No. 20 (2006)

The significance of ecolabels in tourism

Published May 23, 2006
Katalin Vargáné Csobán
Debreceni Egyetem Agrártudományi Centrum, Mezőgazdaságtudományi Kar, Agrárszaknyelv Oktatási Központ, Debrecen


Vargáné Csobán, K. (2006). The significance of ecolabels in tourism. Acta Agraria Debreceniensis, (20), 118–124.

More than one hundred types of ecolabels have been introduced worldwide since the 1980s. These voluntary certifications may play a prominent role in achieving sustainable tourism as, on the one hand, they may encourage companies to behave responsibly, and on the other, they may contribute to increasing tourists’ awareness in their choice. Considering that there are many small and medium-sized companies working on the tourism market, developing voluntary certification systems is highly encouraged in the member states of the European Union.
At the same time, there are significant differences among the various ecolabels concerning their content, qualitative criteria, and requirements, which makes it difficult for them to gain acceptance on the tourism market. It is worth mentioning that the sets of criteria belonging to the ecolabels usually do not involve indicators related to the social and cultural impacts of tourism.
In my paper I review the main characteristics of voluntary certifications with special emphasis on the players in tourism ecolabels, furthermore I discuss their advantages and some of the arising problems as well.


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