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Certification and Standards - Outcomes of the Tourism Sustainability Council’s Africa Roundtable Meeting Accrediting Sustainable Tourism Certification – 18 – 20 January 2010, Johannesburg Jennifer Seif 6 May 2010, Durban. Contents. Purpose of the Meeting In Attendance

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Certification and Standards -

Outcomes of the Tourism Sustainability Council’s Africa Roundtable Meeting

Accrediting Sustainable Tourism Certification –

18 – 20 January 2010, Johannesburg

Jennifer Seif

6 May 2010, Durban

© 2010 FTTSA

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  • Purpose of the Meeting

  • In Attendance

  • Background to Tourism Sustainability Council (TSC)

  • Results Achieved

  • Concerns Raised

  • Current TSC Status

  • TSC – STNSA, Future Engagement

© 2010 FTTSA


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Background of Meeting

  • “Accrediting Sustainable Tourism – Africa” meeting took place from 18-20 January 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa

  • Facilitated by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) as the Secretariat of the Sustainable Tourism Network of Southern Africa (STNSA)

  • Funded by UNEP and the United Nations Foundation with additional support by the Southern Africa Trust

  • Aim – a “roundtable” meeting for African certification programmes to

    • discuss alignment to the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC), and

    • Provide input to the Tourism Sustainability Council’s (TSC) proposed international accreditation programme for sustainable tourism certificates

© 2010 FTTSA


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In Attendance

  • Representatives of 9 (of about 12)African sustainable tourism certification programmes

  • Also in attendance:

    • 2 representatives from sustainable tourism certification programmes under development in Mauritius and Madagascar

    • Institute for Tourism (Mozambique)

    • National Department of Tourism (South Africa)

    • Development Bank of Southern Africa

    • Tourism Grading Council of South Africa

© 2010 FTTSA

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Background to TSC

  • Founded in 2009

  • Created by a merger between the Partnership for Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) and the Sustainable Tourism Stewardship Council (STSC)

    • STSC - perceived need to harmonise standards (and go beyond green); quality assure certification bodies and increase demand for bona fide ST products and experiences

    • GSTC -common framework for ST

  • TSC mission is “to improve tourism’s potential to be a driver of positive conservation and economic development for communities and businesses around the world and a tool for poverty alleviation”.

    • - Central organisation offering support & tools to tourism stakeholders

© 2010 FTTSA

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African Roundtable Results

  • 9 sustainable tourism certification programmes provided input on the TSCs proposed accreditation programme and the GSTC

  • The TSC acquired an improved understanding of:

    - context of sustainable tourism in Africa

    - role of certification programmes

    - potential impacts of the TSC’s proposed accreditation standards

  • Sustainable tourism certification stakeholders from 9 African countries shared knowledge and information with each other and with TSC representatives through workshop proceedings and formal and informal networking

  • STNSA recognized as the primary sustainable tourism stakeholder body in Africa

© 2010 FTTSA

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Concerns Raised

  • A new international accreditation body could potentially undermine the authority of strong national accreditation processes of counties such as South Africa and Brazil

  • Although the GSTC are internationally recognised, they need further clarification and must be flexible to address the African context

  • Accreditation fees should be affordable and announced far in advance to enable certification organisations to build these fees into annual budgets and fee structures

  • Lack of clarity regarding future governance of TSC and what mechanisms will be developed to ensure that African interests are represented

  • In addition to accreditation, TSC will offer other services including some directly to tourism businesses – these must not undermine or compete with local certification programmes

© 2010 FTTSA

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TSC – current status

  • 28 June 2010 – TSC soft launch

    • Further research on stakeholder perceptions undertaken

  • Consultation meetings (Americas, Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe)

    • Transition to a permanent board?

  • Accreditation programme:

    • May 2010 – publication of draft accreditation manual for comment

    • Piloting of accreditation procedures with1-2 schemes

    • Business planning to define accreditation fees

© 2010 FTTSA

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TSC-STNSA – future engagement

  • Comment on draft accreditation manual (May-June 2010)

  • Lobby for representation within TSC board

  • Build stronger ties to ST Certification Network of the Americas, and emerging Asia Pacific Network

  • Ensure that TSC talks to national governments in Africa

  • Participate in regular reviews of GSTC

© 2010 FTTSA

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Thank you

Contact Jennifer Seif

[email protected]

© 2010 FTTSA