Advances of the 14th annual meeting of the ISO Tourism Committee (ISO / TC 228 – Tourism and related services)

WG 13 Tunis

The 14th annual meeting of ISO/TC228 – Tourism and related services took place in Tunis, Tunisia from April 8-12, where we had the meeting of several working groups and at the end the plenary meeting of the entire Committee. Currently, projects for international standards are under discussion for themes such as: accessibility, restaurants, hotels, medical tourism, diving, yacht habours, competences of leaders in adventure tourism and, of course, sustainable tourism.

The work was well developed, and the documents were advanced with the input of hundreds of experts. During the WG 13 – Sustainable Tourism meeting we had discussed a project about principles and terminology of sustainable tourism and the work was focused on analyzing of 81 comments received. The meeting was attended by experts from Argentina; Brazil; Cameroon; Costa Rica; Dominican Republic; Guyana; Mozambique; Panama; Bulgaria; Korea and Cyprus and the new version of the text is already circulating for a new round of comments.

WG 13 – Sustainable Tourism today has around 70 registered experts from 26 different countries and has recently produced ISO 21401: 2018 Sustainability Management System for Accommodation Establishments. The next meeting is scheduled to take place in Costa Rica in early September 2019.

On the changes, it is worth mentioning that the 7 sustainable tourism principles of the original project were reordered, expanded and rewritten with the inclusion of important aspects that were not being addressed yet. The current version it could be check in the table below:

Principles of sustainable tourism

1      Effective sustainable tourism management
Tourism interested parties shall set up ethical business procedures that seek to engage the corporate responsibility (social, economic and environmental) of those involved in the activity, increasing the commitment of their personnel, suppliers and tourists, in matters of sustainability, from the elaboration of the mission, objectives, strategies, goals, plans and processes of management.
2      Guarantee the rights of local population
Tourism interested parties shall seek and promote mechanisms and actions of social and environmental responsibility and economic equality, including the defense of human rights, responsible use of land, resources, consumption of materials and services, maintaining or increasing the dignity of the employees and the well-being of communities involved.
Note Local population can include native population
3      Conserve the natural environment and its biodiversity
In all stages of implementation and operation, tourism interested parties shall adopt practices of carrying capacity and minimal impact on the natural environment, including wildlife protection, monitoring and effectively mitigating any negative impact, and thus contribute towards maintaining the natural dynamics and processes of their physical, biological and landscape aspects, taking into account the existing social and economic context. This could include measures related to climate change adaptation.
4      Consider the cultural heritage and local values
Tourism interested parties shall recognize and respect the historical-cultural heritage of the tourism destinations. Tourism activities shall be planned, implemented and managed in harmony with the cultural traditions and values, collaborating towards their development.
5      Stimulate the social and economic development of tourism destinations
Tourism interested parties shall contribute towards strengthening the local economy, raising skill-levels, increasing economic impacts, generating jobs, work and income, and fomenting the local capacity to develop tourist enterprises stimulating, at the same time, the local responsible supply chains.
6      Guarantee the quality of the products, processes and attitudes
Tourism interested parties shall provide reliable information, promote tourism destinations awareness, evaluate tourist satisfaction and encourage the implementation of recognized service standards related, but not limited to sustainability, quality, accessibility and food safety.
7      Stimulate the safety and security destinations
Tourism interested parties should contribute to enhance destinations safety and security, increasing levels of safety and security and comfort of local population and tourists.
8      Take legal compliance into consideration
Tourism interested parties shall identify and be aware of applicable legal requirements.

Soon I will present more news about it.

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