Specific References on Accreditation, Certification and Rating

Tourism Sustainability Certification Program

en ingles

References on Certification Programs

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More on the National Ecotourism Accreditation Program -
Ecotourism Association Australia (NEAP) 

From: Ecotourism Assoc Aust <meaghan@eastwind.com.au>
Date: Wed, 09 Jun 1999 09:42:45 +1000

The NEAP application document is structured around eight principles of ecotourism, which are applicable to tours, attactions and accommodation.   The principles are:


1. focuses on personally experiencing natural areas in ways that lead to greater understanding and appreciation;
2. integrates opportunities to understand natural areas into each experience;
3. represents best practice for ecologically sustainable tourism;
4. positively contributes to the ongoing conservation of natural areas;
5. provides constructive ongoing contributions to local communities;
6. is sensitive to, interprets and involves different cultures, particularly
indigenous cultures;
7. consistently meets client expectations; and
8. marketing is accurate and leads to realistic expectations
Under each of these principles, there are a number of criteria that operators must prove that their products meet if they are to be  eligible for accreditation.   There are two levels ofaccreditation, Ecotourism Accreditation and Advanced Accreditation, and
these are reflected in the way the criteria are presented in the application document.   To achieve Ecotourism Accreditation, operators must demonstrate that their products fulfill 100% of the applicable core criteria under each principle.   To achieve Advanced Accreditation, products must meet a further 80% (at least) of the applicable bonus criteria under each principle.   As an alternative to achieving 80% of the bonus criteria, operators may also provide examples of innovative best practice.

NEAP applications are reviewed by the assessors, and are presented at NEAP Panel teleconferences once a month for approval or rejection of the application. Credibillity of the program is maintained through:

        1.Referee checks at the time of application (applicants are required to supply two referees).
        2.A system of paper audits, which is conducted across the board once a year (this  year's audit was conducted in the interpretation and education criteria).
        3.Physical audits, which are conducted on randomly selected products and focus on the entire set of criteria.

The NEAP criteria are detailed in the application document, which is available from my office for AUD $75.   If you wish to purchase the document, I can take a credit card order and have it forwarded to you within a few days.

I do hope this information is useful - please don't hesitate to contact me if you need to know anything else.

Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 08:49:48 +1000
From:  Ecotourism Assoc Aust <meaghan@eastwind.com.au>

The entire application document is actually in the format of a questionnaire - operators must tick boxes to indicate whether their products comply with the criteria.   I would request, however, that if the NEAP document is to be used as a model for developing your own accreditation program, that the source is acknowledged (i.e. it is a copyrighted document). I think AUD $75 is about $35-$40 US dollars - although you would need to check current exchange rates to get an exact conversion rate. Good luck with your project.

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Kiskeya Destinación Alternativa
Turismo sostenible y comercio electrónico, proyecto piloto de
Fundación Taigüey.
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 http://kiskeya-alternative.org/certif/refer-certif-eng.html   |   updated August 23 1999