The Responsible Tourism Institute (ITR) is an independent organization, founded toimplement actions and programs for sustainable development within the tourismindustry.The Responsible Tourism Institute (ITR) was created after a dialogue with UNESCOand it maintains a Cooperation Agreement with this organization; it is a member ofthe World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and it is a founder member of the GlobalSustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), sponsored by the United Nations Foundation.
The Responsible Tourism Institute (ITR) created anddeveloped the Responsible Tourism System (STR), whichis acknowledged by the BIOSPHERE certification, as animmediate answer to the need of establishing a set ofcriteria to regulate the sustainable behaviour within theinternational tourism industry, promoting a sustainabletourism activity and, ultimately, turning sustainabilityinto a tourist product itself.It consists on a group of expert professionals, offering services to business,companies, products and destinations related to the tourism sector, at a nationaland international level, improving the profitability and promotion for entities andterritories where they are implemented.
Throughout its existence, the ITR has been awarded the following prizes:European Business Award for the Environment (EBAE): Duringthe 1999-2000 edition, the Special Prize awarded by the press tothe “Responsible Tourism System”, developed by the ITR, stood outamong the winning projects.Gold Medal Award for Excellence 2001, granted by THOMSON:During the 2001 edition of Thomson’s Gold Medal Awards, theGroup of Biosphere Hotels in the Island of Lanzarote were amongthose awarded.Madera Verde Award for Environmental Responsibility (SpecialMention 2005): In 2005 the ITR was awarded the Madera VerdeAward for Environmental Responsibility, granted by the Promotionof Social and Cultural Activities Association (APAS) in collaborationwith the Royal Spanish Golf Federation.
Sport & Tourism GLOBAL AWARDS (Palma de Mallorca,Balearic Islands, November 2006): The Responsible TourimsInstitute was awarded the "Sport and Tourism Global Awards”during its second edition, under the category of non-profitorganizations, focused on tourism and environment, forcontinuously raising awareness about environmental valuesand their dissemination within the international touristindustry.International Environmental Award (2006): granted by TUI AGas a recognition of the work done by the Responsible TourismInstitute.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Entity’s executive body, consisting of its senior managers. INTERNATIONAL COMITEE OF EXPERTS ITR Advisory committee in terms of sustainability, tourism, social responsibility and other areas relatedSTRUCTURE to Sustainable Tourism, consisting of experts from the main tourist destinations worldwide. TECHNICAL COMITEE Committee composed of expert technicians, responsible for the decision-making regarding the granting of BIOSPHERE certifications and the supervision of projects.
BIOSPHERE certification system The Responsible Tourism System (STR) is publicly recognised through the BIOSPHERE certification, which truly shares the global criteria of Sustainable Tourism developed by the steering committee of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). Tourism consultancy: Quality and environment Extensive experience in consultancy and implementation of Management Systems specialized in tourist entities and mainly developed within the tourism industry. MAIN Public InstitutionsSERVICES Among its consulting activities, it offers advice to public administrations. Training in Sustainability Organization of training courses for professionals in the tourism sector in order to ensure that the tourist destination counts on the necessary resources to manage its own development. Event organization It organizes and coordinates, at a national and international level, events related to Tourism, Natural and Cultural Heritage and Sustainability. International Cooperation It maintains collaborations with international organizations in order to promote the international cooperation and sustainability.
Responsible Tourism System: BIOSPHERE CertificationProject on the analysis of tourist establishments for the developmentof the Responsible Tourism System (1998)• Project in collaboration with the General Secretariat of Tourism.• Analysis of around 30 tourist establishments and their management systems.• Implementation of the Responsible Tourism System based on the collected dataand on the Sustainable Tourism principles (International Charter for SustainableTourism).
Responsible Tourism System: BIOSPHERE CertificationCreation and development of the set of standards for the ResponsibleTourism System. Certification of national and internationalcompanies (1998-2011)• The BIOSPHERE certification, promoted by the Responsible Tourism Institute(ITR), recognizes and certifies tourist establishments that have made sustainablemanagement of tourism the centre of their activities and, therefore, are anexample of sustainability within the sector at an international level.• BIOSPHERE is a voluntary certification based on the principles of sustainabledevelopment through specific criteria on environmental, cultural andsocioeconomic behaviour, granted to establishments worldwide.• Today, more than 100 companies and tourist establishments already have thisinternational sustainability certification.
Responsible Tourism System: BIOSPHERE CertificationCreation and development of the set of standards for the ResponsibleTourism System. Destination certification (2007-2011)• BIOSPHERE certifications for destinations can be obtained by territories oftourist interest and leading tourist cities all over the world when the competentauthorities involved make a credible commitment to sustainability andresponsibility principles in order to orientate their model towards sustainabledevelopment.• It covers Biosphere Destination, Biosphere World Class Destination andBiosphere Starlight certifications.• Examples of certified destinations are specified in the following sections.
Responsible Tourism System: BIOSPHERE CertificationInternational presence of the BIOSPHERE Certification
RESPONSIBLE TOURISM INSTITUTE: MAIN PROJECTS DEVELOPED
International Meeting on Sustainable TourismInternational Meeting on Sustainable Tourism. UNESCO Headquarters, Paris (2000)• Meeting organized by UNESCO and the Responsible Tourism Institute.• The meeting was aimed to touroperators and was attended by the major tourist operators at aninternational level.• During the meeting, all problems related to sustainability within the tourism sector were analyzed.• Also, the Responsible Tourism System was presented as an improvement and promotion mechanismfor Tourism Sustainability.
International Congress “Sustainable Hotels for SustainableDestinations”International Conference “Sustainable Hotels for SustainableDestinations” held in Maspalomas (Gran Canaria), sponsoredby UNESCO (26th-28th October 2000)• Conference’s objective: To promote cooperation and the exchange ofexperience on sustainable projects within the hotel sector.• Thematic content: International programs, legislation, tools for asustainable hotel management and new technologies for responsiblehotels.• Aimed to: Government officials, tourism associations, accommodationsresorts, hotel chains, operators, consulting companies, etc.• Organized by: ITR and the City Hall of San Bartolomé de Tirajana.• Collaborators: UNESCO, UNWTO, ITC, Island Council of Gran Canaria,Government of the Canary Islands and General Secretariat of Tourism.
OCITURES 2001 ProjectDevelopment of the OCITURES 2001 project and development of the “ResponsibleGolf System” standards. (2001) • Through the OCITURES 2001 project the “Responsible Golf Standards” are developed, which included the standardization of good management practices for golf courses and the “Animal Embassy Standard” with the standardization of good practices in theme parks with ex-situ animal display (within the framework of cooperation with UNESCO for the conservation of biodiversity) • The San Diego Zoo (U.S.A.), the Loro Parque Foundation, the New York Zoo, as well as the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums took part in the last edition.
Euro-caribbean Conference on Cooperation for thePromotion of Renewable Energies in Islands (tourist sector)“Euro Caribbean Conference”. Santa Lucía (30th-31st May 2002)• Project funded by the European Commission (Directorate General for Energy and Transport) .• The conference’s objective was establishing cooperation for the promotion of renewable energies inislands.• It included the creation of an International Forum for RES, Islandsand Sustainable Tourism.• It concluded with the holding of the Santa Lucía Wold Conference.
Dialogue “Tourism, Cultural Diversity and SustainableDevelopment”:• 28th March 2003. UNESCO Headquarters in Paris: Presentation and agreement forthe launching of the International Dialogue called “Tourism, Cultural Developmentand Sustainable Development”, which would be held within the framework of theBarcelona’s 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures in early July 2004.• Under the presidency of Mrs. Milagros del Corral (UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture) the meeting focused on the presentation of the Forum Barcelona 2004 by Mrs. Mireia Belil, Manager of the Forum’s Congresses and Meetings, and of the International Dialogue “Tourism, Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development” by Mr. Tomás Azcárate, President of the Responsible Tourism Institute, which was in charge of the Forum’s Technical Secretariat.• The main objective was to inform about the Dialogue’s structure within the subject areas this event will be dealing with (Tourist Destinations, Sustainability in the Tourist Industry, Cultural Diversity, Urban and Rural Heritage, Biodiversity, Promotion of Peace and Cooperation, new technologies and knowledge society)
“Sustainable Tourism, local and global culture and cooperation”:•11st June 2003. Zamora, Michoacán, Mexico: International Workshop “Sustainable Tourism, local andglobal culture and cooperation”. Pre-forum Workshop carried out within the “Iberoamerican Congresson Cultural Heritage, Development and Tourism” organized by the ITR, the National Coordination ofCultural Heritage and Tourism of CONACULTA and the Colegio de Michoacán.• The main objective was the development of the Workshop with international and iberoamericanexperts, analyzing the topics proposed and adding an iberoamerican approach.• The contents of the workshop were:1. Sustainable Tourism in terms of historical and cultural heritage in cities.2. Sustainable Tourism in terms of cultural and natural heritage in rural areas.3. Education and Knowledge Society in favour of Sustainable Cultural Tourism.4. Tourism and Cultural Heritage as a driving force for International Cooperation.
“Implementation of Sustainable Tourism and ex-situ fauna conservation”:•1st October 2003. Hotel Botánico, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife:International Workshop “Implementation of Sustainable Tourism andex-situ fauna conservation”, organized by the ITR and the Loro ParqueFoundation.• The Workshop’s main objective was specifying the topics to be discussed in the Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism Panel during the International Conference on Tourism, Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development, Barcelona, July 2004, like:1. Identifying the opportunities tourism can offer to the valuation of biodiversity through its preservation and ex-situ exhibition.2. Establishing the basis of the strategy for the defence of biodiversity from zoological parks.3. Contributing to the standardization of good sustainability practices in zoos.4. Promoting good sustainable practices based on the quality and environmental responsibility standard “Animal Embassy” established by the Responsible Tourism Institute (ITR) and Loro Parque.
Workshop “Sustainble Tourism in Wolrd Heritage Cities”:• 15th December 2003. Mosaic Room at the Alcázar de los ReyesCristianos, Córdoba: International Workshop “Sustainable Tourismin World Heritage Cities”, organized by the ITR in collaborationwith the City Hall of Córdoba and Cordoba’s Tourist ExcellencePlan.• It was intended to assert the huge potential that tourismrepresents as a means of interaction and understanding betweenpeoples, cultures, races and languages. Tourism, understood as apowerful tool for the exchange of human flows is one of thenatural allies for peace, since tourism and peace are inseparableand are so closely related to each other that one cannot beunderstood without the other.
Seminar/Workshop “Tourism, Natural Heritage and Biodiversity”:• 15th-16th January 2004. Santander Central Hispano Auditorium, Madrid: International Seminar/Workshop “Tourism, Natural Heritage and Biodiversity”, organized by the ITR in collaboration with the Santander Central Hispano Foundation.• The objective of this International Seminar and Workshop was the analysis of interrelations between tourism and natural heritage, with a particular focus on its implications on the preservation of the world’s Biodiversity. This issue was addressed in a generic way, but referring to tourist destinations and the in-situ preservation of natural heritage and biological wealth, paying special attention to the recommendations of the World Parks Congress, held in Durban in September 2003.
Universal Forum of Cultures of Barcelona 2004:International Dialogue “Tourism, Cultural Diversity y SustainableDevelopment”Barcelona, 14th, 15th and 16th July 2004• Collaboration in the organization of the Universal Forum, ameeting on Tourism that brought together the key actors withinthe sector.• Over 1000 participants, with the participation of 100 speakers inseveral sessions of the symposia where more than 68presentations on the different realities affecting cultural diversity,tourism and sustainable development were discussed.• At the same time, several workshops were developed and 70communications and experiences were presented.
Universal Forum of Cultures of Barcelona 2004:Dialogue:• International Dialogue “Tourism, Cultural Diversity andSustainable Development”. The Dialogue was a meeting forumbetween all key agents of the tourist activity, turning into a spacededicated to the open debate and free discussion of ideas andpoint of views, organizing, besides the presentations, numerousround tables and debates, observations of the basis presentations(from which conclusions will be drown), communications(academic ones or experiences) and the exhibition of products andservices related to the Dialogue’s topic. The Responsible Tourism Institute was responsible for the Technical Secretariat of the Organizing Committee of the International Dialogue “Tourism, Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development”.
Forum’s Workshops:• 14th July 2004: “Tourism for everyone”. Organized by the Responsible Tourism Institute and the OnceFoundation.• 15ht July 2004: “Culture as an element for Urban Revitalization: Guggenheim Model. Bilbao”. Organizedby the Responsible Tourism Institute and the Provincial Government of Bizkaia.• 15th July 2004: “Tourism, Culture and Tolerance”. Organized by the Responsible Tourism Institute, theProvincial Council of Tourism of Córdoba, the Provincial Council of Tourism of Granada, the Tourism Office ofthe Province of Seville, the Provincial Promotion and Tourism Board of Jaén, the Three Cultures of theMediterranean Foundation, the Council of Tourism, Commerce and Sport of the Regional Government ofAndalusia and the Provincial Government of Bizkaia.• 15th July 2004: “Tourism Sustainability and Natural Heritage”. Organized by the Responsible TourismInstitute and the Santander Central Hispano Foundation.• 16th July 2004: “Environmental Quality and Tourism Sustainability: Towards the implementation ofbrands”. Organized by the Responsible Tourism Institute and the TÜV Rheiland Group.
Solidarity Fair; Stands and presentations:• “The Solidarity Fair” represented a real historical opportunity to contribute to sustainabledevelopment. The FAIR took place in a 1500 m2 surface, with between fifteen to thirty thousand visitorseach day, and consisted of 22 original “truck-stands”, provided for free by the Forum 2004, for thepromotion of the organizations working for the DIALOGUE’S objectives. The “Speakers’ Corner” was used as an open platform for the programmed interventions. Both the design of the Fair and its program were designed to ensure a dynamic and captivating experience.
Collaboration agreement with TÜV RheinlandAgreement for the development of the label “Integral Tourist Sustainability” (2005)• Development, as a result of the agreement, of a label orientated to the internationalacknowledgement of Integral Tourist Sustainability (ITS) of companies and establishments.• Structured in three levels on order to obtain various recognitions or certifications jointly: Level 1: BIOSPHERE Certification + Öko-Proof-Betrieb Level 2: BIOSPHERE Certification + ISO 14001 + Öko-Proof-Betrieb Level 3: BIOSPHERE Certification + ISO 14001 + EMAS + Öko-Proof- Betrieb
Destinations 2004World Forum for Peace and Sustainable DevelopmentSalvador de Bahia, Brazil (2004)• Organization of the Seminar during the World Forum for Peace and SustainableDevelopment. Conditions for Peace Social Development Cultural Diversity Environmental Preservation Economic Development
Destinations 2005World Forum for Peace and Sustainable DevelopmentRio de Janeiro, Brazil (2005)• Organization of the Plenary Session and conclusions of the World Forum for Peace andSustainable Development organized by the UNWTO, UNESCO and the Government of Brazil.
Certification of the Island of La Palma as a BIOSPHERE DESTINATIONLa Palma, Canary Islands (2006)• The island was recognized with the BIOSPHERE DESTINATIONCertification, this way becoming the first destination to obtain thisaccreditation.• The certification acknowledges the consolidation of this touristdestination as a sustainable and responsible one through theimplementation of an integrated planning and managementperspective for the whole tourist system. Thus, all economic, socio-cultural, environmental and institutional needs, both present andfuture, will be met, achieving an integral human development thatensures the role of tourism as a factor for their future achievement.
INTERNACIONAL MEETING: “MERCOSUR: Towards a responsibleand sustainable tourism”Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay (2006)• Organized jointly with the UNESCO Regional Office in Montevideo and the MABProgramme.• The Meeting’s objective was to design responsible and sustainable tourismpolicies within the MERCOSUR countries.• The event was based on topics such as sustainable development, environmentalcertifications, biosphere reserves or the Man and the Biosphere (MAB)Programme.
Project “Adaptation Services for the Management of Tourist andFishing Initiatives in Coastal Areas”Advising on Sustainable Tourism within the fishing sector (2006-2007)• EU Initiative EQUAL/MEDAS 21.• The project “Adaptation Services for the Management of Tourist and Fishing Initiatives in CoastalAreas” is created in order to support the adaptability of companies and employees of the fishing sectorand activities related to tourist and fishing diversification in coastal areas.• Besides, the Responsible Tourism Institute was responsible for the creation of two guides of good environmental and sustainability practices within the fishing sector.• The presentation of these guides was accompanied by trainings for the most important sectors and groups.
Development of UNESCO’s proclamation process of “The imageand Legacy of Don Quixote as an Oral and Intangible WorldHeritage”.Castilla la Mancha, Spain (2006-2007)• Development of international meetings in relevant institutions for the diffusion and support of DonQuixote as World Immaterial Heritage.• Presentation to the National Heritage Council its integration within the list of Heritage Propertiesand its representation of Spain.
Development of the Declaration process of The Route of DonQuixote as a “European Cultural Itinerary” by the Council ofEuropeCastilla la Mancha, Spain (2006-2007)• Development of international meetings for the promotion and support ofthe declaration of The Route of Don Quixote as a “European CulturalItinerary” by the Council of Europe. The Route finally obtained suchDeclaration in 2007.
Creation of the sustainable tourist destination Valle delCabrielCuenca, Spain (2007)• Development of a Tourist Dynamization Plan and an Approximations Model for Quality Tourism (MACT)where training, product identification and marketing were considered.• It covered the 7 municipalities within the Association of Municipalities of the Bank of the river Cabriel.• We proceeded to the certification of several active tourism companies and accommodationestablishments with the BIOSPHERE certification.• Collaboration during the Meetings on Environment en Sustainability in the Region.
Study of the financial returns of investments on Corporate SocialResponsibility for SOL MELIÁ GroupSol Meliá Corporation, Spain (2007)• The hotel chain Sol Meliá asked the Responsible Tourism Institute to elaborate the study andassessment of the investments on Corporate Social Responsibility, their positive effect, theimprovement that they could imply on the company’s image and the financial returns for the Company.• This work was based on a comprehensive study of the international bibliography related to CSR. Basingon a developed methodology, specific conclusions for Sol Meliá were drawn. Various relevant casestudies were ultimately presented.
Benchmarking Study on the positioning of hotel groups inCorporate Social Responsibility and SustainabilitySol Meliá Corporation, Spain (2007)• Sol Meliá hotel group, involved in the definition of itsSustainability Strategy, seeks assistance from the ITR in order toelaborate a report on the positioning of its competitorsregarding Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability.• The methodology developed during the study allowed an objectified assessment of the positioning of the different hotel groups.• The annex included a description of the most important certifications, indexes and ranking on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability.• This study completed the one named “Study of the financial returns of investments on Corporate Social Responsibility” of 8th October 2007.
Sustainability Strategy for Sol Meliá.RESPONSIBLE TOURISM MASTER PLANSol Meliá Corporation, Spain (2008)• In order to address the expressed commitments with sustainable tourism and a responsible touristmanagement, SOL MELIÁ included the responsible tourism principles in its management by defining asustainability strategy.• SOL MELIÁ’s sustainability strategy consists of the mission, vision, values and objectives promoted bySOL MELIÁ and consolidates the chain’s sustainability policy through a Responsible Tourism MasterPlan which is based on seven major corporate programmes.• The Diagnosis made by the Responsible Tourism Institute was the first reference point about thechallenges that had to be addressed by the sustainability strategy, the “state of the art” regardingenvironmental management and the initiatives that began to be addressed from the perspective ofresponsible tourism.
Certification of SOL MELIÁ as the first“BIOSPHERE HOTEL COMPANY” groupSol Meliá Corporation, Spain (2007)• Certification of SOL MELIÁ as BIOSPHERE HOTELCOMPANY, which implied the assessment of thecompany’s global strategy and a visit to several hotels atthe international level to verify the implementation ofthe strategy.• Also, the most suitable hotels for the obtention of theBIOSPHERE HOTEL certification were selected.• The improvements made by the Group in terms ofsustainability are assessed every year through audits at acorporate and hotel level.
Creation of the Tourist Project of Sky Observation in the Islandof La PalmaLa Palma, Canary Islands, Spain (2010)• Project in collaboration with the Management of LaPalma Biosphere Reserve.• A detailed study of the astronomical observationresources of the island was carried out.• Afterwards, a tourist product was developed based onthe observation of the night sky of La Palma, orientatedtowards the improvement of the island’s touristcompetitiveness at a national and international level,using its sky as an attraction and distinctive offer.
Certification of the City of Barcelona as the first “BIOSPHEREWORLD CLASS DESTINATION”Barcelona (2010-2011) • Project in collaboration with the City Council of Barcelona. • The Letter of Commitment of Barcelona with the Responsible Tourism System is signed in December 2010. • The certification process of the city as Biosphere World Class Destination starts with the implementation of the requirements of the standard bearing the same name.
Outreach and Technology transfer Programme for the marketingof special-interest tourist products in Olmué territories (Chile)Valparaíso, Chile (2011)• Cooperation project between the Regional Chamber ofCommerce of Valparaíso and the Responsible TourismInstitute.• The BIOSPHERE certification process starts for 31 newestablishments of the Municipality of Olmué, Valparaíso, inthe framework of the Outreach and Technology transfer forthe marketing of special-interest tourist products in Olmuéterritories.
Seminars on Responsible Tourism in Chile, organized by theEuroChile Corporate FoundationArica and Santiago de Chile, Chile (2011)• Collaboration in the organization and holding of the Seminars onResponsible Tourism promoted by the Eurochile Foundation.• Participation in the first seminar’s opening conference “ResponsibleTourism, a path towards Development for Arica and Parinacota”. 22ndMarch 2011. Arica.• Participation in the seminar’s central conference. 24th March 2011.Santiago de Chile.
Creation of the Landscape Tourist product of La PalmaBiosphere ReserveLa Palma, Canary Islands, Spain (2010)• Project in collaboration with the Management of La Palma Biosphere Reserve.• Analysis of the exsistent tourist infrastructure.• Diagnose of the situation of tourism and measures for its maximization.• Management and monitoring of the creation of a tourist product based on the offer and landscapediversity of the Island of La Palma.