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For more information on the European Ecotourism Labelling Standard contact one of the national partners or visit the EEN Online Community

Three online evaluation tools have been developed by the ECOLNET team to be used by certification agencies, ecotourism businesses and evaluators. According to past experience, including the results of the ECO-DESTINET project, ecotourism certification agencies considered the cost of evaluation in situ as one of the biggest obstacles in attracting businesses to apply for a quality label. The evaluation cost, paid either separately or being integrated in the membership fee imposed by the labelling agency, represents a significant burden for ecotourism providers many of which are small, family owned enterprises. To make ecotourism labelling more attractive to the small businesses, the ECOLNET team has developed online evaluation tools that will significantly cut down the evaluation cost and will allow more frequent evaluation repeats to take place.

Three tools have been developed:

 

  • An evaluation tool targeted to certification agencies. This tool assesses the degree of compliance of the agency’s own criteria with EETLS criteria and points out the gaps that need to be acted upon by the assessed agency. The tool has the form of an online questionnaire which assesses compliance with each sub-criterion of EETLS by means of a rating scale. This tool is supported by the online Helpdesk.
  • A self-evaluation tool targeted to ecotourism businesses or other organisations that manage ecotourism destinations. This tool is intended to serve as an initial check that will indicate the changes that are necessary to be made by the business or other body in order to comply with EETLS. To increase the learning value of this tool, it is linked with the library of best practice in order to illustrate in practical terms the implementation of the EETLS criteria and the benefits gained. The completion of the self-evaluation will lead to a report which can accompany the application of a business wishing to become a member of an EETLS-compatible ecotourism label.
  • An “integrated” assessment tool to be used by EETLS evaluators who would be invited to assess compliance of an ecotourism business with the EETLS criteria and indicators. The evaluators can be appointed by existing ecotourism certification agencies that have adopted EETLS minimum standards. This tool combines an “intelligent” scoring system with use of multimedia (photographs, videos, internet information, publicity materials) and will include several tools for direct communication of the evaluator with the business owner. The evaluation may be further enhanced by using mobile electronic platforms, such as smart-phones and tablets.

 

The EETLS Handbook is now ready and uploaded on EEN's website and online community. All of the businesses that wish to use the e-evaluation tools and/or the e-training packages, can download the Handbook by clicking on the attachment below.

The EETLS is accompanied by several practical tools that assist its implementation by helping certification agencies and businesses to assess their compliance with the Standard. Such tools include a self-assessment questionnaire for testing the ecotourism business’s compliance; an online evaluation tool for assessing certification agencies’ compliance; and an “integrated” tool for a formal evaluation procedure that would allow a certification agency to grant EETLS compliance to an ecotourism enterprise. This process was supported by appropriate e-learning courses delivered to applicants during the EETLS piloting phase.

It should be noted here that EETLS represents the minimum acceptable standard for European ecotourism. This allows an existing ecotourism or sustainable tourism label to specify further criteria according to their particular goals, provided that the EETLS criteria are observed.

To participate in the piloting of the EETLS assessment tools  contact us

 

COMPLY WITH THE EETLS:

Discover below, some of the businesses that participated in the piloting phase and achieved compliance with the EETLS.

1. Eumelia-Greece

www.eumelia.com
www.eumeliashop.com
www.facebook.com/Eumelia.Farm
https://twitter.com/eumeliafarm


2. Cherryland-Greece

http://www.cherryland.gr  
www.facebook.com/Cherryland.farm

 

 

3. Natuurlijk Buiten-Netherlands

https://www.facebook.com/Natuurlijkbuiten
www.natuurlijkbuiten.nl/
https://twitter.com/AartStans


4. Thyencamp-Netherlands

https://www.facebook.com/Thyencamp
www.thyencamp.nl/en/  
https://twitter.com/Tienkamp

5. L'Algadir Delta Hotel-Spain

http://www.hotelalgadirdelta.com/
https://twitter.com/Algadirdeldelta
https://www.facebook.com/algadirdeldelta

6. Cerro de Hijar Hotel-Spain

http://www.cerrodehijar.com/
https://www.facebook.com/algadirdeldelta
https://twitter.com/Algadirdeldelta

 

7.Eleonas-Greece

www.eleonashotel.com
www.facebook.com/eleonashotel


8. Apuseni Experience-Romania

https://www.facebook.com/ApuseniExperience
http://www.apuseniexperience.ro/
http://eco-romania.ro/members/apuseni-experience

 

9. Kardamyli-Greece

http://www.2407m.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kardamili.taygetos

 

10. Axios Delta National park-Greece

www.axiosdelta.gr


 

11. Asdon Aventura-Spain

http://www.asdonaventura.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AsdonAventura

 

12. Europarks Hispano Lusos-Spain

http://www.europarques.es/

13. Skinos Ilivatos Boutique Eco Villa-Greece



14. La Bianchina-Italy



15. Glenloy Wildlife


16. Hunting Hall Green Holidays

Click on the attachments below to read more and access information on the businesses (all pdfs contain active links to the businesses)

 

EETLS - the European Ecotourism Labelling Standard - is a baseline quality standard developed along the lines of the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, for European Ecotourism. The EETLS is the result of a lengthy development and consultation process that documented international best practice leading to a set of criteria and indicators that are suitable for ensuring quality of ecotourism services.

The EETLS is complimentary to existing certification schemes, setting minimum acceptable standards that can be used by certification schemes and quality labels to benchmark and, hopefully, adjust their own requirements. The EETLS aims to provide a Europe-wide dimension of ecotourism quality certification, offering the possibility for an EETLS-compliance sign integrated in the existing labels.

The first version of the EETLS, developed under the ECO-DESTINET project, co-funded by the LLP-Leonardo programme of the European Commission, has been revised by the ECOLNET team. The revision process has included a consultation campaign with European quality labels, ecotourism stakeholders and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

The EETLS was the first  Standard to gain recognition from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) in 2011. The GSTC recognition has been renewed unconditionally for the current version of EETLS  in 2012 .

To view the current status of the EETLS revision you may download it here.

To learn about the evaluation procedures for sustainable tourism certification and about the competence and learning needs of evaluators you may download the "Evaluation Procedures. Competencies and Learning Report" pdf.

To download the EETLS Handbook click on the attached pdf file below.


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