Organizations announce criteria for sustainable tourism
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BARCELONA -- A coalition of 27 organizations called the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria Partnership on Monday issued criteria for sustainable tourism at a conference in Barcelona.
The guidelines are available at http://www.SustainableTourismCriteria.org. They focus on four areas: maximizing tourism's social and economic benefits to local communities; reducing negative impacts on cultural heritage; reducing harm to local environments; and planning for sustainability.
"Consumers deserve widely accepted standards to distinguish green from greenwashed. These criteria will allow true certification of sustainable practices in hotels and resorts as well as other travel suppliers," said Jeff Glueck, chief marketing officer of Travelocity, a member of the GSTC Partnership.
The partnership was initiated by the United Nations Foundation and also included the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the American Society of Travel Agents, the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism, Expedia and the International Ecotourism Society among others.
The guidelines were developed in consultation with sustainability experts and the tourism industry and included a review of more than 60 existing sets of criteria already being implemented around the globe.
United Nations Foundation Chairman Ted Turner joined the Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations World Tourism Organization in announcing the criteria at the International Union for Conservation of Nature's World Conservation Congress.
First Published October 10, 2008 12:00 am