A new certification tool that evaluates the sustainability of businesses in the tourism sector, especially for those that are just beginning their sustainability journey, was recently introduced to Greek hoteliers and travel agents in Athens.
Named Good Travel Scan, the tool is part of the Good Travel Program of Green Destinations, a Netherlands-based non-profit foundation for sustainable destination development and recognition.
Currently piloted in Greece, the Good Travel Scan certification tool was created to encourage medium and small family-run enterprises (SMEs) that still have no previous knowledge or experience in sustainability management to take a first step in the right direction.
The tool shows businesses how they are performing and which areas to focus on for improvement. The Good Travel Scan includes 10 universal sustainability criteria (such as supporting the local community; protecting cultural heritage; preventing and reducing waste, pollution; promoting local, fair-trade and eco-friendly products), which also correspond to some major GSTC-Industry Standard criteria, and evaluates businesses on where they stand in the sustainability journey.
Businesses that obtain the Good Travel Scan scorecard of the Good Travel Program will see various benefits such as increased visibility by Green Destinations (promoted to a global audience by its communication partners) and of course happier customers (certification boosts management and quality of services).
The Good Travel Scan scorecard can act as a first step towards full Good Travel Seal certification from Green Destinations.
The representative of the Good Travel Scan tool in Greece and Cyprus is tourism marketing company Respond On Demand.
“If we all commit to complying with these ten simple criteria, great progress will be made in relation to the development of sustainable tourism in Greece,” noted Respond On Demand’s owner, Maria Athanasopoulou.
Presenting the Good Travel Scan tool during the 1st B2B Travel and MICE Event 2022 Athens event, Athanasopoulou highlighted that sustainable tourism has many benefits relating to the environment, the economy and communities and reminded that sustainable destinations and businesses are searched for by travelers when researching and booking trips.
“If we want to be competitive in the global market, we should definitely get serious and start applying the principles of sustainable tourism in our country,” she told GTP Headlines.
It is noted that the Good Travel Scan tool was inspired by Athanasopoulou, who, understanding the significance of sustainable tourism, proposed the idea of a reliable but at the same time easy certification program for tourist destinations and businesses. Her proposal was adopted by the international foundation Green Destinations and the tool was developed.
“Good Travel Scan was inspired, wanting to make it easier for businesses to get certified through a reliable but easy and affordable process,” she said.
Businesses in the tourism sector can get more details about the Good Travel Scan tool from Athanasopoulou at firstname.lastname@example.org.