Far too much effort has gone into creating programs for certification instead of sustainable practices themselves. Most tourism certification efforts are far from anything that locals or visitors could benefit from and this has not changed since our 2000-2003 Ecotourism Certification Workshop.
That said, I welcome multiple points of view and public dialogue and will be asking friends their thoughts about what works and what doesn’t. For those who cannot join the livestream, we welcome your comments and video responses. In June we are hosting two Wednesday hangouts focusing on Travel Labels and Certification. The first was conducted on June 12 and was followed up on June 19. For those who could not join the livestream, we welcome your comments and video responses.
What would I like to see as a practical ‘outcome’ of the chat? A new and improved certification resource guide on the Planeta Wiki. Ideally, I’d like to see a table of major tourism certification programs and evaluate 1) how transparent they are and 2) to what degree they engage locals and visitors. Stage one will simply be the inventorying of existing programs with links to their social web channels: Facebook, Twitter and the rest. This will be a helpful way to distinguish among the various programs.