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Mainstreaming sustainable tourism principles: The global sustainable tourism baseline criteria initiative

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Mainstreaming sustainable tourism principles: The global sustainable tourism baseline criteria initiative Dr. Stefanos Fotiou United Nations Environment Programme Division of Technology, Industry and Economics Sustainable tourism challenges The role of UNEP 1 2 3 4 The Initiative

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slide1

Mainstreaming sustainable tourism principles:The global sustainable tourism baseline criteria initiative

Dr. Stefanos Fotiou

United Nations Environment Programme

Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

contents
Sustainable tourism challenges

The role of UNEP

1

2

3

4

The Initiative

Critical issues

Contents
decoding tourism
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2

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4

Decoding tourism

Consumption of resources

Production of resources

  • Transportation
  • Land, water energy use
  • Carrying capacity
  • Waste
  • Nature conservation
  • Development
  • Employment
  • Local income

Production of tourism services

Consumption of tourism services

what is happening today
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What is happening today
  • Sustainability and the tourism value chain: Complex and unclear relations.
    • Industry dominated by SMEs; “sustainable is costly”
    • Fragmented responsibilities of the public authorities
    • Consumers that they don’t really care
    • Environmental and social negative impacts
    • Great potential ability of tourism to contribute to sustainable development
what we would like to happen
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What we would like to happen
  • Tourism supporting sustainable economic development; production of fairly distributed wealth; creation of employment opportunities;
  • Society and environment absorb and benefit from the positive effects of tourism in a sustainable way;
  • The negative environmental, socio-cultural and economic impacts of tourism are addressed and reduced or counterbalanced with concrete contributions.
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Sustainable tourism development

why is not happening now
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Why is not happening now?
  • Inertia
    • the resistance to change presented by economic systems, social structures and business models
  • The socio-economic environment of today is the product of decades of forces acting on it and resulting in a natural “inertia”
  • Economic Inertia
  • Social Inertia
  • Capital Inertia
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Contents

Sustainable tourism challenges

The role of UNEP

1

2

3

4

The initiative

Critical issues

production and consumption patterns
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3

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Production and Consumption Patterns
  • A combination of political, technological, business and individualchoices (preferences)
    • Focus on economic growth
    • Foster human development
    • Working “business as usual”
    • Promote and use innovative solutions
    • I prefer biological products
    • I want the most appealing packaging in my products
    • …………………………
the mission statement
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The mission statement
  • Mainstream sustainability in tourism by fostering a pragmatic and demonstrative approach on the basis of sustainable consumption and production patterns in the tourism value chain.
the objectives
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The objectives
  • Support the integration of sustainability in tourism development policies.
  • Promote sustainable production and consumption patterns in the tourism industry.
  • Encourage demand for “sustainable tourism services”.
expected accomplishments
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Expected Accomplishments
  • Resource efficiency is increased and in the tourism value chain.
  • Investment in sustainable tourism is increased through public policies and private sector action.
  • Consumer choice favours more resource efficient and environmentally friendly tourism products and services.
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Our main instruments

  • Advisory services
  • Partnerships
  • Capacity building, training and awareness raising
  • Horizontal / supporting activities
    • Policy recommendations, publications, promotion of legal instruments, etch.
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Contents

Sustainable tourism challenges

The role of UNEP

1

2

3

4

The Initiative

Critical issues

the needs
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The needs
  • Tourism companies are seeking advice on identifying internationally recognized sustainable tourism criteria
  • Consumers are becoming more and more conscious
  • Voluntary sustainable tourism initiatives need credible references to developing their own programs
  • Mutual recognition and reciprocity among programs
  • Governmental agencies need support
the response
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The response
  • A global partnerships to develop the Sustainable Tourism Criteria with the purpose of identifying common sustainable tourism requirements from initiatives across the world
the uses
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The uses
  • Serve as basic guidelines for businesses of all sizes to voluntarily adopt and become more sustainable.
  • Help tourism operators and lodging providers orient sustainable tourism programs to fulfill a generally accepted baseline international criteria.
  • Serve as the underlying criteria for accrediting sustainable tourism certification programs.
the uses18
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The uses
  • Serve as common denominator for media to recognize sustainable tourism providers.
  • Serve as guidance for travel agencies in choosing suppliers and sustainable tourism programs.
  • Help consumers identify sound sustainable tourism programs and businesses.
the process
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The Process
  • The initial partnership (coordinating group)
  • Establishing the initial list of Criteria
  • Consultations (various versions)
  • Establishment of a Steering Committee (SC)
  • Launching of the Public Version by the SC
  • Pilot Projects and additional consultation
  • Development of Indicators
  • Industry Launching
  • Global Launching (IUCN conference)
  • Outreach and integration with other initiatives (STSC)
the partnership
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The Partnership
  • Under the leadership of the UN Foundation, UNEP, UNWTO, IUCN and Rainforest Alliance formed the partnership; and created the Coordinating Group with the participation of the CBD Secretariat and ICOMOS.
  • Endorsement of the partnership by the organizations’ executive management
initial list highlights
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Initial list: Highlights
  • Dozens of documents consulted
    • UNEP-UNWTO 12 principles; Mohonk agreement; World Heritage Alliance principles; CBD guidelines; UNWTO Indicators for Sustainable Tourism Certification; TOI; VISIT; Certification Network of the Americas; etc.
  • 500+ criteria compared and evaluated
  • 26 criteria with performance indicators
consultation highlights
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Consultation highlights
  • Online surveys and phone interviews
  • 1500 industry visits in the web site
  • Full membership of IUCN
  • Comparison with over 5000 individual criteria from 12 sets of general guidelines and 55 certification standards
  • 2 meetings (DC) and a number of conference calls
the steering committee
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The steering committee
  • The coordinating Group +
  • International Hotels and Restaurants Association
  • Tourism Concern
  • The International Ecotourism Society
  • Federation of Tour Operators
  • Conde Nast Traveler
  • Ecotrans
  • Conservation International
  • Sabre holdings
  • Caribbean Alliance on Sustainable Tourism
  • Expedia Inc.
  • Solimar International
the public version
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The public version
  • 38 Criteria in 4 Categories
  • A. Demonstrate effective sustainable management (11 Criteria).
  • B. Maximize social and economic benefits to the local community and minimize negative impacts (9 Criteria).
  • C. Minimize negative impacts to cultural heritage and maximize benefits (4 Criteria)
  • D. Minimize environmental negative impacts and maximize benefits (14 Criteria).
next steps
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Next Steps
  • Pilot Projects and additional Consultation
  • Development of Indicators
  • Industry Launching
  • Global Launching (IUCN conference)
  • Outreach and integration with other initiatives (STSC)
the criteria and the stsc
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The Criteria and the STSC
  • The criteria will be a major input for the STSC
  • The STSC Board should use the Criteria as a technical basis for the STSC accreditation system
  • There will be adjustments but the overall concept, spirit and basic content of the criteria should be kept
elements of success
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Elements of success
  • Pragmatic approach
  • Initiative driven by existing needs and demands from the private sector
  • The value behind these criteria emanates mostly by the process that was followed to develop and peer-review them
  • Not to substitute existing initiatives; enhance them
balance
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Balance
  • Need to create a list of criteria that should, at the same time, be comprehensive, have a practical meaning, be representative of the values of sustainable tourism
  • Need to reach consensus among the steering committee of the initiative.
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Contents

Sustainable tourism challenges

The role of UNEP

1

2

3

4

The initiative

Critical issues

demonstrate value for stakeholders
1

2

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4

Demonstrate value for stakeholders
  • Governments
    • Planning of tourism development; capacity building; consultation
  • Private sector
    • Improve operations management; reputation; increase visibility
  • Consumers
    • Assist them making better choices
additional challenges
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Additional challenges
  • Climate change adaptation and mitigation in the tourism sector
  • Community tourism development; participatory planning of tourism
  • Application in developing and less developed countries
    • Focus on emerging destinations
  • Tourism and biodiversity; cultural heritage
sustainable tourism and economic efficiency
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Sustainable tourism and economic efficiency
  • Decrease the cost of handling the impacts
    • To increase profits
  • Conserve the assets of the tourism development
    • To assure future profits
  • Diversify the tourism products and thus target new markets
    • To generate new profits
for more information
For more information

www.sustainabletourismcriteria.org

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