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It is essential to inform tourists in a positive way about sustainability efforts by making people aware that environmental quality means quality tourism experience. Environmental quality should be associated with positive feelings and experiences, such as: small-scale, quality service, personal relations, traditions, intact and protected nature, rest, modern lifestyle and healthy (organic) and local food.

Quality and environment are naturally two sides of the same coin: eco-labelled products provide good quality service and quality products should respect the environment. Eco-labelled products are "Quality +" products.

Example
Communication efforts of VISIT

The European VISIT initiative developed its own communication strategy for environmental quality in tourism. In 2002, the UN Year of Eco-tourism, the VISIT image campaign was launched under the motto: "Caring for the Environment … is caring for the Visitor". This slogan connects environmental quality with the quality of the product and experiences. The pictures combine the "visitor" with the "environmental quality". The short text raises awareness and can easily be understood and accepted. Published in many languages the slogan contributes to raise the overall awareness of the issues and the image of eco-labels complying with the VISIT standard. It is complementary to individual promotional activities on a national level or with focus on specific target groups. It is an ongoing process to disseminate this message in strong collaboration with print and online media at international travel fairs and conferences in tour operatorsí catalogues and brochures. In brochures and websites of the VISIT eco-labels and on VISIT publications (see also the back of this publication).

The VISIT Holiday Guide was launched in 2003 under the motto "Your visit makes the difference". It is available online in English, German and Dutch. It provides a detailed and structured description of more than 1,000 hotels, bed & breakfasts, holiday houses, youth hostels, camping sites and restaurants. This combined with attractive pictures as added value to their environmental certificate they all offer a 'Plus' in quality. For the first time ever consumers can find appropriate environmentally-friendly accommodation for their next holiday just by clicking on holiday destinations on the map of Europe.

The NGO Friends of Nature International highlights the VISIT Holiday Guide in their online information service on environmentally-friendly tourism: www.eco-tour.org

 


 


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