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Third party certification needed for sustainable tourism

Dr. John Izzo recently made the case for third party certification

There are many laws and principles governing the environment but collectively they do not provide any guarantee that a tourism business will be sustainable.  Writes Dr David W Randle in the Huffington Post

While there are some national and international laws that impact tourism, such as the climate change convention, biodiversity convention, endangered species act, clean water act, clean air act, and protected areas legislation, they are only a small part of the overall sustainability issues that tourism faces. International laws are often hard to enforce, and national laws don't usually address the day to day operations of a tourism business that makes it sustainable.

One way to address this issue is through voluntary initiatives such as sustainable certification programs. In this way a tourism business can set itself apart from other tourism businesses who do not feel a need to act in an environmentally friendly or ethical way.

Not all certification programs however are equal. In fact, some are little more than "green washing" and fail to even provide third party certification.

For certification to be meaningful it has to be verified by a third party.

Dr. John Izzo recently made the case for third party certification where he states that 80 percent of consumers want to buy goods or services from someone who is "either socially responsible or sustainable". Dr. Izzo goes on to say, that only 16 percent of consumers believe advertising that a business makes about its claims to be socially responsible or sustainable. His suggested solution is third party certification where someone else is saying the business is socially responsible or sustainable.

Dr. David W. Randle is Director USF Patel College of Global Sustainability Sustainable Tourism, Managing Director International Ocean Institute Waves of Change Blue Community Initiative, and President & CEO WHALE Center




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