“Tourism is an extraordinary growth industry. Promoting more sustainable forms of tourism is going to be increasingly important.” Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program.
“People are not taking a long vacation for one month, but leaving two, three, four times a year for a few days,” said Francesco Frangialli, the secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. “This is increasing pressure on tourist attractions and infrastructure."
There are currently about 130 different certification systems for “green” travel, said Erika Harms, the executive director for sustainable development at the U.N. Foundation.
In 2008, an initiative launched to make it easier for customers to find reliable and trustworthy information about the practices of hotels and resorts during the process of booking a room on the Internet. The initiative proposes Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria that focuses on four areas: ensuring benefits flow to local communities, reducing damage to heritage sites, lessening harm to the environment, and making projects sustainable.
Resources for Industry Professionals
Green Your Business: Toolkit for Tourism Operators (download the entire publication or select toosls based on industry sector, business process, or need. This was developed through a collaboration between the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, the Canadian Tourism Commission, Parks Canada, and Marr Consulting)
Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC)
Go Green Travel Center
"Green" Hotels Association®
Go Green Travel Green
Green Travel Tips (msnbc.com Apr 12, 2007)
Green Tips: Travel (CNN.com June 19, 2008)