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Sustainability Benchmarking and Reporting

Evaluating a destination’s performance is not only concerned with visitor statistics and economic value. Achieving sustainable tourism development in a destination requires consideration of the triple bottom line, the economic, social and environmental impacts generated by tourism. Measuring a destination’s economic, environmental and social footprint and monitoring its impacts over time allows for the development of a decision-making framework to achieve sustainable development in a destination.Read more
Evaluating a destination’s performance is not only concerned with visitor statistics and economic value. Achieving sustainable tourism development in a destination requires consideration of the triple bottom line, the economic, social and environmental impacts generated by tourism. Measuring a destination’s economic, environmental and social footprint and monitoring its impacts over time allows for the development of a decision-making framework to achieve sustainable development in a destination.


Sustainability Indicators

A performance monitoring program based on a defined set of sustainability indicators provides a framework to review and monitor economic, social and environmental impacts. An agreed set of performance indicators provides for measurement and monitoring over time, allowing for comparison on past performance and against other destinations and reporting on achievements. Based on extensive research and scientific expertise, the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC) developed the Earthcheck sustainability indicators for a wide range of tourism industry sectors and communities.


Benchmarking and Reporting

Destination Management Tip

Using an environmental certification program that allows for benchmarking and third party auditing provides a strong basis on which a destination or business can promote their sustainability achievements.

Using indicators to benchmark performance against best practice provides the basis for identifying strategies to improve performance and enhance competitiveness. The suite of Earthcheck indicators produced by the STCRC were developed with baseline and best practice standards for each indicator based on extensive global research. These standards allow for tracking a destination’s performance over time and comparing results with desired performance levels. Reporting on sustainability performance to all stakeholders is also important in promoting a destination’s sustainability achievements and credentials.


Accreditation Programs

Environmental and sustainability certification programs provide destinations with an opportunity to make a long-term commitment to sustainable tourism development. There are a wide range of accreditation and certification programs available at an business operations level, however there are currently few available at a regional or destination level. The EarthCheck Benchmarking and Certification Program (previously known as Green Globe Asia Pacific), based on the Earthcheck indicators, provides destinations and communities with an opportunity to measure and manage their sustainability footprint. Destinations can benchmark results against industry best practice, produce benchmarking reports and achieve certification for performance. The community of Kaikoura in New Zealand is a best practice case study of a destination that has taken a proactive approach to sustainability performance improvement through their commitment to the Green Globe Asia Pacific Community Standard.


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