WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR LAOS IS CELEBRATED

                                          WITH POMP AND PARAPHERNALIA IN VIENTIANE 


Between 5 to 10 May 2013 a high ranking official delegation of European Council on Tourism and Trade, under the leadership of H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea , President of European Council on Tourism and Trade ( ECTT) was invited for a working visit in People`s Democratic Republic of Lao( Lao PDR).



The Government of LAO PDR and ECTT delegation at the handover ceremony for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2013.

 

The delegation had also the outstanding task of presenting to the people and Government of Lao PDR the highest honor in tourism: the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2013.


The visit has being encompassed in the rapid developing bilateral relation between Europe and Laos, in a rapid evolving dialogue and a reciprocated desire to establish an extensive and consolidate partnership, Laos being presently the main partner of our European Council on Tourism and Trade in the South-East Asia area.


In the framework of H.E. President Dr. Anton Caragea visit an inclusive discussion was held with H.E. Thongsing Thammavong -Prime Minister of Lao.


H.E. Thongsing Thammavong -Prime Minister of Lao PDR and H.E. President of  Dr. Anton Caragea in  an inclusive discussion. 


Tabled at the meeting where the extension of bilateral exchanges in areas such as economy, tourism, culture and political dialogue.

H.E. Thongsing Thammavong -Prime Minister of Lao has outlined for European delegation an extensive presentation of the Laos economic situation as a country in full and ample development, with a rate of annual economic growth of 4 to 7%, and an expansion rate of incoming tourists of more than 20% annually and being counted amongst economic tigers of the area.


Also the Prime Minister had expressed the sincere appreciation of the Government and People of Laos for the instrumental role played by Professor dr. Anton Caragea in promoting Laos image in the world and in bestowing the WORLD BEST TOURISM DESTINATION title for Lao.


On his turn, professor dr. Anton Caragea had emphasized the strong points of Lao: political stability, impressive economic development and the clear express desire to extend the bilateral relation.


The visit H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea lead delegation had included also an extensive dialogue with H.E. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Information, and H. E. Vice-Prime Minister Asang Laoly and Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith-Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Tabled at the meetings where issued such as the establishment of a Council for Business and cooperation, Bilateral Chamber of Commerce, Honorary Consulates and other structures destined to enhance the economic , cultural and political partnership.



H.E. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Information in a fruitful dialogue with H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.


H.E. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Information expressed his appreciation for the Professor dr. Anton Caragea support for Laos in championing at European level with considerable influence and energy the country as a WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION.


During the discussion with Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara , professor dr.Anton Caragea had presented the arguments for Lao PDR being considered as a world power in culture and tourism , noting that in XXI century that values of a nation is encompassing the cultural and historical patrimony and in this regard Lao PDR is an outstanding country.


At the end of the meeting, professor dr. Mircea Constantinescu, Director of European Tourism Academy had bestow the title and insignia and certificate of European academician to H.E. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Information for his unremitting efforts in promoting tourism as a tool for peace and development.



Mircea Constantinescu, Director of European Tourism Academy  bestows academic insignia to  Academician Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara.


The program of European delegation headed by H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea also included a strong cultural element like visiting UNESCO heritage city of Luang Prabang, That Luang National Stupa, Vat Siseket temple, Vat Xiang tong, UNESCO classified monuments such as: Vat Vixun, Vat Phat Tai, Royal Palace of Luang Prabang, Phusi and Xieng Tong temple ad National Museum Kaysone Pomvihan etc.


Also a special program was carved off for professor dr. Anton Caragea as WORLD AMBASSADOR OF NATURAL PROTECTED AREAS to visit special natural; monuments situated along the banks of Mekong river.


H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea had highly praised the decision`s taken by the Government of Lao PDR to protect natural patrimony, environmental protection and sustainable development for this important touristic areas.


On 9 May 2013 in an impressive ceremony full of pomp and paraphernalia the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2013 was bestow to the people and Government of LAOS.



The ceremony reuniting leaders of Government of Lao PDR, diplomats, academicians, business community, cultural and media representatives had included the presentation of the AWARD FOR WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION IN 2013, the presentation of the main landmark beauties and scenic spots for tourism in Lao an emotional charged speech of H.E. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Information and concluding a large area of fashion presentation, music and dance spectacle that impress favorable the numerous assistance.


By the outstanding organizing the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION CEREMONY in Vientiane, the Government of Lao PDR had proved his extraordinary capacity to host international events and to organize high resounding world meeting.


The successful and felicitous visit of European Council on Tourism and Trade delegation , the high level and inclusive dialogue with the relevant authorities of Lao PDR, the reciprocated vision of rapid evolving relations, the clearly marked economic, touristic and cultural opportunities are all testament`s of the desire to further extend the dialogue.


          ACADEMICIAN BOSENGKHAM VONGDARA KEY NOTE SPEECH AT WORLD BEST TOURIST               

                                                            DESTINATION AWARD CEREMONY  


On behalf of the Lao government and people, it is my pleasure and delight to welcome all delegates to the presentation ceremony of the World's Best Tourist Destination Award for 2013 to Laos.

 

Today, the Lao government and people are proud and delighted to have received this honourable prize, which demonstrates the great achievements of tourism development in Laos. Laos offers impressive tourist attractions and services for tourists from across the world.


 

Minister of Culture, Information and Tourism of Lao PDR-Academician Professor dr. Bosengkham Vongdara and European Council on Tourism and Trade high ranking official`s delegation in Vientiane.


I would like to take this opportunity to praise and express my sincere gratitude to the European Council on Tourism and Trade and all tourists for highly valuing Lao tourism and selecting Laos as the World's Best Tourist Destination for 2013.

 

I would like, especially, to welcome Prof. Dr Anton Caragea, Chairman of the European Council on Tourism and Trade, and his delegation to Laos to attend the ceremony and present the award.


 

The Lao PDR is diverse in languages, cultures and customs, which have been inherited from our ancestors over thousands of years. The country is rich in spectacular natural resources as well as having a long and civilised history and well-known archaeological sites, which further boosts Laos' tourism potential. 

With great effort and a high sense of responsibility by the Party and government since the 4th Party Congress in 1986 outlined a comprehensive renovation policy to open up for foreign cooperation, tourism has played an ever more prominent role in the country's socio-economic development. 

The government has defined policy and taken action to develop and promote cultural, natural and historical tourism. To facilitate the growth of tourism and services, the government has done its utmost to develop infrastructure such as building roads to link all regions across the country as well as connecting with neighbouring countries. Over the past 4-5 years, the government has exerted utmost efforts to increase the number of border checkpoints to integrate with countries in the region and the world at large. 

At present, the Lao PDR has 23 international checkpoints, of which 21 can issue visas. Laos has four international airports (Wattay International Airport, Luang Prabang International Airport, Savannakhet International Airport and Pakxe International Airport). Visas have been exempted for citizens of Asean member countries. Laos has also granted visa exemptions to citizens of Japan, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Russia, Mongolia and Luxembourg. 

The authorities have redefined that visas issued at checkpoints permit the holders to stay in Laos for 15 days, reduced from 30 days previously. According to Prime Ministerial Order No. 15 issued on June 20, 2006, these visas can be extended by the provincial authorities instead of only by the Vientiane authority as before. In addition, the government grants three-month visas to foreign citizens of Lao origin who acquire visas from Lao embassies, which can be extended for another three months. 

However, visas issued at border checkpoints grant only a two-month stay with another two months of extension. After implementing the aforesaid tourism development and promotion policy, the tourism sec tor has grown rapidly. From 1990 to 2012, foreign tourist arrivals have risen by an average of 20.36 percent annually. In 2012, Laos registered 3,330,072 foreign tourists generating total revenue as high as US$513,576,784. By 2013 the number of tour operators had risen to 275 companies. 

Hotels and guesthouses have also increased and in 2012 there were 3,526 hotels and guesthouses offering 35,857 rooms. Laos now has 1,493 official tourist sites comprising 849 sites of natural interest, 435 sites of cultural interest, and 209 historical sites.

 


Minister of Culture, Information and Tourism of Lao PDR-Academician Professor dr. Bosengkham Vongdara deleivering acceptance speech for LAOS: WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD IN 2013.


The Lao PDR shares similar characteristics with many other countries, such as different and diverse traditions and customs among its multi-ethnic people. 

There are also impressive archaeological and historical sites such as Luang Prabang, the historic town and living world heritage site, and Vat Phou Champassak, which is another world heritage site dating back to the 12th century. In addition, the historic caves of Viengxay (deemed to be the birthplace of the Lao PDR) have become an open-air museum, while the Plain of Jars is expected to be listed as a world heritage site in the near future. The Lao PDR also has rich and beautiful natural sites suitable for development as ecotourism attractions and green industry without smog or hazardous pollution, which will become new relaxing sites to impress visitors from the region and the world.


 

Community-based eco-tourism programmes have become Laos' unique feature and have great potential because they give visitors the chance to get in touch with and taste nat ure, as well as the everyday life of local people and the customs practised by the Lao multiethnic people. 

To translate the tourism development strategic plan for 2011-2020, the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism in collaboration with provincial authorities have carried out nature-based tourism activities with the participation of local people by making use of the local potential and conditions of each province. Such activities were first initiated in 2000 in Luang Namtha province, called the ‘Community-based Eco-tourism Programme'. Similar programmes now exist in all 17 provinces involving 40 districts and 160 villages, and have generated income directly for local people.

 



Because of these progressive great achievements of the Lao tourism sector coupled with the impressive progress made in socio-economic development across the country, Laos has been praised by tourists and friendly countries across the world, justified by the fact that Laos has been awarded many honourable and impressive prizes as follows:

 

In 2008, the New York Times named Laos as one of 53 countries it described as the world's top tourist destinations.

 

The world heritage site of Luang Prabang received the Top City Gold Award after being voted the world's top tourist destination by Wanderlust, a UK based travel magazine from 2006 to 2008, and again from 2010 to 2012.

 

The Community-based Eco-tourism Programme in the Nam Ha Protected Forest Area in Luang Namtha province also won an award for ‘best poverty alleviation project' and ‘best services' given by the United Nations Development Programme. And today, we feel proud and honoured that the European Council on Tourism and Trade awards Laos with the World's Best Tourist Destination Award for 2013. This honourable prize will make Laos even more popular among tourists across the globe, and will drive the development of the tourism sector in our country.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to Professor Dr Anton Caragea, President of the European Council on Tourism and Trade, for highly valuing the development of Lao tourism. I agree with his comment that “In the 21st century, tourism has become an important bridge for friendship and relations among nations in the world; it is also a way to promote peace and mutual understanding and lead the way to a good future.”

 

The Lao PDR stands ready to continue to develop the tourism sector to contribute to establishing and enhancing friendly relations among nations in the world to make a joint effort to promote peace and mutual understanding, together entering into the proper future of development under the sky of peace, friendship and sustainable cooperation.


 

On this auspicious occasion, I would like to wish Party and state leaders and honourable Lao and foreign guests participating in this ceremony good health, success in your noble tasks, happiness and prosperity, and further contributions to the tourism development of our country for progressive success.

 


I would like, especially, to wish Professor Dr Anton Caragea and high-level delegates from the European Council on Tourism and Trade good health, success in your noble tasks and happiness, and to further contribute to promoting Lao tourism in Europe and across the globe.


                                                                                   LAOS

                    A CULTURAL AND TOURISTIC PARADISE BY PROFESSOR DR.ANTON CARAGEA

                                    EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADE PRESIDENT


Your Excellency Mr. Asang Laoly ,Vice-Prime Minister of Peoples Democratic Republic of Lao,


Your Excellency Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith ,Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice-Prime Minister of Peoples Democratic Republic of Lao,


Your Excellency`s distinguish members of Government of Peoples Democratic Republic of Lao


Distinguish guests ,




We have all gather here to pay homage to an idea and to a country that embodies this idea.


The idea is encompass in the simple truth that: in XXI century tourism has become a bridge towards knowledge and friendship between peoples and countries , a way to promote peace and understanding , a road that leads towards a better future.

We have also gather here to express our appreciation for a country and a people that will embody in 2013 this triumphant spirit of tourism: the people of Lao.


I must re-emphasize that: tourism is in the XXI century, not only a way to enjoy life, to discover new places, new cultures but also a mass phenomenon that combines sightseeing, recreation and health care.


Tourism has become, in the world today, an intrinsic value of human life and experience and what I like to call a natural right of all people: the right to move freely, to express freely and to enjoy a life of adventure and discoveries.


Undoubtedly, for a country tourism is a constant and serious source of revenue, is becoming an important factor to promote development, to build roads, to offer to people a source of income and employment, a source of prosperity.


But, material significance of tourism must not elapse the true value of tourism: as a way for people`s to build bridges of friendship and tolerance , to discover different cultures, ideas and way`s of life, to embrace the beauty of being different .


We must also clearly mark that: tourism must be based on a set of values such as nature preservation, cultural and historical patrimony conservation for future generation and exactly for this need we have carved WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD as an international recognition for the country`s that are respecting this values .


I must say what a privilege is for our delegation to honor a country that is becoming a WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION.


It is also a great pleasure to address our salute to the great people of Lao, a people that had build throughout centuries a perfect civilization, with hundreds of monuments of historical and civilization relevance ,a people that had offered to humanity countless riches: from religious temple and scriptures to literary texts and historical writings .


Today, Lao had become a cultural and touristic world power and the main credit belongs, without a doubt, to the great people of Laos, that from 1975 onwards is constructing a life of dignity, liberty and tolerance in a free country.




Today, in a world that rarely accepts and tolerates difference, we come to honor a country of TOLERANCE, in a world crowded with pseudo-culture, without a form and substance , we come today to honor a TRUE CULTURE , in a world that is loosing the true values, we come today the honor a real TOURISTIC VALUE, in a time in which to many speak and do not act for historical sites preservation , we come to honor a PARADISE OF HISTORY , we come to honor the People`s Democratic Republic of LAO .


Here, we have all gather to show our support for the values of humanity, of educational and cultural tourism . We are all here in the search for a country that offer to tourists a complete experience , a country that educates spirit, elevates soul and gives everybody a lesson in history and culture.


We all have found in LAO the perfect teacher in tourism, offering to all the tourist`s of the world the possibility of a safe, pleasurable and enlightening tourist experience.

Among the reasons leading to awarding WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013 title to PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF LAOS our report had taken under consideration:


- The preservation of an outstanding historical and cultural patrimony that comprises wonderful sites such as: Wat Phu- a UNESCO World Heritage Site from 12th century, the remarkable site from Plain of Jars, offering an insight into Neolithic civilization and a rare window into traditions of centuries.

A name that needs no introduction: the UNESCO heritage site of Luang Prabang, with the gems of Haw Kham and Vat Xieng Toung monastery.


I could continue for hours this list of treasures, but I will enumerate just in Vientiane- Wat Si Saket, the oldest temple of the city and the world famous That Luang complex.

Today, Lao is offering an open air museum, a rare collection of historical and archeological treasures that educate and enrich the world.


- The preservation of religious sites of world significance and value such as: Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most important of world Buddhism monasteries and remains a significant place for the spirit of religion and traditional art. Other sites that must be mentioned such as: Wat Phu ( UNESCO heritage site) and Champasak Cultural Landscape ( under UNESCO recognition).


Keeping alive spiritual tradition, integrating tourist`s and visitors in the atmosphere of the Lao people, offering possibility for an enriching cultural experience, are all achievements that transform Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO in a spiritual destination of first hand.


- Promoting a new concept of community based tourism, friendly to nature, with low ecological impact and preservation of natural biodiversity and protection of endangered species and areas, especially rainforest eco-climate.

Community based ecotourism is a way to share revenues and income, to support rural communities in prospering and presenting there foodstuff and handicrafts to the world and to make the base for an economic local development. Sharing tourism benefits to all the population, offering a social tourism it is a lesson that Lao is offering to the world.


Supporting Lao community tourism project as a way to spread wealth, it is a duty for everybody and one of the main reason for portraying Laos as a world example of democratic tourism , a tourism that is not only offering benefits to the rich, but to all people. Lao example must be appreciated and supported , and all tourist that are going to Lao must know that an investment in Lao tourism is an investment in the future of Lao people.


- Offering to tourists not only a historical and outstanding cultural experience but also the possibility to explore nature , to contribute to ecological preservation and the opportunity to visit extraordinary space such as: Nam Ngum reservoir , Bolaven plateau, Mekong river islands , Mekong river boat trip , Tad Kouangsi waterfall , the cave of de Ting . All this are model of achievements in ecological and green tourism that must be world recognized .


- The continuous development and protection of cultural and historical patrimony of Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO, the transformation of Vientiane in a historical and spiritual center offering to the visitor a glimpse into rich culture and heritage of peoples of Lao.


For all this reasons, among many others, European Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to award WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013 title to PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF LAOS and to declare PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF LAOS- FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION in 2013.


This title is an international recognition of Your work for Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO until today, in the service of history and civilization, tourism and culture , in the service of the people of LAO, but is also a challenge because now we are expecting your services in the future benefit of the world culture and tourism.


May this award be transformed in a support for developing the international standing of Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO , for a sustainable tourism and development and in a base for further success for SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL - Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO .


 

Is my privileged to award Your Excellency, as representative of tourism of PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF LAOS the award for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013 .

 

 

We congratulate You and people of Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO for this outstanding achievements.


 

 



LAOS IS WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013

 

Professor dr.Anton Caragea opens the European Council on Tourism and Trade session to elect WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013. 

On 26th of April 2013 in a public séance of the European Council on Tourism and Trade, gathering representatives of tourism organizations from European continent has debated the list of candidates for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION for 2013.

Professor Dr. Mircea Constantinescu, Director of Tourism Academy had presented a report on the last year situation of the Award for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION that was dedicated to Trinidad and Tobago and it was used accordingly with rules and regulations and have being proving highly efficient in attracting new tourists and investor`s.

In 2012 Trinidad and Tobago had reversed the downward spiral in number of tourists and revenues provided by tourism and was the ONLY country in the Caribbean region that registered an increase in number of visitors despite economic crisis. 

Increase in investment, increase in tourism potential and number of foreign visitors was the positive outcome of awarding WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION to Trinidad and Tobago in 2012, concluded professor Mircea Constantinescu.

 

Mr. Petru Lificiu, Minister and Vice-President of European Council on Tourism and Trade read out and presented the candidatures for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD 2013.

 

On the debate for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2013 professor dr. Anton Caragea , President of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade ( ECTT) presented the report titled : LAOS : A TOURISTIC AND CULTURAL PARADISE proposing LAOS as the winner of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013.

 

President of European Council on Tourism and Trade, Professor dr. Anton Caragea presents the reasons for selecting LAOS as  WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION. 

Among the reasons for awarding WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013 to LAOS the report outlined:

- Promoting a new concept of community based tourism, friendly to nature, with low ecological impact and preservation of natural biodiversity and protection of endangered species and areas, especially rainforest eco-climate.

Community based ecotourism is a way to share revenues and income, to support rural communities in prospering and presenting there foodstuff and handicrafts to the world and to make the base for an economic local development. Sharing tourism benefits to all the population, offering a social tourism it is a lesson that Lao is offering to the world.

- Offering to tourists not only a historical and outstanding cultural experience but also the possibility to explore nature , to contribute to ecological preservation and the opportunity to visit extraordinary space such as: Nam Ngum reservoir , Bolaven plateau, Mekong river islands , Mekong river boat trip , Tad Kouangsi waterfall , the cave of de Ting .

All this are model of achievements in ecological and green tourism that must be world recognized .

- The continuous development and protection of cultural and historical patrimony of Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO, the transformation of Vientiane in a historical and spiritual center offering to the visitor a glimpse into rich culture and heritage of peoples of Lao .

- The preservation of an outstanding historical and cultural patrimony that comprises wonderful sites such as: Wat Phu- a UNESCO World Heritage Site from 12th century, the remarkable site from Plain of Jars, offering an insight into Neolithic civilization and a rare window into traditions of centuries The preservation of religious sites of world significance and value such as: Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most important of world Buddhism monasteries and remains a significant place for the spirit of religion and traditional art. Other sites that must be mentioned such as: Wat Phu ( UNESCO heritage site) and Champasak Cultural Landscape ( under UNESCO recognition).

- Keeping alive spiritual tradition, integrating tourist`s and visitors in the atmosphere of the Lao people, offering possibility for an enriching cultural experience, are all achievements that transform Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO in a spiritual destination of first hand.

 

Senator Ionel Agrigoroaiei, Director in European Council on Tourism and Trade.

After hearing the report, Senator Ionel Agrigoroaiei, from Romanian Parliamentary and Director in European Council on Tourism and Trade had express the feeling`s of all present at the gathering declaring that: LAOS is a strong candidate, with a perfect record of promoting clean, ecological and social oriented tourism and that only a unanimity vote in favor of LAOS could express the European tourism and economic community decisive action in favor of such a world model.

Mr. Mark Doda, representing Balkan countries at the meeting had also stated the desire of peoples of South-East Europe to support a new model of tourism in the present economic climate, a community based tourism on Laos example.

In the end of the debate European Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to award WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013 TITLE TO LAO PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to declare LAO PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC -FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATIONS in 2013.

 

Delegates from 30 european countries voted in WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION competition.

It was also presented the Official Invitation, on behalf of Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of LAO for a delegation of European high ranking official of European Council on Tourism and Trade, to present the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD in Vientiane, in person, to His Excellency Minister of Tourism Professor dr. BOSENGKHAM VONGDARA.

European Council on Tourism and Trade conference on WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION for 2013.

Awarding the highest tourism distinction of European Council on Tourism and Trade, accepting the invitation for an working visit of high ranking members of European Council on Tourism and Trade in LAOS, are estimated all tourism experts as a good example of close tourism relations and mutual consensus between Europe and Laos, said at the end of the meeting Professor Anton Caragea, President of European Council on Tourism and Trade.



We come to honor a NATURAL  PARADISE , we come to honor the Republic of TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO say`s  Professor Dr. Anton Caragea


Your Excellency Honorable Kamla Pershad Bissessar –Prime Minister of Government of Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Esteemed members of the Government and Parliament of Republic of Trinidad and Tobago , dear  guests and member of diplomatic corp.

 

It is may great honor and privilege to stand today, before you, honoring  a country that is becoming a WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION .

Tourism must be based on values such as nature preservation, cultural patrimony and history conservation for future generation and exactly for this need we have carved WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION as an international recognition of the country that are respecting this values .

It is always a pleasure  when  I have the occasion to meet and congratulate a representative of tourism industry that change the face of his country tourism  and of the region and helped to build a new future for a tourism that is respecting the values .

 In a world crowded by images, without a form and substance ,  we come today to honor a CULTURE  , in a world that is loosing the true values, we come today the honor a real  TOURISM VALUE, in a time in which to many speak and do not act for natural preservation , we come to honor a NATURAL  PARADISE , we come to honor the Republic of TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO .

We are all here friend`s of humanity, of cultural tourism , in search for the countries and tourism values that are offering to all the tourist of the world the possibility of a safe, pleasurable and enlightening tourist experience .

Among the reasons leading to awarding WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2012 title to TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO the report take under consideration :

   -  Respecting cultural patrimony and traditions in offering to tourists a possibility to participate in impressive paraphernalia festivals such as: Holi, Hosay, Divali, Corpus Christi, Eid Al Fitr and special Tobago Heritage Festival Tobago Fest and Trinidad GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH etc.

Keeping alive spiritual traditions , integrating tourist and visitors in the atmosphere of the islands , offering possibility of an enriching cultural experience are achievements that transform Trinidad and Tobago in a spiritual destination of first hand.

-                      Promoting Trinidad and Tobago environmental protection, especially East Coast natural patrimony of wetlands, beaches and ecological and geographical biodiversity that make Trinidad and Tobago unique in the region. Supporting a new concept of tourism friendly to nature, with low nature impact and preservation of natural biodiversity and protection of endangered species and areas, especially rainforest eco-climate.

-                      Offering to tourists not only cultural experience or relaxation opportunities but also the possibility to explore nature , to contribute to ecological preservation and the opportunity to observed in Tobago the impressive Forest Reserve are model achievements in ecological tourism that must be world appreciated.      

-                      The continuous development and protection of cultural and historical patrimony of Trinidad and Tobago, the transformation of Port of Spain in an historical center offering to the visitor a glimpse into rich culture of Trinidad and Tobago and Caribbean heritage.

-                      Offering to the tourist a large area of cultural and ecological impressive programs such as: Wildlife Photography in places such El Tucuche Reserve, Valencia Wildlife Sanctuary, Caroni Bird Sanctuary. Cave exploration (in splendid places such as Gasparee Caves).Cycling, Hiking (Argyle Waterfall –a special destination), Kayaking (Paria bay and Tobago area).

 

We believe in a people that want to develop his country and we are glad to observe that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago also believe in his people.

We are believing in the future of Trinidad and Tobago and we are proud to see the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is also investing and believing in the future of Trinidad and Tobago.

We are believing that despite shortcomings and problems, in Trinidad and Tobago there is the will to overcome this issues and to step into a new way, a new future, and we are honored to see the government of Trinidad and Tobago shaping this future.

This is a prize that was always destined to unite peoples’ in pride, not to divide, to create a filing of pride and to inoculate a desire to strive for a better future, and I hope this will be the case for Trinidad and Tobago also.       

For all this reasons European Union Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to award WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2012 TITLE TO TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO and to declare TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO- FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATIONS in 2012.

This speech was written after reviewing dozens of reports and publications of scientific value, but it was lacking the knowledge of a major value of Trinidad and Tobago: the people.

During our stay we have meet the people of Trinidad and Tobago: on the streets, on the islands, working in tourism industry, learning the art of panyard, or learn to dance blending Africa, South America and Europe in a fiery spirit. To them is dedicated most of all the prize: to people of Trinidad and Tobago , they are constructing a future in which nobody will ask Why is Trinidad and Tobago –WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION ? They will make 2012 a better year not only for tourism but for all the country. 

For all this reasons Is my privileged to award Your Excellency as representative of tourism of Republic of Trinidad and Tobago the award for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2012.

 

This title is an international recognition of your work for Republic of Trinidad and Tobago until today, in the service of tourism, culture and natural resources preservation and for people of Trinidad and Tobago, but is also a challenge because now we are expecting your services in the future benefit of the world tourism.

May this award be transformed in a support for developing the international standing of Trinidad and Tobago, for a sustainable tourism and development and in a base for further success for beautiful Trinidad and Tobago?       

We congratulate you Mrs. Prime Minister and people of Trinidad and Tobago   for this outstanding   achievements. 


LAVISH WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION Award Ceremony held in Trinidad and Tobago.

Honorable Kamla Pershad Bissessar –Prime Minister of Government of Republic of Trinidad and Tobago received the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD for 2012


On 19 October 2011, in the framework of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade official delegation  visit to Republic of Trinidad and Tobago , Professor Dr. Anton Caragea , President of   European Union Council on Tourism and Trade bestow upon people and government of Trinidad and Tobago the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD for 2012 and declared Trinidad and Tobago as FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION for 2012.

The impressive ceremony held in Port of Spain, capital of Republic of Trinidad and Tobago was held under the auspices of Minister of Tourism, Honorable Rupert Griffith and under the High Patronage of Honorable Kamla Pershad Bissessar –Prime Minister of Government of Republic of Trinidad and Tobago .

The most important touristic event of the year, the announcement of the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION for 2012, had attracted a large audience of ministers, parliamentary and tourism professionals eager to find out the reasons for selecting Trinidad and Tobago as the winner of the prestigious award for next year.

Professor Dr. Mircea Constantinescu –Director of European Tourism Academy

The spectacle was opened by a traditional Trinidad and Tobago dance full of fire and spirit   fallowed by a presentation of important achievements obtained in tourism by Trinidad and Tobago during last year, presentation held by Minister of Tourism, Honorable Rupert Griffith.

Speeches where held also by Professor Dr. Mircea Constantinescu –Director of European Tourism Academy who praised Minister of Tourism impressive results that are highlighting Trinidad and Tobago as a powerful cultural and tourist center in the world.

In the same line Dr. Petru Lificiu, Vice-President of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade had underscored the significance of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION as an instrument in promoting free and fair tourism, ecologically friendly and opened to cultural values.

Dr. Petru Lificiu, Vice-President of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade


Finally, in the long awaited moment, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of   European Union Council on Tourism and Trade, had unveiled the reasons for proclaiming Trinidad and Tobago as WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION for 2012.   

Among the reasons he emphasizes the cultural and historic values preserved by Trinidad and Tobago, the abundance of natural reserves, protected areas, and ecologically friendly tourist programs.

Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of   European Union Council on Tourism and Trade


In the applause of the assistance   Honorable Kamla Pershad Bissessar –Prime Minister of Government of Republic of Trinidad and Tobago received the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD for 2012 on the behalf of people and government of Trinidad and Tobago.

Honorable Kamla Pershad Bissessar –Prime Minister of Government of Republic of Trinidad and Tobago


In her speech Honorable Kamla Pershad Bissessar emphasize the decision taken by here government to believe in the future of Trinidad and Tobago as a tourist destination, to support development of tourism as an alternative way of economic development and expressed here gratitude towards European Union Council on Tourism and Trade   delegation for support and trust in the future of tourism in Trinidad and Tobago.

Under an explosion of applause  Honorable Kamla Pershad Bissessar –Prime Minister of Government of Republic of Trinidad and Tobago ask for a vote of thanks and obtained a unanimity of appreciation for her dedication in promoting tourism and obtaining the prestigious WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD for 2012  for her country and people.

The ceremony had concluded with the presentation of the new television spot carved by Ministry of Tourism to promote in 2012 the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION – Trinidad and Tobago. 


THE HIGHEST TOURISM PRIZE

WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARDED TO TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO FOR 2012

 

On 9th of October 2011 in a public séance of the European Union Council on Tourism and Trade gathering representatives of tourism organizations from EU members country it was debated the list of candidates for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION for 2012.

Professor Dr. Mircea Constantinescu, Director of Tourism Academy had presented a report on the last year situation of the Award for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION that was dedicated to United Arab Emirates and it was used accordingly with rules and regulations and have being proving highly efficient in attracting new tourists and investor attentions as United Arab Emirates was the ONLY country in the region that registered an increase in number of visitors despite tensions in the region.

Prof.dr. Mircea Constantinescu- Director of European Tourism Academy  


On the debate for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION  AWARD FOR 2012 professor dr. Anton Caragea , President of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade ( ECTT) presented the report titled : TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO : A SUCCESS STORY IN TOURISM proposing TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO as the winner of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2012.

Prof.Dr. Anton Caragea - President of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade and H.E. President of Tajikistan - Emomali Rahmon


Among the reasons for awarding WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2012 to TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO the report outlined:

   -  Respecting cultural patrimony and traditions in offering to tourists a possibility to participate in impressive paraphernalia festivals such as: Holi, Hosay, Divali, Corpus Christi, Eid Al Fitr and special Tobago Heritage Festival Tobago Fest and Trinidad GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH etc.

Keeping alive spiritual traditions , integrating tourist and visitors in the atmosphere of the islands , offering possibility of an enriching cultural experience are achievements that transform Trinidad and Tobago in a spiritual destination of first hand.

-                      Promoting Trinidad and Tobago environmental protection, especially East Coast natural patrimony of wetlands, beaches and ecological and geographical biodiversity that make Trinidad and Tobago unique in the region. Supporting a new concept of tourism friendly to nature, with low nature impact and preservation of natural biodiversity and protection of endangered species and areas, especially rainforest eco-climate.

-                      Offering to tourists not only cultural experience or relaxation opportunities but also the possibility to explore nature , to contribute to ecological preservation and the opportunity to observed in Tobago the impressive Forest Reserve are model achievements in ecological tourism that must be world appreciated.       

-                      The continuous development and protection of cultural and historical patrimony of Trinidad and Tobago, the transformation of Port of Spain in an historical center offering to the visitor a glimpse into rich culture of Trinidad and Tobago and Caribbean heritage.

-                      Offering to the tourist a large area of cultural and ecological impressive programs such as: Wildlife Photography in places such El Tucuche Reserve, Valencia Wildlife Sanctuary, Caroni Bird Sanctuary. Cave exploration (in splendid places such as Gasparee Caves).Cycling, Hiking (Argyle Waterfall –a special destination), Kayaking (Paria bay and Tobago area).

Members of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade gathering for 9 October decision on WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD for 2012. 

For all this reasons European Union Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to award WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2012 TITLE TO TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO and to declare TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO- FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATIONS in 2012.

It was also presented the Official Invitation, on behalf of Ministry of Tourism of TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO for a delegation of European high ranking official of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade, to present the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD in Port of Spain, in person, to His Excellency Minister of Tourism DR. RUPERT GRIFFITH. 

Awarding the highest tourism distinction of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade, the invitation for an working visit of high ranking members of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade in TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO are estimated by European tourism experts as a good example of close tourism relations and mutual appreciation   between European Union and Trinidad and Tobago, said at the end of the meeting Professor Anton Caragea, President of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade. 


CRITERIA  FOR WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARDING PROCEEDING



European Union Guide for Best Practice in  Sustainable Tourism

 

A best practice is a technique or methodology that, through experience and research, has proven to reliably lead to a desired result. A commitment to using the best practices in any field is a commitment to using all the knowledge and technology at one’s disposal to ensure success.

Below is a list of Best Practice resources relating to the following areas:

· Principles, Codes and Criteria

· Setting up a Sustainable Tourism Business

· Getting Certified

· Conservation of the Natural Environment

· Respecting the Social Environment

· Building „Green“

· Responsible Water Consumption

· Waste and Greenhouse Gas Reduction

· Energy and Electricity Usage

· Sustainable Food and Beverage 

 

        EUROPEAN CHARTA ON PRINCIPLES OF FAIR TOURISM

 

 

THE EUROPEAN CHARTA ON PRINCIPLES OF FAIR TOURISM  

FAIR SHARE:

All participants involved in a tourism activity should get their fair share of the income, in direct proportion to their contribution to the activity.

DEMOCRACY:
All participants involved in a tourism activity should have the right and opportunity to participate in decisions that concern them.

RESPECT:
Both host and visitor should have respect for human rights, culture and environment.
This includes:

  • Safe working conditions and practices
  • Protection of young workers
  • Promoting gender equality
  • Understanding and tolerance of socio-cultural norms
  • Reducing consumption of water and energy as well as reducing, reusing and recycling waste
  • Conservation of biodiversity and natural resources
  • HIV / Aids awareness

RELIABILITY:
The services delivered to tourists should be reliable and consistent. Basic safety and securityfor both host and visitor should be ensured.

TRANSPARENCY:
Tourism businesses should establish mechanisms of accountability.
This includes:

  • Ownership of tourism businesses must be clearly defined
  • Employees and other participants should be able to access information that concerns them
  • Sharing of profits, benefits and losses must be transparent

SUSTAINABILITY:
The tourism businesses should strive to be sustainable.
This includes:

  • Increased knowledge through capacity building
  • Improved use of available resources through networking and partnerships
  • Economic viability through responsible use of resources
  • Reduction of leakage through local purchasing and employment
  • Support to historically disadvantaged entrepreneurs

Codes of Conduct for Tour Operators

Guidelines for EU tour operators :

1. Make Tourism and Conservation Compatible

  • Develop a positive relationship with organizations and people that play a role in conservation, particularly in the areas that you will visit with your clients.
  •  

  • Encourage your clients to become members of conservation organizations.
  •  

  • Encourage governments and businesses to support projects such as new nature reserves through writing letters or personal contacts.
  •  

  • Contribute time and money to conservation organizations and projects.
  •  

  • Plan tourism activities so that they do not conflict with conservation efforts. Obtain permission before visiting nature reserves or other areas where access is restricted. When visiting these areas, be sure that your activities comply with the rules of the park or reserve.
  •  

  • Know the laws and regulations that apply to the import and export of products made from wildlife, and make sure that your clients understand and follow these laws. Encourage your clients to buy products made by local people, so long as these products are not made from endangered species and their sale does not violate the law.
  •  

  • Develop an environmental plan for your daily operations. If you are an operator employing more than 20 people, have a written environmental plan that states your company's commitment to conservation, to using resources in a sustainable way and to the principles itemized in these Codes of Conduct. Include specific procedures that your company uses in its daily operations to prevent and minimize detrimental environmental impacts. Make the plan available to your clients.
  •  

  • Use post-trip evaluations to confirm that your tour was environmentally sound. Feedback from clients is a good way to find out if your tour met their expectations. In your post-trip evaluations, ask your clients whether or not they felt the tour avoided unnecessary negative environmental impacts, and if the tour operator demonstrated consideration of the natural and cultural environment. Written post-trip evaluation forms are preferable, although oral evaluations are acceptable, especially for smaller operations.

2. Support the Preservation of Wilderness and Biodiversity

  • Promote the maintenance of large, undeveloped areas. The undeveloped regions of the Arctic, for example, have a unique value, and are one of the primary reasons why tourists come to the Arctic. This unique value is undermined by roads, pipelines and other kinds of unsightly large-scale development that fragments the environment.
  •  

  • Support wildlife conservation programs and projects. Make your clients aware of these efforts and ensure that they do not hunt or fish protected or threatened species, enter sensitive wildlife habitats, or buy products made from protected species.

3. Use Natural Resources in a Sustainable Way

  • Where laws permit hunting and fishing, follow all rules and take only what you can use. Ensure that your clients obey the laws and regulations and do not contribute to the over-depletion of local wildlife stocks. Cooperate with community and indigenous hunters' associations.
  •  

  • Make sure that your clients use only appropriate and well-maintained hunting equipment that they know how to use correctly.
  •  

  • When determining the number of clients that will visit an area, consider area specifics (wildlife, nesting birds, fragile vegetation, etc.) and any special vulnerability of the site. Inform other operators in the region of your plans in order to avoid over-visitation of a site.
  •  

  • Use only established trails and existing campsites to avoid creating new ones.
  •  

  • Avoid disturbing wildlife. Instruct your clients on local wildlife behavior, and make sure that they view it from an appropriate distance.

4. Minimize Consumption, Waste and Pollution

  • Your choice of products and the amount that you and your clients consume makes a difference.
  •  

  • Whether you bring supplies with you or buy them, choose biodegradable or recyclable products with minimal packaging.
  •  

  • Compress garbage and take it with you.
  •  

  • Recycle where possible and encourage the communities that you visit to develop recycling programs if they do not have them already. If feasible, provide financial support to encourage the development of these programs, and show your commitment to the communities you and your clients visit.
  •  

  • Limit energy use, including your use of heat and warm water. Keep records of your water and energy consumption, and recycling and waste-reduction efforts.
  •  

  • The transportation you choose for your clients makes a difference. Opt for the means of transport that has the least environmental impact. Minimize the use of fossil fuels and try to use non-motorized transport whenever possible. Where motorized transportation is necessary, choose the technology that causes the least environmental damage and minimal noise (four-stroke instead of two-stroke engines, for example). Do not use motorized transport such as snowmobiles and helicopters unnecessarily; these should only be used to get from one area to another or for seeing specific sites.
  •  

  • Choose accommodations compatible with local traditions and that minimize negative environmental impacts. Choose lodging that has effective waste treatment systems, recycles and disposes of non-recyclable garbage appropriately.
  •  

  • Support efforts to clean up waste and polluted areas by providing money, lobbying governments and businesses, contributing your time and that of your staff, and by encouraging your clients to support these efforts as well. Ensure that no trace of your visit remains behind.
  •  

  • Follow responsible practices for camping and tours, including those that concern waste disposal.
  •  

  • Retain all plastic for proper disposal, and compact all wood products, glass, and metal for a disposal facility. Ensure that any incinerators you use function properly.

5. Respect Local Cultures

  • Coordinate with the communities that you visit to ensure that you are welcome, and that your visit is not disruptive.
  •  

  • Arrange visits to communities well in advance, and avoid visits that are not pre-arranged.
  •  

  • Reconfirm your visit, preferably 24 hours in advance, and be prepared to pay the community for costs associated with cancelled visits.
  •  

  • Arrange what you and your clients will do during your visit with the community beforehand. Be sure you have permission to visit and to undertake the activities you have planned.
  •  

  • Find out what size of group the community prefers for the planned activities.
  •  

  • Keep away from sites where people are working, including hunting and fishing sites, unless you have specific agreements with locals.
  •  

  • Be aware of the laws and regulations in the area or waters in which you are operating, and obtain the necessary permits.
  •  

  • Respect the culture and customs of the people whose communities you visit, and make sure that your clients do so as well.
  •  

  • Give all visitors a thorough cultural briefing before visiting local communities. Where possible, hire local lecturers to conduct these briefings. Include information on local customs and traditions and on appropriate behavior for tourists in the area. Use local "Codes for Visitors" if available.
  •  

  • Ask permission to photograph or videotape.
  •  

  • Ensure that your clients respect religious grounds, churches, cemeteries and other sites with religious or cultural significance, and that they do not remove any artifacts.

6. Respect Historic and Scientific Sites

  • Respect historic sites and markers, and make sure that your clients do not remove any artifacts. If access to historic or archaeological sites is restricted, obtain permission before visiting. Ensure that your clients behave respectfully, particularly if a site has religious significance.
  •  

  • Respect the work of scientists. Do not enter scientific installations or work sites without making prior arrangements. Do not disturb scientists while they are working, and do not disturb their work sites.

7. Communities Should Benefit from Tourism

  • Whenever possible, hire local staff and contract local businesses. Train and hire local people for your operations. Where local people lack the training you require, provide it. Use locally-owned businesses as subcontractors. Develop long-term partnerships with local operators, businesses and suppliers. A local connection most often means a better tourism experience.
  •  

  • Operate in ways that benefit the communities you visit, particularly with respect to supplies. If feasible, buy supplies and services locally. Ask communities what supplies you should bring with you so that your visit and use of supplies does not cause hardship to local people. Encourage your clients to buy locally-made handicrafts and products.
  •  

  • Where possible, choose accommodations owned, built and staffed by local people.

8. Educate Staff

  • Hire a professional team.
  •  

  • Hire only knowledgeable, environmentally and culturally aware staff, or train your existing staff in these areas. Provide training in how to avoid negative environmental impacts, in safety and in providing service. Evaluate the performance of your staff, at least annually.
  •  

  • If you are a ship-based tour operator, hire lecturers and conservation-oriented naturalists who will not only talk about wildlife, environmental protection, history, geology and local cultures, but who can guide passengers ashore and who are familiar with safety and local conservation requirements.

9. Make Your Trip an Opportunity to Learn

  • Provide your clients with information about the environment and conservation. Provide lectures and written materials about the environment, its special characteristics and its global significance. Include information about conservation in general, specific conservation efforts in the areas that you will visit, and specific ways -- financial and otherwise -- that your clients can support these conservation efforts. 
  • Provide your clients with specific information about the regions they will visit. Include information about climate, wildlife species and habitats, as well as appropriate behavior for these areas.

10. Follow Safety Rules

  • Provide local authorities with your itinerary. This is both for safety reasons and to be sure you are complying with local regulations. 
  • Brief all clients and staff on the dangers of wildlife encounters. 
  • Have at least one staff member who is responsible for co-coordinating safety and avoiding dangerous encounters with wildlife.

The Partnership for Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria
Working together for the universal adoption of sustainable tourism principles
Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria Preamble
Sustainable tourism is on the rise: consumer demand is growing, travel industry suppliers are developing new green programs, and governments are creating new policies to encourage sustainable practices in tourism. But what does “sustainable tourism” really mean? How can it be measured and credibly demonstrated, in order to build consumer confidence, promote efficiency, and fight false claims?
The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria are an effort to come to a common understanding of sustainable tourism, and will be the minimum that any tourism business should aspire to reach. They are organized around four main themes: effective sustainability planning; maximizing social and economic benefits for the local community; enhancing cultural heritage; and reducing negative impacts to the environment. Although the criteria are initially intended for use by the accommodation and tour operation sectors, they have applicability to the entire tourism industry.
The criteria are part of the response of the tourism community to the global challenges of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. Poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability – including climate change – are the main cross-cutting issues that are addressed through the criteria.
Beginning in 2007, a coalition of 27 organizations – the Partnership for Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria – came together to develop the criteria. Since then, they have reached out to close to 100,000 tourism stakeholders, analyzed more than 4,500 criteria from more than 60 existing certification and other voluntary sets of criteria, and received comments from over 1500 individuals. The Sustainable Tourism Criteria have been developed in accordance with the ISEAL Code of Best Practice, and as such will undergo consultation and receive input every two years until feedback is no longer provided or unique.
Some of the expected uses of the criteria include the following:
• Serve as basic guidelines for businesses of all sizes to become more sustainable, and help businesses choose sustainable tourism programs that fulfill these global criteria;
• Serve as guidance for travel agencies in choosing suppliers and sustainable tourism programs;
• Help consumers identify sound sustainable tourism programs and businesses;
• Serve as a common denominator for information media to recognize sustainable tourism providers;
• Help certification and other voluntary programs ensure that their standards meet a broadly-accepted baseline;
• Offer governmental, non-governmental, and private sector programs a starting point for developing sustainable tourism requirements; and
• Serve as basic guidelines for education and training bodies, such as hotel schools and universities.
The criteria indicate what should be done, not how to do it or whether the goal has been achieved. This role is fulfilled by performance indicators, associated educational materials, and access to tools for implementation, all of which are an indispensable complement to the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.
The Partnership conceives the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria as the beginning of a process to make sustainability the standard practice in all forms of tourism.
Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria
A. Demonstrate effective sustainable management.
A.1. The company has implemented a long-term sustainability management system that is suitable to its reality and scale, and that considers environmental, sociocultural, quality, health, and safety issues.
A.2. The company is in compliance with all relevant international or local legislation and regulations (including, among others, health, safety, labor, and environmental aspects).
A.3. All personnel receive periodic training regarding their role in the management of environmental, sociocultural, health, and safety practices.
A.4. Customer satisfaction is measured and corrective action taken where appropriate.
A.5. Promotional materials are accurate and complete and do not promise more than can be delivered by the business.
A.6. Design and construction of buildings and infrastructure:
A.6.1. comply with local zoning and protected or heritage area requirements;
A.6.2. respect the natural or cultural heritage surroundings in siting, design, impact assessment, and land rights and acquisition;
A.6.3 use locally appropriate principles of sustainable construction;
A.6.4 provide access for persons with special needs.
A.7. Information about and interpretation of the natural surroundings, local culture, and cultural heritage is provided to customers, as well as explaining appropriate behavior while visiting natural areas, living cultures, and cultural heritage sites.
B. Maximize social and economic benefits to the local community and minimize negative impacts.
B.1. The company actively supports initiatives for social and infrastructure community development including, among others, education, health, and sanitation.
B.2. Local residents are employed, including in management positions. Training is offered as necessary.
B.3. Local and fair-trade services and goods are purchased by the business, where available.
B.4. The company offers the means for local small entrepreneurs to develop and sell sustainable products that are based on the area’s nature, history, and culture (including food and drink, crafts, performance arts, agricultural products, etc.).
B.5. A code of conduct for activities in indigenous and local communities has been developed, with the consent of and in collaboration with the community.
B.6. The company has implemented a policy against commercial exploitation, particularly of children and adolescents, including sexual exploitation.
B.7. The company is equitable in hiring women and local minorities, including in management positions, while restraining child labor.
B.8. The international or national legal protection of employees is respected, and employees are paid a living wage.
B.9. The activities of the company do not jeopardize the provision of basic services, such as water, energy, or sanitation, to neighboring communities.
C. Maximize benefits to cultural heritage and minimize negative impacts.
C.1. The company follows established guidelines or a code of behavior for visits to culturally or historically sensitive sites, in order to minimize visitor impact and maximize enjoyment.
C.2. Historical and archeological artifacts are not sold, traded, or displayed, except as permitted by law.
C.3. The business contributes to the protection of local historical, archeological, culturally, and spiritually important properties and sites, and does not impede access to them by local residents.
C.4 The business uses elements of local art, architecture, or cultural heritage in its operations, design, decoration, food, or shops; while respecting the intellectual property rights of local communities.
D. Maximize benefits to the environment and minimize negative impacts.
D.1. Conserving resources
D.1.1. Purchasing policy favors environmentally friendly products for building materials, capital goods, food, and consumables.
D.1.2. The purchase of disposable and consumable goods is measured, and the business actively seeks ways to reduce their use.
D.1.3. Energy consumption should be measured, sources indicated, and measures to decrease overall consumption should be adopted, while encouraging the use of renewable energy.
D.1.4. Water consumption should be measured, sources indicated, and measures to decrease overall consumption should be adopted.
D.2. Reducing pollution
D.2.1. Greenhouse gas emissions from all sources controlled by the business are measured, and procedures are implemented to reduce and offset them as a way to achieve climate neutrality.
D.2.2. Wastewater, including gray water, is treated effectively and reused where possible.
D.2.3. A solid waste management plan is implemented, with quantitative goals to minimize waste that is not reused or recycled.
D.2.4. The use of harmful substances, including pesticides, paints, swimming pool disinfectants, and cleaning materials, is minimized; substituted, when available, by innocuous products; and all chemical use is properly managed.
D.2.5. The business implements practices to reduce pollution from noise, light, runoff, erosion, ozone-depleting compounds, and air and soil contaminants.
D.3. Conserving biodiversity, ecosystems, and landscapes
D.3.1. Wildlife species are only harvested from the wild, consumed, displayed, sold, or internationally traded, as part of a regulated activity that ensures that their utilization is sustainable.
D.3.2. No captive wildlife is held, except for properly regulated activities, and living specimens of protected wildlife species are only kept by those authorized and suitably equipped to house and care for them.
D.3.3. The business uses native species for landscaping and restoration, and takes measures to avoid the introduction of invasive alien species.
D.3.4. The business contributes to the support of biodiversity conservation, including supporting natural protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value.

 

  •  The Partnership for Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria
  • Working together for the universal adoption of sustainable tourism principles

·         Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria Preamble

  • Sustainable tourism is on the rise: consumer demand is growing, travel industry suppliers are developing new green programs, and governments are creating new policies to encourage sustainable practices in tourism. But what does “sustainable tourism” really mean? How can it be measured and credibly demonstrated, in order to build consumer confidence, promote efficiency, and fight false claims?

  • The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria are an effort to come to a common understanding of sustainable tourism, and will be the minimum that any tourism business should aspire to reach. They are organized around four main themes: effective sustainability planning; maximizing social and economic benefits for the local community; enhancing cultural heritage; and reducing negative impacts to the environment. Although the criteria are initially intended for use by the accommodation and tour operation sectors, they have applicability to the entire tourism industry.

  • The criteria are part of the response of the tourism community to the global challenges of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. Poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability – including climate change – are the main cross-cutting issues that are addressed through the criteria.

  • Beginning in 2007, a coalition of 27 organizations – the Partnership for Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria – came together to develop the criteria. Since then, they have reached out to close to 100,000 tourism stakeholders, analyzed more than 4,500 criteria from more than 60 existing certification and other voluntary sets of criteria, and received comments from over 1500 individuals. The Sustainable Tourism Criteria have been developed in accordance with the ISEAL Code of Best Practice, and as such will undergo consultation and receive input every two years until feedback is no longer provided or unique.

  • Some of the expected uses of the criteria include the following:

  • • Serve as basic guidelines for businesses of all sizes to become more sustainable, and help businesses choose sustainable tourism programs that fulfill these global criteria;
  • • Serve as guidance for travel agencies in choosing suppliers and sustainable tourism programs;
  • • Help consumers identify sound sustainable tourism programs and businesses;
  • • Serve as a common denominator for information media to recognize sustainable tourism providers;
  • • Help certification and other voluntary programs ensure that their standards meet a broadly-accepted baseline;
  • • Offer governmental, non-governmental, and private sector programs a starting point for developing sustainable tourism requirements; and
  • • Serve as basic guidelines for education and training bodies, such as hotel schools and universities.

·          

  • The criteria indicate what should be done, not how to do it or whether the goal has been achieved. This role is fulfilled by performance indicators, associated educational materials, and access to tools for implementation, all of which are an indispensable complement to the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.

  • The Partnership conceives the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria as the beginning of a process to make sustainability the standard practice in all forms of tourism.

·        

Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria

 

  • A. Demonstrate effective sustainable management.
  • A.1. The company has implemented a long-term sustainability management system that is suitable to its reality and scale, and that considers environmental, sociocultural, quality, health, and safety issues.
  • A.2. The company is in compliance with all relevant international or local legislation and regulations (including, among others, health, safety, labor, and environmental aspects).
  • A.3. All personnel receive periodic training regarding their role in the management of environmental, sociocultural, health, and safety practices.
  • A.4. Customer satisfaction is measured and corrective action taken where appropriate.
  • A.5. Promotional materials are accurate and complete and do not promise more than can be delivered by the business.
  • A.6. Design and construction of buildings and infrastructure:
  • A.6.1. comply with local zoning and protected or heritage area requirements;
  • A.6.2. respect the natural or cultural heritage surroundings in siting, design, impact assessment, and land rights and acquisition;
  • A.6.3 use locally appropriate principles of sustainable construction;
  • A.6.4 provide access for persons with special needs.
  • A.7. Information about and interpretation of the natural surroundings, local culture, and cultural heritage is provided to customers, as well as explaining appropriate behavior while visiting natural areas, living cultures, and cultural heritage sites.
  • B. Maximize social and economic benefits to the local community and minimize negative impacts.
  • B.1. The company actively supports initiatives for social and infrastructure community development including, among others, education, health, and sanitation.
  • B.2. Local residents are employed, including in management positions. Training is offered as necessary.
  • B.3. Local and fair-trade services and goods are purchased by the business, where available.
  • B.4. The company offers the means for local small entrepreneurs to develop and sell sustainable products that are based on the area’s nature, history, and culture (including food and drink, crafts, performance arts, agricultural products, etc.).
  • B.5. A code of conduct for activities in indigenous and local communities has been developed, with the consent of and in collaboration with the community.
  • B.6. The company has implemented a policy against commercial exploitation, particularly of children and adolescents, including sexual exploitation.
  • B.7. The company is equitable in hiring women and local minorities, including in management positions, while restraining child labor.
  • B.8. The international or national legal protection of employees is respected, and employees are paid a living wage.
  • B.9. The activities of the company do not jeopardize the provision of basic services, such as water, energy, or sanitation, to neighboring communities.
  • C. Maximize benefits to cultural heritage and minimize negative impacts.
  • C.1. The company follows established guidelines or a code of behavior for visits to culturally or historically sensitive sites, in order to minimize visitor impact and maximize enjoyment.
  • C.2. Historical and archeological artifacts are not sold, traded, or displayed, except as permitted by law.
  • C.3. The business contributes to the protection of local historical, archeological, culturally, and spiritually important properties and sites, and does not impede access to them by local residents.
  • C.4 The business uses elements of local art, architecture, or cultural heritage in its operations, design, decoration, food, or shops; while respecting the intellectual property rights of local communities.
  • D. Maximize benefits to the environment and minimize negative impacts.
  • D.1. Conserving resources
  • D.1.1. Purchasing policy favors environmentally friendly products for building materials, capital goods, food, and consumables.
  • D.1.2. The purchase of disposable and consumable goods is measured, and the business actively seeks ways to reduce their use.
  • D.1.3. Energy consumption should be measured, sources indicated, and measures to decrease overall consumption should be adopted, while encouraging the use of renewable energy.
  • D.1.4. Water consumption should be measured, sources indicated, and measures to decrease overall consumption should be adopted.
  • D.2. Reducing pollution
  • D.2.1. Greenhouse gas emissions from all sources controlled by the business are measured, and procedures are implemented to reduce and offset them as a way to achieve climate neutrality.
  • D.2.2. Wastewater, including gray water, is treated effectively and reused where possible.
  • D.2.3. A solid waste management plan is implemented, with quantitative goals to minimize waste that is not reused or recycled.
  • D.2.4. The use of harmful substances, including pesticides, paints, swimming pool disinfectants, and cleaning materials, is minimized; substituted, when available, by innocuous products; and all chemical use is properly managed.
  • D.2.5. The business implements practices to reduce pollution from noise, light, runoff, erosion, ozone-depleting compounds, and air and soil contaminants.
  • D.3. Conserving biodiversity, ecosystems, and landscapes
  • D.3.1. Wildlife species are only harvested from the wild, consumed, displayed, sold, or internationally traded, as part of a regulated activity that ensures that their utilization is sustainable.
  • D.3.2. No captive wildlife is held, except for properly regulated activities, and living specimens of protected wildlife species are only kept by those authorized and suitably equipped to house and care for them.
  • D.3.3. The business uses native species for landscaping and restoration, and takes measures to avoid the introduction of invasive alien species.
  • D.3.4. The business contributes to the support of biodiversity conservation, including supporting natural protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value.
  • D.3.5. Interactions with wildlife must not produce adverse effects on the viability of populations in the wild; and any disturbance of natural ecosystems is minimized, rehabilitated, and there is a compensatory contribution to conservation management. 

  

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