Business Standards for Sustainable Tourism

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Project Details

Project Identifier
Bureau Decision #
#1905005, #2003092; #2006001; #2008030, #2112055, #2212017,#2303026, #2305047
Project Proposal Status


Project Page

Business Standards for Sustainable Tourism

Supporting VC
Project Lead
HoD Support
StatusIn development
Submitted date
Draft Development Completion
Publication Date

Project Purpose

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) do not list sustainable tourism as a separate goal. However, several of the SDG’s have their application in the tourism Industry.

Tourism, both globally and regionally can have severe negative impacts on local communities, natural resources, climate and economies. Tourism is strongly linked to travel. Therefore, sustainable travel and transportation will be taken into account. The same applies to accommodation services (lodging) etc.

Globally we see the realization in the tourism industry that changes are necessary to not only meet the demands of local communities to be able to receive tourists but also utilize tourism to achieve a positive impact on those communities. Tourism can be both a threat and an opportunity.

The aim of the project is to clearly define sustainable tourism, as well as to set parameters for what can and what should not be considered sustainable tourism.

With the help of the standards created in this project, it should be possible to differentiate sustainable from non-sustainable tourism.

These standards can also assist buyers of tourism products and services to make choices with a certain amount of certainty that what they buy can be regarded as sustainable.

Project Scope

The project is to produce definitions, standards and guidelines on sustainable tourism. It does not deliver a certification or labeling system.

The project will also deliver components of future recommendations to governments to facilitate and promote sustainable tourism in their constituencies

The project will take into consideration work which has been produced by UN/CEFACT on Experience Programs being a subset of sustainable tourism products.

Project Deliverables

Deliverable 1: Whitepaper containing definitions, standards, guidelines for sustainable tourism

Exit Criteria

Exit Criteria for Deliv. 1: Approval by the Bureau of the whitepaper produced by the project team

Project Team Membership and Required Functional Expertise

  • Travel and tourism, both from supplier side and consumer side of tourism product.
  • UN sustainable development goals

Head of Delegation Support

Head of delegation support is not required.

Geographical Focus

The geographical focus of the project is global.

Initial Contributions

  • Green Paper on Experience Programs
  • UN SDGs

Resource Requirements

Participants in the project shall provide resources for their own participation. The existence and the functioning of the project shall not require any additional resources from the UNECE secretariat.

Project Proposal Files