Monday, October 13, 2008

Finally common, global green travel and eco-tourism criteria !

A number of prominent organizations, including Green Globe International, United Nations Foundation, Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have decided to launch the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC).

Ted Turner, the CEO of the United Nations Foundation announced the first-ever globally relevant sustainable tourism criteria at the IUCN World Conservation Congress.

The new criteria will be based on best practices culled from the existing standards currently in use around the world. It will offer a common framework to guide the emerging practice of sustainable tourism. All that we know so far is that some of the key criteria will be energy usage, potable water consumption and waste to landfill.

It is certainly a great news. Lets just hope that the outcome be simple, efficient, and readable for both tourism providers and clients.


jon said...

I would like to see GSTC drill-down a bit and place some criteria on what constitutes an "ECO-TOUR".
Our tour company 'Coast to Coast Tours' is a member of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), who suggest the criteria for the ECO-tour are; Nature, Culture, Environmental & Conservation elements, compared with tours that visit a natural area, of which are NATURE-tours. Sure, BOTH these "types" of tour are under the umbrella of EcoTOURISM, but PLEASE - a tour that focuses on Nature is NOT an ECO-tour!!

The Australian 'Eco [tick] Certified Ecotourism' system is a simple system which is displayed throughout tourist publications. The eco-tourist can see exactly what constitutes each type of tourism, and is not short-changed by a Nature-tour 'green-washing' itself into an ECO-tour.
For example, many of these self-coined ECO-tours travel for miles to exploit the riches of a natural attraction, giving little back to that community other than the tourist for the day. So, where's the most basic factor of an ECO-tour operation that 'provides constructive ongoing contributions to local communities'?
We have added the word 'true' Eco-tour to our marketing, of which, we are pleased to say, we are.

The Prince said...

The Lodge at Chaa Creek in Belize is the first business in Belize to achieve the green globe silver status under the global benchmarking programme--green globe. Chaa Creek is a good example of sustainable development in Belize Central America.