The VISIT approach
to make eco-labelling a success
The success of tourism eco-labelling in Europe depends upon efforts
to increase co-operation and consolidation among certification programmes,
to develop joint marketing activities, to reduce cost and to raise
their profile and market share.
The approach of the VISIT initiative focuses on five tasks:
1. Achieve agreement with leading initiatives on a standard for
In Europe about 40 schemes certify the environmental
performance of tourism services. Consumers expect that the certified
products, e.g. hotels, beaches, etc. are achieving practical and
demanding criteria with a suitable verification procedure to ensure
their environmental aspirations are met.
VISIT approach: 10 and more leading eco-labels shall discuss and
agree on a set of key requirements, which shall be fulfilled by all
tourism eco-labels in Europe and be used to identify highly reliable
2. Identify highly reliable eco-labels with their
All eco-labels promise “better than” environmental
quality of their licensees. However, what about their reliability
and level of quality? Which labels do consumers and tour operators
VISIT approach: comparison of the criteria and procedures of all
certificates in Europe, assessment of the compliance with the VISIT
Standard and the individual strengths of the leading schemes: The
3. Raise the awareness for tourism eco-labels
Each eco-label has its own awareness raising strategy (usually limited
by low budgets). In tourism eco-labels are hardly recognised, the
added value of their certified products is not clear.
VISIT approach: the partners and participating eco-labels carry out
a joint image raising campaign:
The VISIT Message.
4. Facilitate the access to all certified products
Consumers would like to give preference to products with certified
environmental quality as an added value when their other quality
and destination choices have been made. Therefore, they need
easy access to a good choice of eco-labelled products, and they
wish to see them marked in tour operators’ and destinations’ catalogues.
VISIT approach: to develop a common database with all certified
products of the VISIT eco-labels and to give free access on the
Internet: The VISIT Promotion
5. Establish a European network of eco-labels
The certificates all have the same objective: to provide
a good choice to the consumer, and thus to move the market towards
more sustainability. The international market and the limited resources
require joint efforts.
VISIT approach: to facilitate exchange of information and experiences,
to stimulate collaboration between schemes for mutual benefits, to
establish an independent platform for tourism eco-labels open for
partnership with complementary initiatives: The