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Certification in the South African Tourism Industry: The Case of Fair Trade in Tourism

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Abstract

Internationally, certification is playing an increasing role in regulating and monitoring tourism enterprise, and promoting responsible and sustainable tourism development. Certification is relatively new in the South African tourism industry, with schemes being developed to measure product quality and the environmental, social and developmental aspects of tourism. This article positions certification in the South African tourism industry against important international debates on the topic and against some major challenges facing the industry in this country, namely the growth of the sector, transformation and sustainable socio-economic development. One certification programme, Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa, is presented as a case study.

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... It is suggested that implementing efficient and effective environmental governance, government policies, regulations, and tourism certification programs, should have an influence on the implementation of greening initiatives (Fakier, Stephens, Tholin, & Kapelus, 2005;Lund-Thomsen, 2005& Mahony, 2007 Despite being the smallest province, Gauteng was used as the study location due to the province's significantly higher tourism revenue generation of R30 billion ($10 billion) (Gauteng Tourism Authority Annual Report 2012) and second largest share of graded accommodation in South Africa (Treasury, 2012). Figure 1 shows a map of the study location. ...
... Respondents stated that the lack of customer awareness and demand was one of the reasons why being certified might not have been successful in South Africa. Previous international and local studies confirmed this, indicating that few customers are aware of certification programs and added that certification was not a deciding factor for customers when choosing a hotel (Mahony, 2007& Tzschentke, Kirk, & Lynch, 2008. Rahman et al.'s (2012) concern regarding false green advertising was confirmed by this study's findings revealing that inconsistent certification criteria in South Africa made comparisons difficult. ...
... ). Limited South African literature highlights that the local, provincial and national government have insufficient enforcement capacity, while legally binding structures are absent, with weak environmental governance (Lund-Thomsen, 2005). Furthermore, relatively few tourism organisations become members of green certification programs due to the high costs involved(Mahony, 2007 &Van der Merwe andWöcke, 2007). Despite these limited findings, the studies have not fully elaborated the key underlying challenges facing various stakeholders in regulating and enforcing hotel greening in Gauteng, South Africa. ...
Article
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Greening is an effective way for hotels to minimise their impact on the environment. Studies have shown that many South African hotels have not adopted greening practices because governance and guidance from the South African government are poor. There is also limited academic literature exploring stakeholder relationships and enforcement of greening regulations. This study will provide empirical evidence (via semi-structured interviews) as to the current state of enforcement, focusing on the government, private, non-governmental and public-private sectors. Results show limited collaboration, poor policy direction and inconsistent certification criteria that restrict greening. Implementing network governance will improve collaboration and in turn hotel greening.
... In order to promote sustainable development, various environmental assurance systems such as environmental certifications and environmental awards have been increasingly used within the tourism industry (Morgan 1999). In fact, certifications for the tourism industry play an increasing role in regulating tourism enterprises and promoting sustainable tourism (Mahony 2007). Using voluntary certification schemes in the tourism sector helps to protect natural capital, communicate the provided quality and gain competitive advantage over competitors, among other advantages. ...
... After first being introduced in Europe in the 1980s, there has subsequently been a proliferation of voluntary schemes (Mahony 2007;Dodds & Joppe 2005;Font & Buckley 2001). In recent times, there are about 51 eco-labels for the tourism industry across the world 1 . ...
... In order to promote sustainable development, various environmental assurance systems such as environmental certifications and environmental awards have been increasingly used within the tourism industry (Morgan 1999). In fact, certifications for the tourism industry play an increasing role in regulating tourism enterprises and promoting sustainable tourism (Mahony 2007). Using voluntary certification schemes in the tourism sector helps to protect natural capital, communicate the provided quality and gain competitive advantage over competitors, among other advantages. ...
... After first being introduced in Europe in the 1980s, there has subsequently been a proliferation of voluntary schemes (Mahony 2007;Dodds & Joppe 2005;Font & Buckley 2001). In recent times, there are about 51 eco-labels for the tourism industry across the world 1 . ...
... The Heritage Environmental Management Company is a scheme developed by a private corporation to observe the ecological performance of enterprises in South and Southern Africa (Janisch, 2007;Mahony, 2007). It is specifically designed for the hospitality industry of South Africa, and is dedicated to achieving sustainability and persistent ecological enhancement in the service sector through the submission of internationally competitive management schemes, measures and operative exercises (Mahony, 2007). ...
... The Heritage Environmental Management Company is a scheme developed by a private corporation to observe the ecological performance of enterprises in South and Southern Africa (Janisch, 2007;Mahony, 2007). It is specifically designed for the hospitality industry of South Africa, and is dedicated to achieving sustainability and persistent ecological enhancement in the service sector through the submission of internationally competitive management schemes, measures and operative exercises (Mahony, 2007). The GreenLine-certified by the Heritage eco-label is also afforded by the Heritage Environmental Management Company. ...
Article
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... Küresel çapta turizm sektöründe yaşanan gelişmeler turistik ürünlerin kalitesini belirleyip değerlendirmek için yerel, bölgesel ve ulusal düzeyde akreditasyon kurumları tarafından standartların oluşturulmasına ve sertifikalaşmanın da önemine dikkat çekmiştir. Son yıllarda bu alanda yapılan çalışmalar özellikle turizmin gelişen yönlerini ve sosyal yönlerini belirlemeyi kendisine amaç edinmiştir (Mahony, 2007). Turizm sektöründe sertifikasyon ve eko etiketleme çalışmalarının amacı, çevresel olarak sürdürülebilir turizm biçimlerinin daha geniş kitle tarafından kabul edilerek, turizm faaliyetlerine katılımlarını sağlamaktır (Font & Buckley, 2001). ...
... Turizm sektöründe sertifikasyon ve eko etiketleme çalışmalarının amacı, çevresel olarak sürdürülebilir turizm biçimlerinin daha geniş kitle tarafından kabul edilerek, turizm faaliyetlerine katılımlarını sağlamaktır (Font & Buckley, 2001). Mahony (2007) Turizm endüstrisindeki sertifikasyonlaşmayı, turizm kalitesini ve standartlarını ölçen belgelendirme programlarının geliştirilmesinden kaynaklanan oldukça yeni bir olgu olarak tanımlamış ve 1960'larda Fransa'daki Michelin programı ve Amerika Otomobil Birliği seyahat rehberleri ile başladığını belirtmiştir. Toth (2000) standardın tanımını, tanınmış bir kuruluş tarafından onaylanmış, öngörülen kurallar, koşullar veya gereksinimler grubunun ortak ve tekrarlanan kullanımını sağlayan bir belge olarak yaparken, sertifikasyon sürecini ise üçüncü tarafın (veren kuruluş) tüketiciye, bir ürünün, hizmetin veya yönetim sisteminin belirtilen gerekliliklere uygun olduğuna dair yazılı güvence verdiği prosedür olarak belirtmiştir. ...
Conference Paper
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Gidilen yeri ve sunulan hizmeti ilk kez deneyimleyecek olan kişilerin o yer ve sunulacak hizmet hakkında bilgi sahibi olmaları beklenmediği için turistler, ya önceden bilip deneyimledikleri markaları seçecek, ya da almak istedikleri nitelikli hizmet konusunda güven sağlayan simgeler arayacaklardır. Bu çalışmada, kamu, özel ve kar amacı gütmeyen çeşitli kuruluşlar tarafından, çevre standartlarının ve bunların ölçülmesine yönelik yöntemlerin geliştirilmesinde atılan adımlar incelenerek, ortaya çıkan standardizasyon ve sertifika çabalarının ne derece etkin kullanıldığına ve karşılaştıkları sorunlara yer verilmiştir. Araştırma yöntemi olarak nitel araştırma tekniklerinden içerik analizi kullanılmıştır. Araştırma sonucunda sertifikasyonlaşmanın bir standardı olmadığı, kamu ve özel kurumlar tarafından çeşitli alanlarda bazı kriterler yerine getirilerek ödül, belge ve sertifika olarak verildiği anlaşılmıştır.
... Goodwin and Roe, 2001;Kalisch, 2001;Mvula, 2001;Chesworth, 2010;Goodwin and Boekhold, 2010) and few focused on FTTSA (e.g. Evans and Cleverdon, 2000;Kalisch, 2001;Beddoe, 2004;Grosspietsch, 2005;Mahony, 2007;Seif and Spenceley, 2007) despite its significant ...
Article
Fair Trade Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) is a certification that has similar ambitions to the pro-poor tourism approach. accordingly it has been implemented as a way of contributing to sustainability and poverty relief in South Africa post apartheid. The aim of this paper is to 1) critically review and establish a clear understanding of FTTSA from a theoretical perspective and 2) explore practically from the producers perspective whether FTTSA has created value for impoverished black communities along the Eastern Cape. The research question that guides this aim is: Can FTTSA be a mechanism to reduce poverty in South Africa? The study uses a case study approach, as well as in-depth interviews with the owners/managers and casual conversations with the local people. Three FTTSA certified businesses were investigated during two phases of fieldwork along the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The results recognize that FTTSA businesses are indeed prioritizing the needs of the poor in three identifiable ways: including the poor in tourism decision-making, creating employment opportunities and stimulating entrepreneurship and providing skilful opportunities.
... Turizm sertifikasyonu aslında 1960'larda servis ve faaliyetlerin kalitesini, maliyetlerini oranlamak ve ölçmek için kullanan Fransa'daki Michelin Programı ve Amerikan Otomobil Kurumu seyahat rehberleriyle başlamıştır. Sertifikasyonun genel hatlarıyla faaliyet, ürün ve süreçlerin veya servisin karşılaştığı özel standartların değerlendirilmesi, seçilmesi ve garanti edilmesinin amaç edinen gönüllü yöntemler olarak tanımlanmıştır (Mahony, 2007) Sadece eğitim, sektöre becerili işgücü sağlamak için kendi içinde yeterli olmayan ancak gerekli olan bir araçtır. Esas olan nitelikli iş görenlerin sektörde alıkonmasıdır. ...
... This led to the introduction of the notion of a 'first' and 'second' economy by then-President Mbeki. The first economy represents formal, urbanised and industrial businesses, while the second economy represents mainly informal marginalised, informal, smaller businesses that fail to benefit from economic growth in the first economy (ANC, 2004, p.7;Mahony, 2006). This dualist notion has come to dominate the policy debate even though it has received intense criticism from stakeholders and academics, akin to the critique on a separate formal and informal sector. ...
Thesis
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Township tourism is a controversial, yet increasingly popular, form of international tourism. To date, research on this topic has focused on its ethical dimensions, the representation of the townships, or tourists’ experiences. Few studies concentrate on the supply side of township tourism and the small businesses that are involved. Addressing this lacuna, this research aims to enhance understanding of small businesses involved in township tourism. Its main original contribution to knowledge is the conceptualisation and identification of contextualised business orientations among owners of small township tourism businesses, as well as providing an explanation of the ways in which these orientations influence business practices. Empirical enquiry took place in Langa and Imizamo Yethu townships near Cape Town. During an initial field visit, 80 small township tourism business owners were interviewed regarding their business goals; their perspectives on how a small business should be run; their actual business practices; and their relationships with other businesses and local residents. During a second field visit the following year, short follow-up interviews were held with 74 participants to clarify uncertainties and discuss new developments. These interviews were supplemented by participant observation. Additionally, policymakers and owners of enterprises outside of the townships in the Cape Town area were interviewed in order to further contextualise the findings. The research reveals the townships to be a highly uncertain and restraining business context, in which owners must predominantly focus upon financial goals. In this environment seven business orientations are uncovered, all of which prioritise the economic aspects of business: constrained business growth; ideological business growth; growth of business premises; survivalist (lacking other options); portfolio; additional income; and lifestyle subsistence. The identification of these contextualised business orientations help understand the behaviour of small township tourism businesses, particularly with regards to their lack of market access and limited cooperative relationships. Business orientations also provide insights into why current policy support is not as effective as it might be.
... Tangawamira suggests that some of the major challenges in South Africa are complemented with those documented by Mahony (2007). These include the maintenance on the tourism sector on the global market, while benefits accrue to all stakeholders, including the communities around the conservation areas and promoting sustainable development up to a regional level. ...
... The FTTSA standard and the certification process The objective of FTTSA is to facilitate 'a fair, participatory and sustainable tourism industry in South Africa' (Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa [FTTSA], 2012). The standard defines a fair tourism business as one that is in compliance with the following six principles: fair share, democracy, respect, transparency, reliability, sustainability (FTTSA, 2012;Mahony, 2007;Seif, 2001). These broad principles are translated into concrete social and organisational practices and embedded in a system to measure fairness. ...
Article
The development of standards and certification programs in global tourism has gained importance in the consumption-production nexus. This paper deals with the “Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa” (FTTSA) standard, one of the first innovative service standards with a focus on the social dimension of sustainability. Until now, there has been little detailed exploration in the evolutionary trajectories of sustainable tourism standards from a knowledge-based perspective. This paper will contribute to a deeper understanding of standard creation in global-local interaction processes over time and its impacts on the micro level of firms. Conceptually, it builds on two scientific debates: the neo-institutional approaches in organizational theory focussing on institution building and the research on innovation and knowledge dynamics. Empirically, it is based on thirty-two interviews conducted with different actor groups
... Regarding certification, South Africa is the first (and for the moment only) country to implement a certification explicitly dedicated to FTT: FTT in South Africa (FTTSA) is a non-profit organisation founded in 2001 following a pilot experiment conducted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in South Africa, and designed to test the feasibility of FTT in the South African context (Mahony, 2007;Seif, 2002). In 2012, more than 60 tourism ventures (including a wide variety of accommodation styles, ranging from small hotels to luxury lodges, as well as a number of activities, attractions and volunteer programmes) have FTTSA-certified status. ...
Article
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In France, a few tour operators gathered together to form the Association for Fair and Solidarity Tourism (ATES), created with the intention of using tourism to contribute to the development of certain destination areas through the implementation of fair relationships with the host communities. Although ‘fair tourism’ is an emerging theme in research on tourism, and the subject of an increasing number of studies, especially on the Fair Trade in Tourism in South Africa certification initiative, very few academic studies have focused on partnership relations, the difficulties they face and their influences on the fairness of the resulting tourism. With the help of field work investigating ATES members and their partners in Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso, we highlight, understand and interpret the relationships encountered by the partners in this North–South cooperation and the factors that are likely to influence it. We found that fair-tourism projects face the same issues, and are likely to give rise to the same failures, as development projects. One major difficulty results from the idealisation of the partner, which inevitably leads in turn to a mismatch between the expected and the actual behaviour of the actors involved.
... Cassen (1987) and Elkington (1998) have attributed the different theoretical interpretations of sustainability to the triple-bottom-line approach. Many researchers use this as a frequent basis for making comparisons, and often, environmental, and social considerations are included (Bushell and Bricker, 2017;Haaland and Aas, 2010;LePree, 2009;Mahony, 2007;Molina Murillo, 2019;Whitt and Read, 2006). Thus, the fundamental purpose of certification systems is to achieve a greater extent of sus-tainable development of businesses and activities and to stimulate on-going measurement of the sustainability components of certification. ...
Chapter
Tourism certification is growing in popularity with over 250 programs worldwide. Certification assists the consumer by providing an assurance of quality programs and facilities. To ensure compliance with certification principles periodic audits are required. This chapter provides an evaluation of some of the most popular tourism certification audits and investigates successful cases and best practice but also identifies failures. In doing so, this chapter looks at the specific steps in the audit process, the different tools and approaches available to auditors, and compliance challenges among auditing participants in ensuring a good level of effectiveness and efficiency from audit activities. The approach considers multiple and diverse stakeholders and illustrates examples specific to audits to help delineate both the promise as well as the problems of certification audit processes and auditors within the tourism industry.
... Travelife certification is within three categories namely: Travelife Engaged; Travelife Partner and Travelife Certified. Certification programs usually awards a marketable logo to companies that meet or exceed baseline standards (Mahony, 2007;Bien, 2007). Therefore, for Travelife certification, only at Travelife partner and certified recognition stages does the tour operator allowed to use Travelife partner logo and Travelife certified logo respectively. ...
Chapter
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This book on visitor experiences in nature-based tourism destinations demonstrates current knowledge using empirical evidence covering six continents. It provides insights into conceptual issues as well as case studies. Content is presented in three main parts: 'Nature-based Experiences in Tourism', 'Managing the Nature-based Tourism Experience' and 'Visitor Experiences and Destination Management'. The book has 16 chapters and a subject index.
... Das Ziel ist es, den Tourismussektor auf eine nachhaltige Weise zu entwickeln, damit er dazu beiträgt, die Lebensqualität der gesamten Bevölkerung zu verbessern (Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) 1996). Um das Konzept inhaltlich zu konkretisieren und Praktiker bei der Implementierung zu unterstützen, wurden Richtlinien und ein Handbuch zur Umsetzung des RT veröffentlicht (Mahony 2007). In diesem institutionellen Kontext wurde die Organisation FTTSA gegründet, die allerdings in dieser Zeit noch als Fair Trade in Tourism Initiative (FTTI) bezeichnet wurde. ...
Article
Standards and certification systems have gained importance in facilitating sustainable development processes in global production and consumption networks. However, they are mainly developed in the Global North while actors from developing countries mostly remain passive standard takers. Currently, the majority of standards are primarily resource-oriented, while social criteria are less integrated. The result is a lack of acceptance due to low levels of embeddedness. Which requirements standards have to fulfill in order to facilitate a sustainable development is still widely unanswered. The paper intends to make mainly a conceptual contribution to the evolutionary trajectories of sustainable standards, which explicitly include the social dimension. Conceptually, neo-institutional approaches in organizational theory, focusing on institution building, and the research on innovation and knowledge dynamics are combined. Empirically, the evolutionary trajectory of the sustainability standard Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) (since 2013 Fair Trade in Tourism FTT) is analysed from a transnational, knowledge-based perspective, based on 63 interviews conducted with different actor groups. German Standards und Zertifizierungssysteme gewinnen zunehmend an Bedeutung, um nachhaltige Entwicklungsprozesse in globalen Produktions- und Konsumptionsnetzwerken anzustoßen. Sie werden jedoch vorwiegend im Globalen Norden entwickelt, während Akteure aus Entwicklungs- und Schwellenländern meistens passive standard takers bleiben. Ein Großteil der Standards ist zudem primär ressourcenbasiert, während soziale Kriterien weniger einbezogen werden. Fehlende Akzeptanz durch mangelnde Einbettung in lokale Kontexte ist die Folge. Welche Voraussetzungen Standards erfüllen müssen, um nachhaltige Entwicklungsprozesse anstoßen zu können, ist weitgehend offen. Dieser Artikel will vorwiegend einen konzeptionellen Beitrag dazu leisten und fokussiert dabei auf die Entstehung und Entwicklungspfade von Nachhaltigkeitsstandards. Theoretisch-konzeptionell werden hierfür die Forschungsstränge zu Nachhaltigkeitsinnovation mit neo-institutionellen Ansätzen der Organisationstheorie verknüpft. Empirisch wird der raumzeitliche Entwicklungspfad des Nachhaltigkeitsstandards Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) aus transnationaler, wissensbasierter Perspektive analysiert, basierend auf 63 qualitativen Interviews mit verschiedenen Akteuren. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/fsv/gz/2016/00000104/00000004/art00001
... Although the interest in quality has grown, with tourism organizations trying to adapt their services to customers' expectations and needs, quality certification through ISO 9001 is still a relatively recent phenomenon in the tourism industry (Mahony, 2007). ...
Article
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The purpose of this study is to assess whether companies conduct preparations, such as managing culture, before starting to implement an ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS). Based on a literature review, the paper develops a model of firm preparation for ISO 9001 certification and several research hypotheses. The survey research method adopted consists of data collection through questionnaires – sent to hotels of four and five stars, in Portugal, in two different moments (2012 and 2014) – and of a longitudinal data analysis based on non-parametric statistical tests. Results show that the majority of companies conduct preparations before starting to implement an ISO 9001 QMS. However, most companies do not assess their initial situation, nor do they plan for the preparations. One of the significant implications from this research is that a more coherent and integrated approach in ISO 9001 preparation is required. Other implications for practice and for research are also noted. This is the first study, as far as the authors are aware of, that addresses the topic of planning for the preparations that a company can make before starting to implement an ISO 9001 QMS. ____________________________________________________________________________________ LINK FOR FREE ACESS TO PUBLISHED VERSION: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/S8XPh6PIGrmqNsxExy3K/full?target=10.1080/14783363.2017.1404428
... 와 다른 이 해관계자간의 갈등문제 (Goering, 1990;Sofield, 1996;Park, Cottingham, & Seo, 2018;Yang, Ryan, & Zhang, 2013 등)가 집중적으로 이루어졌으며, 문화유산관광에서의 갈등문제 (Porter & Salazar, 2005;유영민 외, 2005 (Urbanowicz, 1977;Robbinson, 1999 (Cleverdon & Kalisch, 2000;Mvula, 2001;Mahony, 2007) Improper and rude behavior of tourists is detrimental to local residents. .807 ...
... While Visser and Kotze (2006) identify that, while the government has undertaken a number of policy initiatives to support tourism development, in the Free State, there are still very clear racial and gender divisions in tourism businesses and employment. Concern about topics such as "local benefits," "responsible tourism," "inauthenticity," "fair trade," etc. are not new in the South African tourist research literature (Ingle 2006;Mahony 2007). Beyond social concerns, the mobilization of place-based tourism and other economic activities also creates environmental implications (Giannecchini et al. 2007). ...
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As small towns experience economic and social restructuring, many are pursuing tourism opportunities as one component of a more diversified local economic strategy. This paper is interested in the small town of Fouriesburg in South Africa's Free State. While the town was once a thriving service center for a surrounding rural agricultural region, this traditional economy has faded. Given that the nearby town of Clarens has developed a substantial tourism economy, we pose the question of whether there already exist indicators that Fouriesburg may be poised for a similar change. These indicators include location within the urban field, timing within the tourist area life cycle model, differentials/opportunities in property values, and the role of real estate agents as “gatekeepers” in directing investments. The findings suggest that, while Fouriesburg has potential for developing a tourism-oriented economy, many of the important policy and planning supports needed to assist with diversification are not yet in place.
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Tourism development is promoted as a tool for poverty alleviation and community development. Global and local tourism remain within the current hegemonic neoliberal milieu. Different forms (terminologies) of alternative tourism development approaches have been proposed; however, their positioning in relation to neoliberal mainstream tourism has been questioned. The paper aims to compare different forms of alternative tourism development in relation to neoliberalism and community development, specifically by contrasting community-based tourism (CBT) with ecotourism (ET), responsible tourism (RT), pro-poor tourism (PPT) and fair trade tourism (FTT). The paper argues that while CBT’s origin, as well as its development, is to promote a break with neoliberalism and facilitate holistic community development, its actual meaning and operations have been re-shaped and co-opted by neoliberalism. On the other side, the origin and development of ET, RT, PPT and FTT have been in accordance with a neoliberal approach to tourism development; therefore, they are not meant to change the modus operandi of the tourism sector. It is argued that the original conceptualisation and practices of CBT should be the proper strategies to facilitate holistic community development and restructure the tourism industry in a more just and equitable manner. For ET, RT, PPT and FTT to practice what they have proposed to do, it is suggested that they should be integrated within CBT’s original approach. DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n27p1667
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Chapter
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In November 2004 the International Ecotourism Society commissioned a review of tourism certification systems operating in Africa, supported by the Ford Foundation. The aim of the review was to summarise the main components of each system, including the implementation structure, its main criteria, organisations involved, and associated costs. This paper complements a previous review of marketing and incentives offered by certification systems in Africa.
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Responsible tourism is emerging as a significant market trend in the UK as wider consumer market trends towards lifestyle marketing and ethical consumption spread to tourism. This paper reviews recent survey evidence about consumer attitudes towards the responsible and ethical aspects of the tourism they consume, and places this in the context of campaigns by Voluntary Service Overseas and Tearfund. Between 1999 and 2001 the percentage of UK holidaymakers aspiring to be willing to pay more for an ethical holiday increased by 7 per cent from 45 per cent to 52 per cent. The evidence for increasing consumer demand for responsible tourism is reported and the paper concludes with a discussion of the implications.
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The Australian tourism industry has grown dramatically in the last fifteen years to the point where over 4.6m international visitors arrived in 1999. While there are many reasons for this growth, it would be fair to say that the quality of service has played a part. A number of years ago the industry itself recognised that service quality plays a major role in establishing a country as a significant tourist destination. This led to the introduction of an accreditation system that was sectorially based, industry driven and supported by government. Recent changes have resulted in the restructure of part of the accreditation system with change from a sectorially-based structure to one that is similar for all tourism organisational types. During this restructure a survey of operators was conducted to ascertain their perception of the value of accreditation and the impact that accreditation has had on their performance. This paper seeks to outline the nature of the Australian accreditation system, how it has evolved and why. It also seeks to present the results of the survey to demonstrate the value of accreditation from the perspective of the operator.
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Pro-poor tourism means managing a tourism business so that it makes business sense for the operator and at the same time benefits the poor. Based on the Pro-Poor Tourism Pilot Programme conducted in southern Africa, this article argues that 'mainstream' commercial tourism can do much to embrace pro-poor approaches. In particular, the tourism sector needs to go further in shifting from philanthropic approaches to pro-poor approaches that entail doing business differently, with more committed changes to strategy and business structures. The pilot programme case studies reveal a range of potential business benefits companies can achieve through pro-poor approaches, such as enhanced social licence to operate and increased brand recognition. They also show that implementing a pro-poor approach depends on the company's context and circumstances. Such a shift entails a number of challenges and companies need to commit to making the necessary effort.
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This article analyses strategies for 'pro-poor tourism' (PPT), ie strategies that increase the benefits to poor people from tourism development. Based on an international review of six pro-poor tourism case studies, it outlines the wide range of pro-poor tourism strategies used and their impacts to date, with particular focus on southern African case studies. By analysing their progress, problems and the critical factors influencing them, the article identifies implications for the way forward. This review underpins four propositions. First, despite commercial constraints, much can be done to enhance the contribution of tourism to poverty reduction, and a 'PPT' perspective assists in this endeavour. Secondly, PPT strategies can, and should be, incorporated by all actors in tourism, whether in government or business, at local or policy level. Thirdly, a wide range of impacts on poor people, going well beyond jobs, need to be recognised and enhanced. Finally, PPT strategies are difficult, but particularly relevant in southern Africa given the challenges of economic and political transformation, as well as the opportunity to influence international discussions on 'sustainable tourism' at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002.
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The public policy literature has paid little attention to evaluating the ability of voluntary environmental programs to generate economic benefits for firms. Yet, given their voluntary nature, provision of economic benefits to firms is a necessary condition for these programs to become effective environmental policy instruments. Additionally, little is known about why firms operating in developing countries would participate in these initiatives.This paper provides some of the first cross-sectional empirical evidence about voluntary environmental programs established in developing countries. Specifically, the paper focuses on studying hotel participation in the Costa Rican Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST program). The CST program is probably the first performance-based voluntary environmental program created by a developing country government. Results indicate that hotels with certified superior environmental performance show a positive relationship with differentiation advantages that yield price premiums. Participation in the CST program alone is not significantly related to higher prices and higher sales. The evidence also indicates that participation in the CST program was significantly related to government monitoring, trade association membership and hotels focus on green consumers.
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Attempts to promoting sustainable tourism and ecotourism as quality products suffer from the lack of methods to ensure these are not just a green wash. The current proliferation of awards, labels and endorsements has confused consumers to the extent of preferring to ignore these green messages. Several initiatives have emerged to address the proliferation of small, little known, limited value ecolabels in tourism and hospitality, and to ensure that the larger ones meet internationally accepted criteria. This paper will review progress made by a wide range of public, private and non-profit agencies in developing environmental standards and method to measure them, which will be set against the internationally agreed process for compliance assessment. From the above experiences, the author will outline the prospects to environmental certification in tourism and hospitality, which are the development of an international accreditation system, following agreed standards, and linked to national, regional or sector-specific certification programmes.
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The provision of ecolabels to environmentally sensitive tourism enterprises is currently being practiced in developed nations in an attempt to protect the natural capital through improvements in existing environmental standards within the industry. The tourism industry in developing countries could soon follow suit by championing the utilization of internationally recognized ecolabeling schemes as a strategy for environmental management, and for setting the course for the environmentally compatible development of the industry. The achievement and promotion of internationally recognized environmental awards would be instrumental to the tourism enterprises of developing countries in marketing their services to high spending, environmentally conscious western tourists. This paper provides a conceptual analysis of the feasibility of adopting ecolabeling schemes for certifying tourism enterprises in developing countries. Key issues and potential barriers that could hinder the ecolabeling process in developing countries are discussed and testable propositions are developed to guide future research for evaluating the effectiveness of tourism ecolabels in developing countries.
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"This paper examines how tourism affects the livelihoods of the poor and how positive impacts can be enhanced. In doing so, it assesses the relevance of tourism to the poverty agenda, and the factors that encourage or constrain economic participation of the poor in the industry. In conclusion it outlines strategies for promoting pro-poor tourism--PPT."
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Ecocertification and accreditation were hot topics for corridor discussion at the World Ecotourism Summit (WES) in Quebec in May 2002. The issue appears to have become quite politicised. Here, therefore, is an attempt to summarise recent events and, to some degree at least, to deconstruct their political context. There's a degree of secrecy, with some critical technical and financial information not yet available to the public. The comments below are based on public information. In some cases I have also identified where further information should be available and may possibly become public in due course. Yes Yes
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The use of ecolabels and certification schemes in the tourist industry is reviewed. Over 70 schemes are described, from the developed countries of the Northern Hemisphere and Australia. Ways for widening the applicability and hence validity of these ecolables are suggested in conclusion. The book is divided into an introductory section (Chapters 1-2) and four parts. Part 1 discusses the contexts of tourism ecolabels (Chapters 3-6). Part 2 presents the practical approach of ecolabels development (Chapters 7-12). Part 3 reviews the recent changes in ecolabels and their current developments (Chapters 13-15). A strategic analysis of tourism ecolabels is presented in Chapter 16. Part 4 presents a directory of current ecolabels. Ecolabels are viewed as marketing tools that promote good environmental performance. The book is indexed.
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Genuine ecotourism can have many positive impacts, particularly the conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage and the creation of economic opportunities for local communities. While promoting these, it aims to eliminate negative impacts such as environmental degradation, cultural commoditization and playground effects. Unfortunately, the concept is broadly misunderstood and its true definition is widely debated. It is often used as a marketing tool, with some operators taking advantage of the ecotourism label to attract more business while behaving in environmentally irresponsible ways. This book considers the important topic of quality control and accreditation in ecotourism, describing the mechanisms that can be implemented to ensure quality in all aspects of the industry, namely protected areas, businesses, producs and tour guides.
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During the last 30 years, the global environmental movement and mounting concerns over the negative effects of conventional tourism - such as the loss of habitats and endangered wildlife have given rise to the concept of ecotourism. In this time, more than 70 "green" certification programs have been developed, setting ecofriendly standards and, in some cases, measuring ecotourism's benefits to local communities and the environment. To date, however, these programs are voluntary and costly, and their standards are often subjective and imprecise. There is a growing consensus over the need for an accreditation body to help assess and standardize these certification programs.
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Environmental considerations are becoming increasingly important for consumers and producers. A credible environmental label can only be established if it is issued by a neutral or state organisation on the basis of scientifically derived criteria. This holds true for the German ‘Blue Angel’. A case study of emulsion lacquer paints labelled with the Blue Angel indicates that an environmental label can support a product's market penetration effectively, even if this is accompanied by rising prices. Nevertheless, it is quite clear from survey data, that in general households' willingness to pay higher prices for an environmentally friendly product is unlikely to be strongly pronounced. In the case study there was a scope for demand expansion at an even higher price level because the individual consumer can expect a personal positive advantage by utilizing the labelled product.
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This study applies the conceptual of Fair Trade Tourism, focusing on South Africa. The continued growth in South Africa in the range of 10 per year which is projected for the next decade, promises to launch the industry to new heights through infrastructure development and the showcasing of South Africa as an attractive leisure and business destination. Fair Trade Tourism is about ensuring that people, whose land, natural resources, labour, knowledge and culture are used for tourism activities, actually benefit from tourism. The goal in this effort is to define the benefits of including more people to local communities via Fair Trade Tourism, and empower them with justice in the developing country of South Africa. Moreover, there will be researched the possible economic benefits that Fair Trade Tourism might bring to local communities. In tourism, hotels and tour operators, Fair Trade Tourism can be certified against specific standards developed around business operations, such as labour standards, employment equity, skills development, community involvement, environmental management. The tourism industry is making a significant difference in South Africa, and environment gains from Fair Trade Tourism with particular interest in the option of establishing fairly operated tourism enterprises.
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Destination marketing organisations (DMOs) have long been structured and their strategies influenced by traditional distribution processes and passive customers. Now things have changed, with the customer taking over the process and rendering the previously normal processes redundant. DMOs need to get away from promoting the destination to a mass market and relying on an outdated distribution system, and instead engage the customer to ensure they effectively promote and provide the experience they are wanting. This will require a major change in the role, the structure and the skills of destination marketing organisations.
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Tourism as an industry is increasing rapidly in developing countries. Due to historical inequality in global trading relationships on the basis of 'core-periphery' dependency, globalisation and liberalised free trade, mainstream mass tourism reinforces the social and economic disadvantages of southern destinations. The 'Fair Trade Movement' has sought to redress unequal trading by promoting fair trade in commodities with small producers in the South, enabling them to take control over the production and marketing process and challenging the power of transnational corporations. This paper examines the feasibility of fair trade in tourism. It explores the obstacles and opportunities that might lead to establishing a definition of fair trade in tourism, incorporating criteria that would be workable and practical for both partners in the South and North. Copyright # 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Ecolabels in tourism are commonplace but uncoordinated. Established by individual companies, industry associations, voluntary organizations and government agencies, ecolabels range in scale from single villages to worldwide, from single activities to entire destinations; and they include voluntary, codes, awards, accreditation and certification schemes. The degree to which they affect consumer purchasing decisions and corporate environmental performance is largely unknown. If ecolabels contribute to informed tourist choice, they could be a valuable environmental management tool, but only if critical conditions are met. Ecolabels need broad coverage and penetration in relevant market sectors, well-defined and transparent entry criteria, independent audit. and penalties for non-compliance. They also need an effective underlying framework of environmental regulation.
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Proliferation of voluntary instruments such as eco-labelling schemes and codes of conduct for tourism has been characterized by a strong environmental focus. This paper discusses the feasibility of creating recognition schemes that could address not only the ecological implications, but also the social and economic impacts of tourism activities.The analysis was performed by using a case study of the ‘Certification for Sustainable Tourism’ (CST), a labelling programme developed in Costa Rica, which was found to address not only environmental performance, but also cultural, economic and social impacts of tourism activities.
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Tourism certification has emerged as a tool to reduce environmental impacts and gain competitive advantage, and been promoted on the basis of efficiency-based eco-savings. This paper explores the successes and challenges of five programs operating partly or wholly in developing countries that have introduced socioeconomic criteria to complete the triple bottom line of sustainability. The analysis suggests that social standards are ambiguous; the assessment methodologies are inconsistent and open to interpretation; there is considerable variation on what is understood as sustainable depending on the type of tourism companies targeted; and the programs working more intensely on social issues will have the greatest challenges to expand.RésuméLa certification du tourisme est apparue comme un outil pour réduire les impacts environnementaux et prendre l’avantage compétitif. On soutient que la certification produit des économies écologiques grâce à une meilleure efficacité. Cet article examine les réussites et les défis de cinq programmes qui ont été mis en œuvre à part entière ou partiellement dans des pays en voie de développement où on a introduit des critères socioéconomiques pour compléter la triple réussite financière de la durabilité. L’analyse suggère que les normes sociales sont ambiguës; les méthodologies d’évaluation sont incohérents et ouvertes à l’interprétation; il y a une variation considérable en ce qui se comprend comme durable selon le genre d’entreprise de tourisme en question; et les programmes qui se concentrent plus intensément sur des questions sociales auront le plus de difficulté à se développer.
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