VISIT eco-labelsVISIT eco-labels & EU-flowerStrenghts of the VISIT eco-labels  

About this Publication
The European Union
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 eco-labels

Individual strengths and potential for harmonisation

Legambiente Turismo
300 eco-friendly accommodation businesses

Since 1997, when the certification system “recommended eco-friendly hotels” was first launched in the bathing resort of Riccione, Legambiente Turismo’s scheme has been steadily growing. In 2004, 192 hotels and 46 other accommodation businesses (totalling over 45.000 beds), 42 bathing establishments and 20 camping sites along the coasts, mountains and cities-of-art in Italy were awarded Legambiente Turismo’s eco-label with the well-known Green Swan logo. Its criteria include a better use of water and energy resources, reduced waste production, good local cuisine and breakfast choice of organic ingredients, tips to help visitors become acquainted with the local culture and natural environment, and cycle hire.

Blue Flag International
2.211 beaches and 605 marinas all over Europe in 2004

Clean bathing water and beaches are essential for an enjoyable seaside holiday. Since 1987, the Blue Flag has signalled that water quality, beach cleaning and waste disposal are all of high quality - from sandy beaches in Greece or France to yachting marinas in Italy or Germany. The holiday resorts provide visitors with up-to-date information, opportunities for envir­onmental education and commitments to preserving other aspects of the coastal environment.

Steinbock Label
15 hotels in 6 Swiss cantons

The Ibex-label allows Swiss hotels and restaurants to show their engagement for all sustainability responsibilities: environment, staff and the entire society as well as economic results. A hotel is distinguished with up to 5 ibexes. Fifteen hotels in six Swiss cantons have been awarded 3, 4 or 5 ibexes to date. These hotels encompass both traditional 3* to 5* hotels as well as hotels which are strongly oriented towards ecological issues. All of them - according to the labelled level - care both for the guest’s well-being as well as for nature and society.

La Clef Verte
100 camping, caravan and chalet sites, guesthouses

France is a paradise for camping enthusiasts in Europe. There are around 10,000 camping sites offering visitors a vast choice, from basic, idyllic camping on farms to luxurious sites by the sea or near a tourist attraction, with every conceivable facility. Since 1999, the Green Key has provided a guarantee that environmental protection does not suffer beside all the luxury. There are 100 sites from Brittany to the Mediterranean, which take specific measures to maintain biodiversity, the effective preservation of resources and undertake environmental education.

Das Österreichische Umweltzeichen für Tourismusbetriebe
Approximately 200 places to stay of all kinds and restaurants

The Austrian eco-label for tourism with the “Hundertwasser” logo is the first state eco-label for tourism in Europe. Whether you want to go on a city tour to Vienna, hiking in the mountains, or fancy a lakeside or winter holiday: since 1997 Austria has offered visitors a growing choice of hotels, holiday farms, youth hostels, private guesthouses, camping sites, holiday apartments, mountain guesthouses and restaurants, which are guaranteed to comply with high environmental standards. In addition, they offer excellent cuisine with regional produce grown on mountain farms, which also helps to maintain a diverse and intact natural environment.

El Distintivo de Garantia de Calidad Ambiental  
70 accommodation businesses in Catalonia

This label has been implemented in 1994 by the province of Catalonia (Spain): it initially addressed only industrial products. Since 1998, the label is also available for services and in the field of tourism: So far 70 accommodation businesses have been awarded: 26 hotels, 16 camping sites, 20 youth hostels and 8 rural farmhouses. The management and measurement criteria are divided into mandatory and optional criteria and cover waste management, saving of resources (water and energy), landscape impact, green purchasing, noise and information to guests about environmental issues, local excursions and typical regional products.

Zalais sertifikats
53 accommodation businesses in the Latvian countryside

Pristine lakes and rivers, flowery meadows, forest-grown hills and sandy beaches make up the beautiful variety of landscapes in Latvia. The natural bounty can be enjoyed best in the countryside, where attractions of nature combine with the hospitality of rural homes creating a visitor-friendly environment. Since 1999, the Green Certificate has awarded rural tourism establishments in Latvia, such as country homes, vacation cottages, guesthouses and camping sites, combining environmental quality with a high standard of services.

EcoLabel Luxembourg
23 places to stay in town and country

The diversity of the landscape and culture of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, with the attractions of its towns, national parks and forests is reflected in the excellent accommodation offered here. Since 1999, visitors have been able to choose from a range of particularly environmentally-friendly hotels, youth hostels, private accommodation, holiday apartments, gîtes and camping sites by the Upper Sûre Reservoir, in the Our Valley or in the city of Luxembourg. In addition to a high environmental standard, these 23 establishments offer excellent local produce and high-quality service.

Denmark, Estonia, Greenland, Sweden
Den Groenne Noegle
Over 100 accommodation businesses from youth hostels to 4 star luxury hotels

Since 1994, The Green Key has been awarded to hotels, youth hostels, holiday cottages and camping sites. Whether you want to go on a seaside and island holiday with family or friends, stay in a comfortable guesthouse in Kalundborg with a youth group, or in a luxury hotel in Copenhagen, over 100 establishments offer excellent environmental quality, which visitors will notice as soon as they arrive. Since 2001, Green Key has been awarded to establishments in Estonia, Greenland and Sweden.

The Milieubarometer
230 camping sites, holiday resorts, hotels, group accommodation and attraction parks

In the Netherlands the Milieu­barometer shows visitors what level of environmental quality is offered by the tourism business, with its wide range of leisure facilities for families, youth groups and other visitors. Since 1998, three different categories of the Milieubarometer can be reached. Bronze is good, Silver is even better and Gold fulfils even the high standards of the State eco-label Milieukeur. Visitors can enjoy their holiday at these sites with a clear conscience.

United Kingdom
Green Tourism Business Scheme
Over 450 tourism businesses in Scotland

The Green Tourism Business Scheme is the UK’s tourism eco-label. The scheme was developed in 1998 by VisitScotland (The Scottish National Tourist Board). It has over 450 businesses in Scotland ranging from croft houses and distillery visitor attractions in the Scottish Islands, to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, major sporting estates and hotels as well as family run self-catering cottages, youth hostels, visitor attractions and bed and breakfasts. All businesses must meet a relevant quality standard (star rating). The scheme is being adopted in England with 100 members in key destinations in Devon, the East of England, Blackpool and the North West. There are 3 levels of awards, Bronze for good practice, Silver for best practice and Gold for overall excellence in environment and sustainable practices.

Sweden, Denmark, Iceland,
Finland, Norway
Nordic Swan
79 hotels in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland

In 1989, consumers got the opportunity to choose environmentally suitable products with high quality, helped by the official eco-label, the Nordic Swan.
Today, travellers have also got the opportunity to stay at an eco-labelled hotel in these countries, as since 1999 hotels have been awarded the eco-label.
The Nordic Swan shows that the hotel has got a carefully considered long-term environmental programme, covering the entire business with limit values, for example, for water, chemical and energy consumption.