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Ecolabels in the Tourism Industry

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 tool.

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.

Language: English
Publication date: 1998
Programme: Tourism
ISBN: 92-807-1708-1
Pages: 52