Sustainable Tourism Certifications
Tourism occupies a “very large slice of the pie” that is our global culture. It allows us to explore different parts of the world, meet and live with different cultures and their people. In the end, travel is the only thing we buy that makes us richer!
As the years go by, we are increasingly aware of the threat of climate change, and of our role as citizens and tourists. Not only in the tourism sector but in all, it is essential that we think about it and adopt behaviors capable of reducing our ecological footprint.
With regard to tourism, the sector itself has been looking for new ways to make it more sustainable, in order to generate less negative impacts for people but, above all, for the planet.
Are you in the tourism business? In the last part of this article, we developed the issue of Sustainable Tourim Certifications, and the importance they can have for the notoriety of the sector's businesses.
Sustainable Tourism: What is it?
As its name implies, sustainable tourism can be defined as a type of tourism that has more positive than negative impacts on the environment, economy and communities.
According to World Tourism Organization, sustainable tourism is one that “considers current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, meeting the needs of visitors, industry, the environment and local communities”.
It is true that tourism brings immense socio-economic benefits and is capable of generating many jobs for those working in the sector.
On the other hand, it can also damge local communities and regions, also contributing to the increase in the emission of greenhouse gases. Hence the importance (and urgency) of doing it in a responsible and ecological way!
This type of tourism, while truly sustainable and responsible, must be able to make destinations better to live in and visit. Essential for the long-term viability of the tourism industry as a whole.
The goals of sustainable tourism
Sustainability in tourism is based on several fundamental pillars, such as reducing the environmental, socio-economic and cultural impacts of the regions.
The General United Nations defined, in 2015, the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, and with it the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Among the various objectives, the following stand out:
- Economic growth: Ensuring that destinations and businesses in the tourism sector are viable, competitive and capable of achieving long-term success;
- Job Quality: Increase the number of local jobs created in the tourism industry, while ensuring fair and safe wages and working conditions;
- Resource Efficiency: Whenever possible, use sustainable and renewable resources in the development and operations of services in the tourism sector;
- Biological Diversity: Conserving as much as possible natural areas and reserves, wildlife and habitats, protecting lives under water and on land;
- Environmental care: Protect land, air and water from pollution, garbage and other waste that may be caused by tourism businesses and visitors.
How to be a sustainable tourist?
Tourism is responsible for around 8% of greenhouse gas emissions - a very significant number. Therefore, there is even a need to focus on sustainability on the part of the industry, but also for greater awareness on the part of tourists.
It is true that businesses and organizations in the tourism sector have a greater role in terms of adopting measures that are based on the sustainability of tourism. But we too, as citizens and tourists, can - and must! - do our part.
There are certain ways for each of us to become a more sustainable tourist. Whether through the choices we make before deciding on our next holiday destination, or through the small attitudes we put into practice during our rest days. Here are some of them:
- Avoid Air travel
Why not take advantage of your next vacation to get to know your own country even better? Full of wonderful places, traveling through several places in our country can be done using another type of transport other than the plane.
If there is no other option but to travel by plane, the ideal is to prioritize direct flights and/or second trips by train, bus or boat.
- Support local commerce
Opting for the purchase and consumption of regional and artisanal products is a great way to contribute to improving the quality of life and maintaining the jobs of local producers.
In addition to supporting and encouraging local commerce, it also plays a key role in contributing to a fairer economy and valuing the region.
Taking advantage of trips to discover typical products of the region and to buy souvenirs for the whole family is always an excellent way to support small traditional businesses and help to solidify jobs.
- Choose accommodation with sustainable practices
When choosing to stay in the next holiday destination, choosing to search for sustainable accommodation offers has been a priority for many tourists. Fortunately, the options are getting bigger and bigger!
As sustainability certifications they are the best way to prove whether a particular hotel or accommodation follows international standards of good sustainability practices in tourism.
Sustainable Tourism Certifications
Sustainable tourism has shown exponential growth, which also demonstrates a greater sensitivity to environmental issues.
In addition to the growing concern with the conservation and management of resources, sustainability certification in tourism also results from the existence of a new tourist profile: a more conscious and informed tourist, who selects their holiday destination based on environmental and social criteria.
This tourist seeks to make more informed decisions, prioritizing tourist destinations and accommodation that are based on sustainable and ecological practices. In this way, it is urgent that the tourism sector responds to the needs of this type of tourist, incorporating sustainability issues into its practices, which allows it to acquire a greater competitive advantage.
It is in this sense that sustainability certifications assume their importance. For entrepreneurs in the tourism sector who want to stand out for their environmental commitment, having a sustainable tourism certification it's the first step!
These sustainability seals prove that a particular company/business in the tourism sector adopts sustainable processes and meets the standards established for sustainable tourism, prioritizing sustainability in its operations, such as:
- Efficient waste management;
- Solar energy systems;
- Capture and use of rainwater;
- LED light system;
- Reduction in the use of plastic and water.
A sustainability certification makes it possible to gain the visibility and trust of hotels/accommodations, on the part of tourists looking for more environmentally friendly options.
It's a great way to help them know which places are truly adopting responsible environmental measures and practices.
What are the existing sustainability certifications?
The criteria and compliance requirements for obtaining each sustainability seal may vary, and it is up to each business to decide which certification it wants to obtain.
There are several existing sustainability seals. Among the most recognized are the following:
- Earth Check;
- Green Globe;
- Green Growth 2050.
How do hotels get their seals?
In a first phase, the documentation required by the certification criteria is sent through the certifying entity's platform, so that hotels can demonstrate whether they effectively guarantee compliance with the intended criteria.
In the case of certification Biosphere there are 35 sustainable actions that the site must comply with (in the environmental, sociocultural and internal management processes.)
For those who wish to obtain certification Travelife, the number of requirements to be fulfilled is even greater. There are 126 criteria and they concern the environmental areas, labor rights, human rights, among others.
At a later stage, face-to-face audits are carried out at the hotel/accommodation by the entities responsible for certification.
At Colmol we help hotels to obtain their certificate!
We work daily for a more sustainable and healthy world.
Through our increasingly clean and environmentally friendly production process, we work with organic components that make our products even more desirable, without ever giving up the comfort that characterizes them so much.
For the manufacture of our sustainable mattresses, 33% of the raw materials used are made from water bottles and for each sustainable Colmol mattress, about 30 bottles of 0.5L are taken from the ocean.
Furthermore, the system rolled mattresses and tablets used by us in some products, allows for lower carbon emission rates and a better ozone footprint. In this type of product, transport also becomes simpler and, in turn, more ecological!
Entrepreneurs in the tourism sector who rely on the help of Colmol within their hotels can thus stand out from the rest by contributing to the sustainable and responsible development of the sector.
Sustainable choices within hotels and accommodation make them more attractive to eco-conscious tourists, and are the first step towards a sustainability seal capable of increasing reputation in the market.
Our team of Sleep Specialists provides personalized advice on a daily basis, adapted to the needs of each client who seeks us out.
If you are looking for this specialized help, you can contact us directly at:
- Call the number +351 300 600 110
- Or send us your questions to the email email@example.com
When it comes to conscious choices… we are always available to help! 🧡