|Sustainable Tourism and Poverty Elimination (UNED-UK, 1999)|
|3. The role of certification, incentives regulation|
The key strengths of certification is that it is voluntary and market driven. If certification is to be used within tourism there needs to be a clarification of exactly what is being certified, for example whether it should be applied to individual holidays or wider. Potentially, it could also apply to both destination and operating ends of the industry. Secondly, the aims of certification need to be clarified, it should be broadly aimed at simulating good practice as opposed to simply creating restrictions for businesses. There have been discussions for developing a tourism certification initiative and the potential future formation of a tourism stewardship council such as the Forest and Marine Stewardship Councils. Both councils have had problems in their development but they could offer key lessons for the tourism industry should a Tourism Stewardship Council be set up. Among the lessons learned were:
· identifying who the relevant stakeholders are;
· allowing enough time for consultation and development;
· resolve problems before a public launch;
· creating a wide enough constituency to ensure momentum.
Both councils developed gradually and grew "organically" in part out of public campaigns. At present there perhaps isn't the same momentum or public demand for a Tourism Stewardship Council.
The Green Globe initiative has potential to meet this role as it already reflects many of the aims that a multi-stakeholder group would want to see. Green Globe started as am industry-based voluntary code, is now being independently certified, therefore addressing one of the criticisms that NGOs raised about the initiative. The idea of bench-marking with ISO14001 was also thought to have a useful role and it is the aim of WTTC that Green Globe certification would eventually lead to this international standard.
The establishment of a TSC, including all stakeholders, would enable tourists to make informed choices on their holiday. But it would certainly require marketing and revenue, including corporate sector backing, as well as allowing for a participatory development process if it is to be truly effective. If Green Globe can become multi-stakeholder then there wouldn't need too be a TSC.