E’Lisha V. Fogle
Lauren N. Duffy
GUIDING PRACTICES FOR IMPLEMENTING AN ECO-CERTIFICATION PROGRAM: A CASE STUDY OF ECOTOURISM AUSTRALIA
Certification has been one way in which tourism organizations demonstrate their responsibility toward the environment and local communities where their businesses are located. The purpose of this paper is to highlight guiding practices that can lead to successful implementation of a certification program. This research gleaned insight from leaders who have been intimately involved in one of the more well-known certification organizations, Ecotourism Australia Limited (EA). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ‘Green Industry Leaders’ (GILs), professionals that have been involved with the development, refinement, and implementation of the eco-certification programs overseen by EA. Findings are organized as guiding practices aimed towards organizations seeking to develop a certification program. Guiding practices include demonstrating the benefits of certification, creative incentivizing, simplifying the implementation process, have stakeholders support maintaining a common voice for the industry, and seek a consistent approach by government when considering tourism development funding and investment is encouraged.
Key words: eco-certification, Ecotourism Australia, guiding practices, certification
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