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Certification Links


Links related to certification presented in somewhat random format:

Will improved certification make ecotourism more marketable?

Discussion on Facebook

June 19 Travel Labels and Certification (blog)

June 12 Travel Labels and Certification (blog)

Buzzword Bingo
accountability – accreditation – assessment – audit – awards – badge – benchmark – certification– compliance – credibility – credible – due diligence – evaluation – filter – greenwashgtbskitemark – label – logo – marketing – merit badge – money – open – priority – public – rating – relevant – scheme – self-assessment – standards – sunken cost fallacy – time – transparency – TripAdvisortrust – validation – value – verification – weight

http://www.foodlog.nl/files/achtergrond/WWF-Retrospective-Indian-Ocean-Tuna-HCRs-FINAL.2-1-1.pdf (PDF)
Marine Stewardship Council blue tick “questionable”

Are Certification Programs Beneficial? A No-Frills List of Pros and Cons – Glenn Jampol
Brendan May from Robertsbridge on the certification debate – a neutral observer’s perspective
Beyond Certification
Dodgy auditors undermine the credibility of palm oil group’s ‘sustainability’ claims
Who Watches the Watchmen?
Rainforest Alliance loses Green Tourism support
Four major US brands to drop controversial sustainable forestry certification scheme
UK’s Green Tourism tops list of global certification schemes
Environmentalists’ Complaint Exposes Rift Between ‘Green’ Certification Groups
Save the World through Sustainable Travel: How Destinations Are Being Rated
AAA Tourism Invites Feedback on Star Rating Assessment Criteria
The certification conundrum – Can you be certain about certification?
Gauging the Reliability of Costa Rica’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism (PDF)

Translating: Questions
Do you have any certifications?
¿Tiene alguna certificación?
Avez-vous des certifications?

What’s the future of certification?
¿Cuál es el futuro de la certificación?
Quel est l’avenir de la certification?

Who will certify the certifiers? (poster)
¿Quién va a certificar los certificadores?
Quem certifica os certificadores?
Qui certifiera les certificateurs?


Chinese Shoppers


Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Who guards the guards?
Wie staan wag oor die wagters?

Reflections on “Green Ratings” – Anne Becher and Beatrice Blake

Certification at Oaxaca’s Pochote Market
How green is my vacation? – Michael Kaye
Re-considerando la Certificación del Turismo – ITRI
Accreditation and Certification – Big Volcano
It’s Not Easy Being Green – Conde Nast Traveler
The Trade and Environmental Effects of Ecolabels: Assessment and Response (PDF)
Assessing the Certification for Sustainable Tourism in Costa Rica (PDF)
Certification and accreditation in Dominican Republic and Haiti – Yacine Khelladi
La certification en écotourisme : une fin en soi? – Ron Mader/Association Française d’Ecotourisme
STSC – Rainforest Alliance
STSC Final Report (PDF File, 2.5 MB)
Labelling and Certification – Eldis
International Maritime Organization
Green Travel Market
Trip Advisor
IADB – Sustainable Tourism Certification System
Green Globe
Blue Flag
Bluelist – Lonely Planet
Qualmark wiki
Destinations Rated – National Geographic Traveler
Ecolabels and Awards – Ecotrans
Certification and Ecolabeling – IPS
El Proceso de Certificación – ASEC
Q&A with Xavier Font – Ecoclub
On certification, harmonisation and other exports – Ecoclub
Certification – Explorasport
Certification – New Farm
Certification Mistakes – New Farm
ISO Online
Procrustes – Wikipedia
ISEAL Alliance
Green Lodging Certification (California)
Ecoturismo Brazil (Yahoo)
Ecolabels in tourism: what are they and why so many? – Ralph Pina
Ecolabels in tourism: do they have a future? – Ralf Pina/Ecoafrica
Ecolabels in tourism: eco-colonialism or eco-protectionism? – Ralph Pina
CAST’s April 2006 Globe Trotter – Sustainable Tourism Mailing List
Have you been greenwashed? – Guardian

Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS)


Sustainable Tourism Alliance

Green Seal
Certification Checklist for BronzeSilverand Gold

Earth Check

Can you share details of Earth Check as applied in Cancún?¿Se puede compartir los detalles de Earth Check como se aplica en Cancún?

Leed Hotel
With these numbers, hotels are likely questioning if achieving full certification is worth it, and it’s unclear if full certification will prove profitable long-term.


Ecolabel EU


South Africa examples

Tourism Grading


CSR Tourism http://www.tourcert.org




Independent report on the impact of Scores on Doors in the ACT

marine seafood

‘Sustainable’ Seafood Labels Come Under Fire

Seafood stewardship in crisis – Nature
The main consumer-targeted certification scheme for sustainable fisheries is failing to protect the environment and needs radical reform, say Jennifer Jacquet, Daniel Pauly and colleagues.

Fishy Situation
MSC responds to Nature opinion piece

recommended reading:
Certification makes greens see red

Disappointingly, the majority of hotels featured are huge concrete buildings, some with over 100 rooms, and most have at least one large energy-intensive swimming pool. They may have demonstrated to the auditors that they are actively committed to greening up their act, but “sustainable hotels” they are not.
– Richard Hammond, ABTA launches Travelife directory of ‘green’ hotels

Ökotourismus-Zertifizierung: Eine Lösung auf der Suche nach Problemen?





Green Key


Green Key Eco-Rating Program – www.greenkeyglobal.com



What value does certification have? Harold Goodwin, Coalition Internationale pour un Tourisme Responsible in Paris June 2011 (PDF)
Sustainability in Tourism: A Guide through the Label Jungle (PDF)


ON DECK – Assessing the reputation of certification programs (surveys)


At The Travel Foundation’s Forum meeting last week, entitled ‘Be seen to be green – Can certification work for you?’, it felt very much as if, for most people working in the tourist industry, the answer was still clearly no,


http://www.aito.co.uk/corporate_Responsible-Tourism.asp – Green tourism and responsible travel are key concerns for AITO and its members. Each potential member’s sustainable tourism credentials are examined before they may join, to ensure sustainability and that local cultures and the environment are treated with the utmost care and respect. AITO members recognise that the destinations where they provide holidays are the life blood of the industry. and that they need to protect them with a responsible travel and sustainable tourism policy.

AITO is the first tourism industry association to incorporate into its business charter a commitment to Responsible travel and green tourism. Sustainable travel guidelines for its members based upon 5 key objectives:

  • To protect the environment – its flora, fauna and landscapes
  • To respect local cultures – traditions, religions and built heritage
  • To benefit local communities – both economically and socially
  • To conserve natural resources – from office to destination
  • To minimise pollution – through noise, waste disposal and congestion

AITO Responsible Tourism Guidelines
AITO Practising Responsible Tourism
AITO RT Star classification system
AITO Members Practising Responsible Tourism
TIPS for travellers
AITO RT Committee
Useful RT Links


Forestry Tasmania involved in tourism row – ABC

Ecotourism Australia no longer lists Forestry Tasmania’s tourism sites. Tasmania’s Ken Jeffreys: “We decided not to renew the certification and to allow that certification to lapse. We did that for a commercial reason.”

Forestry Tasmania Stands By Claim – Forestry Tasmania

The CEO of EcoTourism Australia Stephen Pahl wrote to FT on April 23 2007, requesting FT to renew before August 31 2007. FT did not renew as requested, and was advised on June 6 by Mr Pahl that FT was no longer certified.

Ecotourism Australia

Forestry Tasmania

Plenty (2008)



green globe

1,00 certifications in 72 countries
recognized in 182 countries
iso 17021 compliant
third-party independent verification process
completely paperless certification process
wttc owns 5% of greenglobe


green globe marketing division started

Green Globe Alliance includes
Heritage Environmental Group in Sub-Saharan Africa
Pronatura (Green Globe Mexico) Mexico
Chattanooga Green (USA)
Sustainable Travel International

Green Globe App

EarthCheck operates as an independent company operating its own benchmarking and certification standard which has been built to meet the new reporting and compliance standards demanded of a carbon constrained world. Exclusively owned by EC3 Global, EarthCheck is now trusted by more than 1000 organisations in over 60 countries and used by some of the biggest names in the business. It provides a means to independently calculate Scopes One, Two and Three emissions and improve operational efficiencies. Importantly EarthCheck reports are verified by an international network of independent auditors.


Recorded Chat/Questions about GSTC

gstc blog


ATTA Webinar: Using Tourism Certification to Position your Business in the Market
Jun 9 and 16, 2011
Quotes – Amos: The consumer is not that important at the initial stage.

Using Tourism Certification to Position Your Business in the Market: Part 1 of 2 from Adventure Travel Trade Assoc. on Vimeo.

Download Slides from Part #1 (5 MB)



My contribution to Responsible Tourism this year (at least as of this week) will be to ensure that the new Lesotho Accommodation Star Grading System, that I am currently developing here in Maseru, has the maximum number of Responsible tourism standards. Since the program will in part be based on the Harmonized standards I developed for the 14 countries in southern Africa we could eventually envision more than 40 specific standards most of which will be required for a star rating. beenThe program is designed to eventually be mandatory thus committing the industry to a major responsible tourism effort.
James MacGregor
Unfortunately I have just started to design the program, in fact I will be back to finishing the inception report in the next few minutes. If you remember, when we met at INDABA two years ago I was just starting the process of designing the harmonized
accommodation grading scheme for the 14 countries in southern Africa and Indian Ocean. The mandate terminated last year with the preparation of more than 1850 standards across six accommodation categories. Unlike other star grading systems, the harmonized system includes 57 responsible tourism standards and 45 universal accessibility standards, as well as 120 quality assurance standards. The entire program, including the standards were endorsed by the 14 ministers of tourism last year. I did a presentation at the IIPT conference in Zambia and can download a document outlining the CO2 reduction standards on my linkedIn page. However I will be starting a series of awareness workshops throughout Lesotho at the beginning of March and I will upload my PowerPoint presentation that I will be using for the workshops. They will emphasize the scope of the standards since I will be mostly presenting to the accommodation providers. I am certainly eager to see their response to the responsible tourism standards. However, as with the harmonized scheme, I have proposed a lead in time of 2 to 3 years…. Allowing the accommodation sector to make the necessary changes. However it is more or less assumed that these standards will become mandatory by say 2016. Incidentally I used this date to calculate the half billion kg/year of CO2 reduction with the implementation of these responsible tourism standards.

I am not sure what you are referring to. if you are referring to the southern Africa accommodation harmonized grading scheme, the process was completely transparent. All proposals and recommendations were validated by at least one and frequently two representatives from each of the 14 countries. In fact our last workshop lasted two days which gave the individual country representatives a chance to go over every one of the 1850 standards. Each country rep subsequently returned to their country and over the past year several of them have been working at integrating the standards [including the responsible tourism standards] into their fledgling start grading system. As well they were discussed in detail amongst the 14 ministers of tourism, before the Standards, and implementation action plan were endorsed. the Lesotho standards will be reviewed by the accommodation sector in a series of seven regional workshops where I will present [in reasonable detail] the proposed standards, grading management structure and the process of being certified. I’m sure by the time the program is completed more than 300 people will have reviewed the standards. I am also doing a 17 day assessor training program which again will open up the standards for discussion and a review in terms of the applicability of each one. But perhaps I don’t understand? is there another point at which you don’t see transparency in the accommodation grading schemes as they exist in other countries? Obviously transparency is a key component to the credibility of a grading system. For that reason we will be training both professional assessors [all with significant hotel administration and tourism training] and a master assessor. Finally we will be developing a communication plan to ensure widespread distribution of the program and the standards.



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