered. Means of assessing effectiveness are also discussed.
Ecolabels in the Tourism Industry will be of
interest to public authorities, industry associations as well as private entrepreneurs
wishing to join or launch an ecolabel programme for the tourism sector. It will
also be a useful tool for evaluating or improving existing schemes.