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International Certification Standard for Tourism Destinations

Develop programs and initiatives for the efficient use of energy in the destination’s tourism sector.

Commit to the use of renewable energy sources within the destination and the industry, including self-production, procurement of green energy, passive systems in construction, as well as proactive regulatory frameworks and incentives.

Develop awareness campaigns, guides, and training and information resources on energy saving for tourists, visitors and the tourism industry of the destination.

Elaborate programs and initiatives aimed at the reduction and/or compensation of the destination's carbon footprint.

Promote sustainable mobility at the destination, including public transportation and alternative zero- or low-emission mobility systems.

Carry out regular safety and quality analysis and controls of all water sources located within the tourist areas of the destination.

Develop programs and initiatives for an efficient use of water within the tourism industry of the destination.

Develop awareness campaigns, guides, and training and information resources on water saving for tourists, visitors and the tourism industry of the destination.

Have a purchasing policy and commercial culture that prioritizes the consumption of local, sustainable products and services in all its operations.

Ensure the separate collection and maximum recycling of waste generated by the tourism activity of the destination, as well as its proper disposal.

Minimize external inputs and waste generation, thus reducing the destination's dependency generated by tourism, and increasing local consumption.

Promote the creation of economic activities related to the promotion of crafts, gastronomy and the transmission of local values and customs.

14.1. Establish criteria, regulations and initiatives for controlling the state and quality of all bodies of water, and the development of tools for preventing the pollution of water flows, lakes, wetlands, coastal waters and seas of the destination.

14.2. Ensure the sustainable use of marine and aquatic resources in terms of their exploitation for tourism, as well as their enjoyment in different activities.

14.3. Have a set of information and aware-rising resources in order to raise awareness and respect towards aquatic ecosystems aimed at local residents and visitors of the destination.

Have systems to evaluate the environmental impact of tourism on biodiversity, habitats and landscapes (including areas), and the capacity to anticipate environmental risks and correcting adverse effects.

Have an up-to-date, publicly available inventory of its natural resources (fauna, flora, etc.), as well as an assessment of its tourism assets and attractions, including natural and sensitive sites, providing information on their fragility and levels of responsible use.

Ensure the preservation of local flora and fauna, have the capacity to regulate the introduction of invasive exotic species, and to control the commercialization and exhibition of the destination's wildlife.

Develop sustainable tourism activities and services that promote a respectful use of natural heritage, and transmit the values of the destination and its identity through the tourist experience. 

Encourage the collaboration of the administration and the destination's tourism entities and companies in campaigns and initiatives for social purposes.

Develop measures to maximize the economic benefits of tourism for the local community, and create stable links with the local economy of the destination and other economic activities in its surroundings.

Develop international cooperation projects, solidarity projects, humanitarian action projects or assistance projects on sustainable tourism.

Enable tools to calculate the socio-economic balance of areas with the greatest tourism pressure and establish measures whose priority is to maintain the resident population.

Promote measures aimed at maximizing the economic benefits derived from tourism and ensure socio-economic return and redistribution of benefits to the local community.

Develop an efficient security system to prevent, control, publicly report and respond to potential hazards threatening the health and physical integrity of residents and visitors.

Ensure the development, promotion and prioritization of healthy and tourism activities and products.

Enhance the ability to make a significant contribution to the improvement of healthcare at the destination.

Improve the ability to identify, prevent, plan and respond to environmental risks, as well as real and potential emergencies which threaten the health and physical integrity of residents and visitors.

Have a quality, inclusive training capacity, adapted to the real needs of the destination, as well as specific training in terms of tourism sustainability.

Develop educational and outreach activities on tourism and sustainable development.

Promote the cooperation with educational and training entities, institutions and centers for the development of initiatives and projects related to sustainability applied to the tourism sector.

Generate equality plans and policies promoted by public entities and the main stakeholders in the tourism sector.

Develop awareness campaigns in terms of gender equality aimed at citizens and tourism entities/companies.

Be a part of global and regional networks, projects or partnerships for sustainable development in any of its aspects.

Improve the capacity to promote and facilitate the exchange of good practices and knowledge within the destination and through external experiences, encouraging the replication of successful cases in the local sustainable tourism.

Develop cooperation initiatives with academic institutions or other entities, whether public or private agreements, in order to promote innovation in sustainable development of tourism in all areas, including the management and assessment of knowledge as a tourism resource.

Develop actions for the promotion and support of the procurement of products from the local sustainable agriculture, by the tourism sector, including the gastronomic offer. by the tourism sector, including gastronomy.

Develop a control system for food safety, hygiene and quality through adequate processes at the destination.

Develop measures to avoid food waste at the destination through the promotion of good practices, and to create mechanisms and incentives for their adoption by the tourism sector

Develop legal frameworks or agreements to ensure the protection of labor rights, the safety of workers, and the fight against all forms of labor discrimination at the international level.

Generate provisions in terms of family-work balance within the tourism sector, and involvement of less-favored groups, including young people.

Develop measures to create qualified local employment and promote entrepreneurship in sustainable tourism activities and services.

Provide resources and tools to support business capacity and entrepreneurship in the tourism sector and encourage the activation of the city's various economic activities throughout its value chain.

Develop initiatives, projects and guidelines to consolidate and promote sustainable infrastructures for tourism, including areas, construction, accommodation, communication, mobility, energy or water cycle.

Ensure access to all facilities and attractions generated by tourism for the residents.

Develop initiatives and projects capable of mobilizing the use of information technologies in order to create responsible tourism activities, as well as smart and sustainable management models in terms of resource usage.

Periodically evaluate and readapt management tools so that they can cope with the effects of intensive resource use and mobility of tourists in the city.

Develop policies for social integration aiming at the elimination of discriminatory elements, and ensuring equal opportunities for the entire population, paying special attention to the integration of the less favored population of the destination.

Develop measures to ensure universal access at all levels of the value chain of tourism, including physical environments, transport systems, and the whole range of facilities from the hospitality industry, service sector and tourism activities

Develop strategic territorial planning in favor of the sustainability of the tourism model, its territorial, social and environmental integration. It must also include the protection of natural and cultural heritage of the destination, paying special attention to intangible heritage, for it is extremely vulnerable.

Create tourism activities and products based on cultural heritage, and respecting the authenticity and integrity criteria of assets.

Transfer local knowledge associated with traditions and intangible cultural heritage through initiatives and projects related to tourism. Knowledge is therefore effectively transferred and integrated into the destination's tourism activities.

Have a governance system that includes all stakeholders, especially at a local level, which promotes public-private partnerships, and where the role and responsibilities of each one of those stakeholders is clearly defined, including a citizen participation system.

Have an indicator system adapted to the characteristics of the destination, which enables the evaluation of the continuous improvement and tourist impacts of its components' sustainability.

Provide visitors with updated, clear, accurate information on spaces, itineraries, establishments, services and infrastructures of tourist interest. Such information must be respectful towards host communities.

Develop a tourism strategy through which the destination accepts the implementation of sustainable commitments. Such strategy must be publicly available in the customary languages among tourists.

Have mechanisms to control, measure and publicly report data on the satisfaction of the resident and visiting population regarding the tourist activity of the Destination.

Have consolidated practices or policies to prevent any type of exploitation within the tourism industry of the destination.

Evaluate and periodically regulate new disruptive tourist activities in the city, and eradicate illegal activities, especially those that endanger the fundamental rights of citizens.

Integrate the tourist marketing of the city within the strategy of communication, reputation and promotion of the city to guarantee the sustainability of the destination.

Seek the integration of management, financing, communication and tourism promotion policies so that they all pivot around a shared strategy based on the pillars of sustainability.

Promote the construction of an inclusive and pluralistic tourism story, based on the principles of sustainability.