A guide through the tourism label jungle

A new brochure informing about sustainability labels for travel products

Bio and fair trade are en vogue not just in day-to-day shopping, but more often than not also in holiday planning.“Fair travel” is in demand– but what is it that makes travelling “fair”? Currently, tourism boasts more than 100 quality labels worldwide. The small stickers with green leaves, radiant suns or blue flags are displayed at hotel entrances, tourism offices or at the entrance gates to camping sites.They designate providers, beaches, nature reserves, indeed entire regions. The great variety of quality labels admittedly causes confusion among the general public.This problem has been addressed by tourism experts active in Working Group on Tourism & Development (arbeitskreis tourismus & entwicklung - akte), ECOTRANS e.V., Church Development Service (Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst - EED) - Tourism Watch, and Naturefriends International (NFI). The outcome of a joint effort launched by Germany, Austriaand Switzerlandis a handy guide through the tourism “label jungle”. The English version of the “Guide” is being published just in time for the world’s leading travel trade show – the ITB in Berlin.

“Twenty tourism quality labels have been closely scrutinised”, says Heinz Fuchs from EED Tourism Watch in Bonn. “We are presenting the leading international quality labels for accommodation providers, travel formats and tour operators; one of our focal points were sustainability labels in popular European holiday countries”, added Andreas Zotz from NFI in Vienna. “The more carefully a quality label considers environmental, social, economic and cultural aspects, the more information it provides on the sustainability impact of a travel format at global and local level and hence on how highly it can be recommended”, underlines Christine Plüss from akte in Basel.

Herbert Hamele von ECOTRANS: “By providing higher-quality information we wish to encourage tourists to take account of quality labels and to give preference to tourism providers who live up to their social responsibility. We hope that our catchy brochure will help consumers to achieve this objective.”

The “Guide” is available from all the publishers and for downloading at www.nf-int.org,  www.fairunterwegs.org, www.ecotrans.org and www.tourism-watch.de .

The brochure was compiled with the assistance of the European Union, Austrian Development Cooperation (OEZA) and the Austrian Life Ministry.

Further information:

EED Tourism Watch, tourism-watch@eed.de

Tel. +49-228-8101-2303, Ulrich-von-Hassell-Straße 76, 53123 Bonn, Germany