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Center for Sustainable Tourism. Certification Program and Sustainable Tourism Value Proposition April 2010. Sustainable Travel International.

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Center for Sustainable Tourism

Certification Program and Sustainable Tourism Value Proposition

April 2010

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Sustainable Travel International

Non-profit focused on providing programs that help travelers, businesses and destinations protect the environment, preserve cultural heritage and contribute to economic development.

Leave the World a Better Place®

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Sustainable Tourism Eco-certification

  • Cost

  • Quality & Comprehensiveness of Program

  • Educational Value

  • Credibility of Organization

  • TSC / GSTC Alignment

  • Brand Affiliation

  • Marketing & Communications Support

  • Complimentary Programs


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Holistic Approach to Sustainable Tourism


Expanded baseline for measuring performance, adding socio-cultural and environmental dimensions to the traditional economic benchmark. A positive triple bottom line (3BL) means a net:

  • Improvement in conservation of the natural environment

  • Social benefit for local communities

  • Profit for business owners and shareholders

  • Gain for national and regional economies

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Sustainable Tourism Eco-certification

A voluntary procedure that utilizes a set of criteria designed to assist travel providers in mitigating their negative environmental, economic, and socio-cultural impacts and maximizing the benefits they provide to the environment, local and indigenous people and their communities.


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Sustainable Tourism Eco-certification

  • Global Focus, Local Application

  • Transparency

  • Comprehensive

  • Educational Orientation

  • Systematic Approach


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Sustainable Tourism Eco-certification

  • Tour Operators

  • Accommodations

  • Attractions

  • Transportation Service Providers

  • Destinations


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Sustainable Tourism Eco-certification

  • Self-assessment Tool

  • Eco-assessed

  • On-site Audit

  • Eco-certified


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Sustainable Tourism Eco-certification

  • Fees based on total number of rooms

  • Preferential rates are available for bulk purchases

  • Third-party auditor fees are based on total number of rooms

  • Advisory support services and complimentary educational materials available


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Sustainable Tourism Eco-certification

STEP can be endorsed by or customized for destinations to address their unique social, cultural, environmental and economic attributes, as well as regional goals and priorities.

STEP can also be licensed to ministries of tourism and destination management organizations, so they don’t have to expend significant resources in developing their own tourism standards, verification protocol, and auditor and consultant training programs.


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Sustainable Tourism Eco-certification


  • “STI were very thorough and practical in their approach to reviewing all elements of the Ecolabel and subsequent Ecolabel course that we offer our clients”

  • “We have gained extra exposure thanks to our affiliation with STI as a result of STI press releases and extra website links that have improved our websites Search Engine Optimisation.”

  • - Mary Mulvey, Greenbox CEO

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Luxury Eco Certification Standard

  • Addresses luxury hoteliers’ unique needs

  • 100 steps to sustainability

  • All-inclusive pricing


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Sustainable Tourism Eco-certification


Regional Development

Metropolitan areas, states, provinces, countries

  • Examples

  • Portland

  • STEP Scandinavia

  • STEP Ireland

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Sustainable Tourism Eco-certification

Global Programs* 3303

(* 3200 of these are Blue Flag for beaches)

Europe 3253

Americas 547

ISO 9001 2924

ISO 14001 414

Total 3903

(excluding Blue Flag and ISO certified Co’s.)

Source: UNF Commissioned Study, 2007


Represents a small fraction of the industry in a very young certification market!

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Why STI?


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Why STI?

  • Carbon Management, Quantification & Offsets

  • Travelers’ Philanthropy

  • 3BL Measurement, Management & Verification

  • Resource Conservation (Water, Waste & Energy)


  • Education, Outreach & Consulting


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Why STI?

  • 25,000 Media Contacts

  • 500,000 average monthly web visits

  • 25,000 - 35,000 average monthly web visitors

  • 30,000 e-Newsletter subscribers

  • “Green” listings on Expedia, Travelocity and in AAA


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  • Designed to become the premier resource for travelers wanting to engage in responsible travel;

  • Designed to increase awareness of sustainable tourism and to be a one-stop-shop for information and resources for consumers;

  • Designed to be a social networking site and booking portal for trips, car rentals, airfare and much more.


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Why STI? wanting to engage in responsible travel;

  • Private Sector and Public Sector

  • Sustainable Tourism Development

  • International Team

  • Industry Leadership


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For More Information wanting to engage in responsible travel;

Contact: Brian T. Mullis

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +503 488 5500 (USA Office)

+720 273 2975 (Direct)