Common StandardReliable eco-labels Raise awarenessFacilitated accessEuropean Network  

About this Publication
Foreword
Europe
The European Union
Destinations
Table: core set of indicators
Eco-labelling tourism
The tourism market
The VISIT approach
The VISIT Standard
The VISIT eco-labels
The VISIT message
Easy access to eco-labelled products
The VISIT Association
Outlook 2010
Word of thanks

 

The VISIT approach

Joint steps 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 eco-labels

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 certificates: The VISIT Standard.

2. Identify highly reliable eco-labels with their individual strengths

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 prefer?
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 VISIT Eco-labels

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 and Marketing

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 VISIT Association