Turnover and Trends in Tourism Ecolabels
Introduction Ecolabels in tourism industry are relatively new and far from static. To gauge the likely future of ecolabels in the tourism sector, it is useful to examine what has happened to the various tourism ecolabels established or proposed in the past. Have they grown, survived unchanged, been merged with other schemes or disappeared? Have they lived up to their initial promises as regards technical content and operational processes such as audit and transparency? Have they become recognized by tourism companies, by individual consumers or by regulatory agencies? Are new schemes similar to old ones or are they significantly different and, if so, how? This chapter examines turnover and trends in the number, content and scope of labels since they were first established. Their quality and effectiveness are addressed in Chapter 14. Tourism ecolabels are little over a decade old. They commenced operation in 1987, when the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE) awarded its first ‘Blue Flag’ for beaches clean enough to swim from, and the Federation of German Travel Agencies (Deutsche Reisebüro Verband) awarded its first ‘International Ecolabel’ for environmentally oriented individuals, organizations and destinations. One year later in 1988, the ‘Kleinwalser Valley Environmental Award’ (formerly the ‘Silver Thistle’), was first awarded, to accommodation opera-tors in the German municipality of Mittelberg-Kleinwalser Valley. Since then the number of labels has grown rapidly, and there are currently so many localized labels that they may mean little except to local consumers. Substantive criteria, focus, performance, industry uptake and customer awareness are far less mature for ecolabels in tourism and recreation than in manufacturing and forestry (Font and Tribe, 2001).
History and Archaeology