NETWORKING ECOTOURISM BUSINESSES FOR QUALITY
The European Ecotourism Labelling Standard and
ECOLNET
Fouli Papageorgiou
PRI...
ECOLNET IDENTITY
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














Supported by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European
Commission, M...
PR
OJECT AIMS




ECOLNET remit: to set up a European Network with a focus on
ecotourism quality and the European Ecotou...
EETLS
The need:




Harmonise existing European labelling systems that refer to
ecotourism
Strengthen the position of la...
DEVELOPMENT OF EETLS











EETLS was initially developed by the ECO-DESTINET project
Responded to the need for ...
EETLS
4 Pillars of sustainable tourism - groups of criteria
A. Demonstrate effective sustainable management.
B. Maximise s...
EETLS
A complete quality assessment product










Can be used to evaluate the compliance of certification and
lab...
EETLS
Innovations of the latest version of EETLS








A ladder, leading from the criteria, which represent issues o...
PILOTING EETLS
EETLS was piloted with 48 businesses and 10 certification
agencies in 10 countries
Opinions of businesses
O...
FLEXIILITY ISSUES
Introduce flexibility according to size, type and location of
business – a possibility for EETLS
Adapt t...
NETW
ORKING
The network


European Ecotourism Network (EEN) and online community
built around the EETLS quality standard
...
NETW
ORKING
EETLS as a networking focus


EETLS proved to be a good networking focus, even during
its pilot implementatio...
TARGET GR
OUPS

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ecotourism & sustainable tourism businesses

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ecotourism certification agencies

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ecotourism-relate...
Open access to EETLS and related tools

www.ecotourism-network.eu
Provides all necessary links to


EETLS blueprint



L...
www.ecotourism-network.eu
Thank you for your attention
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NETWORKING ECOTOURISM BUSINESSES FOR QUALITY The European Ecotourism Labelling Standard and ECOLNET

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Author: Fouli Papageorgiou (PRISMA Centre for Development Studies)
Plenary session presentation
2nd European Ecotourism Conference
23-25 October 2013, Romania

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
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NETWORKING ECOTOURISM BUSINESSES FOR QUALITY The European Ecotourism Labelling Standard and ECOLNET

  1. 1. NETWORKING ECOTOURISM BUSINESSES FOR QUALITY The European Ecotourism Labelling Standard and ECOLNET Fouli Papageorgiou PRISMA – Centre for Development Studies The 2nd European Ecotourism Conference 23-25 October 2013, Romania LLP Transversal Programmes – Key Activity 3 ICT –NETWORKS
  2. 2. ECOLNET IDENTITY               Supported by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission, Multilateral Networks KA3-ICT A network of rural/eco/sustainable tourism associations, education institutions and experts: PRISMA Centre for Development Studies, Greece, project leader ECOTRANS e.V , Germany Estonian Ecotourism Association, Estonia Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia ECOTONO - Equipo consultor en turismo y desarrollo, Spain Silvacultura ltd, Finland Centro Turistico Studentesco e Giovanile – CTS , Italy Imaginary srl, Italy Pan Parks Foundation – the Netherlands ECEAT – Projects, the Netherlands Association of Ecotourism in Romania, Romania Edinburgh Napier University, U.K
  3. 3. PR OJECT AIMS   ECOLNET remit: to set up a European Network with a focus on ecotourism quality and the European Ecotourism Labelling Standard (EETLS) ECOLNET builds on the results of the LdV ECO-DESTINET project which initially developed EETLS ECOLNET aims:     Refine EETLS and make it workable as a harmonisation instrument among European quality labels Establish an online evaluation methodology and tools for certifying EETLS Support the evaluation tools with learning material for EETLS evaluators and ecotourism businesses Disseminate the tools and learning packages through an online community of interest which is based on the membership of EEN
  4. 4. EETLS The need:   Harmonise existing European labelling systems that refer to ecotourism Strengthen the position of labelled ecotourism businesses in the European tourism market. Development principles:    EETLS assures comparable standards of service in relation to a core group of baseline quality criteria EETLS aims to become a platform of communication for European ecotourism initiatives EETLS “should not reinvent the wheel” – it is built along the lines of the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, adapted to ecotourism particularities
  5. 5. DEVELOPMENT OF EETLS       EETLS was initially developed by the ECO-DESTINET project Responded to the need for a universal set of standards for ecotourism services EETLS approached ecotourism as an integrated tourism product The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria were adopted as a framework Sub-criteria and indicators were developed to reflect the needs and quality requirements of the ecotourism field, following a two-stage consultation campaign amongst ecotourism and sustainable tourism certification agencies to receive feedback The current version of EETLS has been officially recognised by GSTC
  6. 6. EETLS 4 Pillars of sustainable tourism - groups of criteria A. Demonstrate effective sustainable management. B. Maximise social and economic benefits to local communities and minimise negative impacts. C. Maximise benefits to cultural heritage and minimise negative impacts. D. Maximise benefits to the environment and minimise negative impacts.  38 criteria  94 Sub-criteria  94 indicators for certificates  94 indicators for businesses  130 implementation indicators
  7. 7. EETLS A complete quality assessment product      Can be used to evaluate the compliance of certification and labelling agencies with the EETLS criteria Addresses ecotourism businesses and evaluates the quality of their services Approaches the assessment process as a learning process for businesses and helps to build up consciousness of sustainable operation The learning process is complemented and enhanced by learning material specially developed by ECOLNET Online assessment tools have been developed to cut down the cost of certification
  8. 8. EETLS Innovations of the latest version of EETLS     A ladder, leading from the criteria, which represent issues of principle, down to very tangible practical matters Specifies a solid list of indicators, which are used in the evaluation tools as items to be scored along a scale Specifies a list of implementation indicators, with a direct correspondence between indicator and implementation indicator, showing the evidence that is necessary for the business to prove their compliance with the sub criterion concerned Is linked to a database of best practice examples with the criteria of EETLS – so that the user can get a more grounded understanding of the criteria
  9. 9. PILOTING EETLS EETLS was piloted with 48 businesses and 10 certification agencies in 10 countries Opinions of businesses Online assessment tools The EETLS criteria and indicators were just right: 75%  The EETLS helps businesses to build up their sustainability: 91%  Learning package Fulfils the needs of the businesses in understanding EETLS  Sufficient, very interesting, providing useful information for the business 
  10. 10. FLEXIILITY ISSUES Introduce flexibility according to size, type and location of business – a possibility for EETLS Adapt the criteria for small and very small businesses  Re-draft certain criteria to meet the needs of nonaccommodation service providers, such as tour operators and outdoor activity companies  Country-based and location-based ramifications may be introduced without loosing the European identity of EETLS  Mandatory and optional sub-criteria need to be defined  Detailed instructions for evaluators are necessary to ensure the same quality of evaluation across Europe 
  11. 11. NETW ORKING The network  European Ecotourism Network (EEN) and online community built around the EETLS quality standard The networking tools  multilingual website www.ecotourism-network.eu  EEN / online community platform http://ecolnet.ning.com  Destinet portal  The social media, LinkedIn and Facebook  EEN newsletters  national workshops  international conference
  12. 12. NETW ORKING EETLS as a networking focus  EETLS proved to be a good networking focus, even during its pilot implementation The social media tools proved the most effective  online community platform http://ecolnet.ning.com (250 members)  LinkedIn (180 members)  Facebook (over 600 followers) Face-to- face meetings in national workshops 9 national workshops, over 300 participants
  13. 13. TARGET GR OUPS  ecotourism & sustainable tourism businesses  ecotourism certification agencies  ecotourism-related or nature-related NGOs  protected area authorities  regional and national authorities    European and international organisations related to ecotourism and sustainable tourism education institutions experts in the fields of tourism, tourism-related education and ICT
  14. 14. Open access to EETLS and related tools www.ecotourism-network.eu Provides all necessary links to  EETLS blueprint  Library of best practice  EETLS evaluation tools  E-Learning platform
  15. 15. www.ecotourism-network.eu Thank you for your attention

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