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Making tourism more sustainable: International initiatives, tools, examples Herbert Hamele ECOTRANS e.V. European Netwo - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Making tourism more sustainable: International initiatives, tools, examples Herbert Hamele ECOTRANS e.V. European Network for Sustainable Tourism Development Saarbrücken/ Germany. AER, PRESERVE, Brussels, 05 February 2009. The central role of regions.

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Making tourism more sustainable:

International initiatives, tools, examples

Herbert Hamele


European Network for Sustainable Tourism Development

Saarbrücken/ Germany

AER, PRESERVE, Brussels, 05 February 2009

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The central role of regions

  • Integrate environmental, social and economic sustainability goals into local/regional policies and decision making processes

  • Help tourism suppliers and intermediaries to make their services more sustainable

  • Help environmentally sustainable tourism (SME) to reach the demand

  • Monitor progress and make decisions for continuous improvement

  • Needed

  • Access to state of the art information on Sustainable Tourism: initiatives, tools, examples, …

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What does “Sustainable Tourism” mean?

  • Since October 2008 a set of “Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria” is recommended by UNWTO, UNEP, UN Foundation, CBD, Rainforest Alliance a.o.

  • The GSTC are the result of a comprehensive analysis of more than 4500 single criteria (> 60 ST guidelines, codes, certification systems)

  • The GSTC consist of four sections:

    • Management

    • Social - Economic

    • Culture

    • Environment

  • The GSTC shall give guidance to tourism suppliers (hotels, etc.) and tour operators, as well as to education bodies, destinations, regions, intermediaries, NGOs, ST related projects and initiatives, …

  • Regions: The GSTC can be used e.g. to define aims, set up an action programme, monitor progress, exchange and networking, …

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Tourism suppliers: compliance with the GSTC?

A. Sustainable Management

A.1. Management System

A.2. Legal Compliance

A.3. Employee Training

A.4. Customer Satisfaction

A.5. Marketing Accuracy

* A.6.1. Zoning

* A.6.2. Design and Siting

* A.6.3. Sustainable Construction

* A.6.4. Special Needs Access

A.7. Interpretation

C. Cultural Heritage

C.1. Code of Behavior

C.2. Historical Artifacts

C.3. Protection of Sites

C.4. Incorporation of Culture

D. Environment

D.1.1. Purchasing Policy

D.1.2. Consumable Goods

D.1.3. Energy Consumption

D.1.4. Water Consumption

D.2.1. Greenhouse Gas

D.2.2. Wastewater

D.2.3. Waste Management Plan

D.2.4. Harmful Substances

D.2.5. Other Pollutants

D.3.1. Wildlife Species

D.3.2. Wildlife in Captivity

D.3.3. Landscaping

D.3.4. Biodiversity Conservation

D.3.5. Interactions with Wildlife

B. Social/Economic

B.1 Community Development

B.2. Local Employment

B.3 Fair-Trade

B.4 Local Entrepreneurs

B.5. Indigenous Communities

B.6. Exploitation

B.7. Equitable Hiring

B.8 Employee Protection

B.9. Basic Services

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Challenge: to reduce environmental consumption

Energy and water consumption in hotels in Europe

Average + benchmarks / overnight stay


2-3*: Av.: 90 kWh > Benchmark: 45 kWh

4-5*: Av.: 76 kWh > Benchmark: 33 kWh


2*: Av.: 454 l > Benchmark: 283 l

3*: Av.: 424 l > Benchmark: 210 l

4*: Av.: 335 l > Benchmark: 201 l

5*: Av.: 594 l > Benchmark: 310 l

Pool: ca. 60l/overnight stay

  • Best practice example

  • Hotel Victoria, Freiburg

  • 5* stars

  • Certificates: EMAS, Viabono

  • Input energy: 33 kWh

  • eco-power system

  • wood pellets

  • Output CO2: 1kg

  • Other 5* hotels: > 10kg

  • Saving potential: > 90 %

Source: Environmental initiatives by European tourism businesses, ECOTRANS/IER, 2006

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Offer: Eco-certified tourism

Certificates for:accommodation businesses,

restaurants, marinas,

beaches, canoeing,

local destinations,

protected areas,

ecotourism packages,

golf courses, …

  • Global initiative: STSC

  • The „Sustainable Tourism stewardship Council“ is to accredit certificates whith

  • Criteria in compliance with the GSTC

  • Reliable verification procedure (on site audit,…)

All Sustainable tourism certificates on DestiNet

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Challenge: continuous innovation

  • “Innovation in Tourism: how to create a Tourism Learning Area” (EC Tourism Unit, 2006)

  • e.g. set up a “TLA for Sustainable Consumption

  • and Production” as regional online platform

  • Give easy access to existing information

    • Stakeholders in a region: administration, NGOs,

    • businesses, educational bodies, partnerships

    • Aims and Topics: climate change, biodiversity, …

    • Available Instruments: financial, certificates,

    • control, marketing, publications, …

    • Good practices: transport, accommodation,

    • restaurants, activities, attractions, packages

    • Calendar with Events, News Bulletin

  • Co-ordinate a learning and training platform to match offer & demand

  • Monitor progress of actions and exchange with other regions

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Online tool for regions: DestiNet

DestiNet is a UN Type II Partnership of


registered with the UN CSD


  • Advantages

  • Hosted by European Environment Agency

  • Free access to quality assessed ST information

  • Easy administration

  • Designed for TLA SCP, exchange and networking

  • Regions: Restricted sections available

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Market: from the offer to the demand (Example)

e.g. Austria: Sustainable tourism policies > programmes > tools > eco-label > training > fulfil criteria > certification > use DestiNet as independent information platform > to reach the demand

Tour operators

Travel agencies

Information & booking services


Educational bodies


  • 200

  • Hotels

  • Camping sites

  • Restaurants

  • Travel packages (!)

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„In future our main concern will no longer be whether we can travel to every place on earth.

Our main interest will be whether it is worthwhile arriving there.“

Hermann Löns, German poet, 1908

Thank you for your attention!

Herbert Hamele