How to practice the eight principles of sustainable tourism?

Considering the principles of sustainable tourism how companies and destinations should contribute with them? See it:

  1. Manage sustainable tourism effectively

Company

Make sure that sustainability is an intrinsic part of your strategy. Decisions should be based on this perspective, and the impacts from these decisions need to be addressed.

Destination

Create an organized group, committee, or board that is tasked with having the private and public sector participate in working on ideas about sustainable tourism. This group has to be suitable to the size and scale of the destination, and include defined responsibilities, oversight and implementation abilities for managing local environmental, economic, social and cultural issues.

2. Guarantee the rights of local populations

Company

The rights of the local community, especially traditional populations, need to be respected within the organization’s operations and practices

Destination

Ongoing programs need to be offered to communities involved in tourism so that they can improve their understanding of the opportunities and challenges involved in this activity, along with the importance of their sustainability.

3. Conserve the natural environment and its biodiversity

Company

Set the visitor capacity and adopt activities that have a minimum environmental impact, preserving the natural areas and protecting the flora and fauna while conducting their businesses.

Destination

Make considerations for policies and programs involving the protection of Destination areas and establish relevant control and management tools that are derived from studies on any impacts involving visitor capacity and engagement in management related to the biome and biodiversity of the natural environment. Use public policies to stimulate measures for minimizing water and energy consumption, reducing solid waste generation, treating effluents and conserving the natural environment where they conduct their activities.

4. Consider the cultural heritage and local values

Company

Support and communicate initiatives on understanding, enhancing, preserving, respect for, and promotion of, local cultures.

Destination

Work on a policy and system for assessing, rehabilitating and conserving natural and cultural sites, including constructed heritage (historical and archaeological) and rural and urban visits.

5.  Stimulate the social and economic development of tourist destinations

Company

To the highest extent practicable, employ workers (employees, subcontractors or freelancers) from local or regional communities. Commit to benefiting from people and local production, encouraging quality and sustainability. Support and train people from local communities to offer their services and provide materials to the organization. Encourage the procurement of local products and encourage tourists to consume them.

Destination

Incentivize local businesses to provide employment for the local population, including vocational training opportunities, job security and fair wages for all. Lend support to small and medium-sized local businesses, help promote and develop sustainable local products and fair trade based on the culture of the region. Monitor the direct and indirect economic contribution that tourism has on the economy of the destination and report it to the population.

6. Guarantee the quality of the products, processes and attitudes

Company

Define and maintain a procedure to identify tourists’ expectations for the products and services offered and include a method for responding to complaints and suggestions received on a consistent basis.

Destination

Monitor, avert and publicly report any crime, safety and health risks. Monitor and report on visitor satisfaction and, if necessary, take steps to improve it

7. Stimulate the safety and security destinations

Company

Offer safe products and services, with a focus on managing the risks associated with activities engaged in by tourists. Establish emergency plans, whenever pertinent, in order to respond to unwanted circumstances that may affect the safety of tourists.

Destination

Recognize risks and adopt measures to maintain safe and secure environments for promoting tourism. Support and provide assistance to tourists in the event of unfortunate situations that could affect their safety.

8. Take legal compliance into consideration

Company

Comply with and respect the applicable laws related to the impacts generated by your business. Plan and implement measures to prevent any detrimental impacts on the local culture from your activities.

Destination

Consider adopting legal provisions that encourage sustainable tourism development, seeking to minimize its negative impacts and leverage the positive impacts.

 

A road map to Sustainability Management System for accommodation establishments: Part III How to implement a Sustainability Management System based on ISO 21401? (continuing Part II)

Road map Diagrama para ISO 21401.002

12. Competences

A Sustainability Management System include to develop competences of the workers which is very important to achieve that objectives of sustainability established. For that, we start to be defining which are competences desirables for each function in the accommodation. After, we will compare it with the actual competences identifying potential gaps, following prepare a plan to improve competences that we needed. The implementation of this plan includes do capacitation or other actions and evaluate the effectiveness of those measures.

13. Awareness

Also is important to assure that workers be aware their contribution to the effectiveness of the sustainability management system, including the benefits of improved sustainability performance and the potential consequences of non-observance of specified operating procedures and actual or potential significant environmental, socio-cultural or economic impacts of the accommodation’s activities.

14. Communication

According ISO 21401 the processes of communication with interested parties shall be defined to help the effectiveness of the sustainability management system. Accommodation shall understand and define on what it will communicate, when to communicate, with whom to communicate and how to communicate.

15. Supply chain management

To understand this step is important to realize that some impacts are generated by suppliers, but the accommodation can exert influence. In this case the accommodation shall establish and communicate the criteria for its selection of suppliers, taking into consideration the sustainability aspects, impacts and objective

16. Documented information

The accommodation shall determine which documented information are being necessary for the effectiveness of the sustainability management system. Also, it is important to control of documented information to assure that information available is current and reliable.

17. Internal audit

At this time the accommodation shall implement a process of internal audit, which will check if the sustainability management system is comply with ISO 21401 and if is effective in achieve the objectives established.

18. Nonconformity and corrective action

The results of internal audit process could be finding some requirements are not being comply. In this case the accommodation shall implement corrective action to eliminate the cause(s) of the nonconformity, in order that it does not recur or occur.

19. Management review

Based on audit results, customer perceptions, monitoring and measurement evaluation results, communications with interested parties and others information the accommodation shall review the sustainability management system, at planned intervals, to ensure its continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness.

20. Improvements

Finally, the accommodation shall identify opportunities and take action to continually improve the suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the sustainability management system.

A sustainability management system could be understood as a tool for anticipate and prevent problems, plan how to fix these problems and use it to implement improvements and strengthening the own sustainability management system.

A roadmap to Sustainability Management System for accommodation establishments: Part I

Road map Diagrama para ISO 21401.002

How to implement a Sustainability Management System based on ISO 21401?

First of all it is important to say that a road map present here is not the only way to implement an Sustainability Management System, but this logical structure could be a path to align and transform sustainable practices to improvement competitiveness in your business.

  1. Context internal and external

Start with analysis of the context considering need and expectations of interested parties, identifying key factors related with Marketing, legal, technological, cultural, social, environmental and economic aspects. It is important to understand the context, including how these key factors and interested parties influence your business.

  1. Aspect and impacts

According the type, size and geographical location an accommodation establishment has many aspects to be considering in a Sustainable Management System and each aspect produce one or more impacts in the three dimensions of sustainability (environmental, social and economic). So it is fundamental to analysis the works processes, identifying aspects and evaluate his impacts, specially the significant impacts which it will be control.

  1. Risks and opportunities

Based on the two topics above is possible identifying and understand what are the risk and opportunities for the business. The Sustainable Management System should be able to minimizing risks and maximizing opportunities and help to achieve the business objectives.

  1. Scope

Establish the Scope and define the boundaries and applicability of the sustainability management system.

Note: Besides the first four topics above has been organized in a logical sequence it is useful to understand that all issues are connect.

  1. Policy

A policy for sustainability management system is a kind of declaration made by the top management and needs to be appropriate to the purpose of accommodation establishment and provide a framework for setting sustainability objectives.

  1. Sustainability objectives

Considering all topics bellow now it is time to define objectives which shall be used to become the business more sustainable. Whenever it is possible the objectives should be measurable and it shall be establish plan about how the objectives will be achieve, including activities, responsibilities, resources and deadlines.

(soon part II)