May 28, 2010, Newsletter Issue #32: Use Awards As Guidelines

Tip of the Week

There is still little consensus about what constitutes genuine ecotourism, but there are some rating scales available.

Certification programs provide independent, third-party assessment Accreditation goes one step further by verifying the competencies of those doing the certificationThis sounds impressive, except that, at present, these programs are voluntary. It's the tour operators themselves who can choose to apply and who send in the required informationCertain awards can provide shortcuts to finding responsible companies, but make sure that they're based on inspections. Some awards are granted on the basis of information provided by the companies themselves and by photos they send in. The Tourism for Tomorrow Award does include on-site inspection and offers recognition not only for best destination but also for conservation and investment in local communities.

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