New report on sustainable tourism gives enterprises an overview of the world of ecolabels

What are ecolabels, why are they useful, how can they be used – those are the questions answered by the desk study “Ecolabelling for tourism enterprises – What, why and how”. The report released by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is directed to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) within, or connected to, the Natural Heritage Sites the Wadden Sea (DK, D, NL), Geiranger Fjord (NO), Wash & North Norfolk Coast (UK). The three areas are the pilot regions of the Interreg VB project “PROWAD LINK – Protect and Prosper”, which aims to unlock the potential of natural heritage areas as a driver for sustainable development and job growth.

“Our hope is that this report will also be of value to others interested in ecolabelling and working in the field of sustainability”, says Else Ragni Ytterdal, co-writer of the study. “COVID-19 has changed our lives and the way we make business. We are forced to rethink business strategies. In the future ecolabelling might be an even more important way to attract customers and develop more sustainable businesses.” The report gives insights into exactly the what, why and how of ecolabelling and includes a detailed overview of the most relevant ecolabels for tourism businesses, including Biosphere Responsible Tourism, EU Ecolabel, Travelife and more. The pandemic emerged during the finalization of the report and is therefore not addressed. Regardless, the authors believe in its applicability and ask the readers to ignore potential inconsistencies in the text due to the sudden change of context.

This report has been produced as part of the Prowad Link project. The 14 project partners in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom are striving to engage with SMEs in nature conservation, to develop nature as a brand and create mutual benefits for both SMEs and the environment. The 3-year project is co-funded by and carried out in the framework of the Interreg North Sea Region Programme under the Programme Priority 1 “Thinking Growth”. The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union.