Title: Encouraging Environmentally and Socially Responsible Practices Through Well-designed Certification: A Case Study of the Camping and Caravan Industry, Australia
Journal Title: Tourism Recreation Research
Volume: Volume 29
Issue: Issue 3
Publication Date: January 2004
Start Page: 39
End Page: 49
Published online: 12 Jan 2015
Author: Michelle Desailly honours studenta, Robyn Bushell Professor and Head of Tourism for Healthy Futuresa, Jenny Scott Post-doctoral Researchera, Bruce Simmons Senior Lecturera, Corazon Sinha Senior Lecturera & Barry Baillie CEOb
a School of Environment and Agriculture, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1979, Penrith South DC 1797, NSW, Australia.
b Camping & Caravan Industry Association of NSW Ltd., Australia.
Abstract: The tourism industry has developed a range of voluntary initiatives such as Certification programmes as a means to improving environmental performance. The plethora of programmes and their criteria, benchmarks, monitoring and assessment methods raise questions of credibility. A WTO study conducted in 2001 revealed over 7,000 certified products worldwide. Of 500 voluntary initiatives examined, only 59 Certification/ecolabel programmes had the basic requirements of a credible programme. This study produced a series of recommendations to improve the effectiveness of these initiatives. This article highlights how a major Certification initiative for the New South Wales Camping and Caravan Industry Association (CCIA), Australia uses the critical elements from UNEP, WTO publications, the Mohonk Agreement, Certification programmes, practitioners and tourism operators worldwide to produce a programme that is more effective, efficient and credible. It specifically focuses on how the new ‘Gumnut Award’ has tailored the programme to the needs of the industry, and that the fundamental process of stakeholder involvement is crucial to the success of any quality assurance programme. Engagement with stakeholders provides a greater understanding of their needs, attitudes and barriers to implementation and their willingness to participate, resulting in a more effective mode of delivery. CCIA NSW acknowledged the significant social, cultural, ecological and economic impacts on local communities. With an exceptionally high uptake by the industry to date, this paper benchmarks this programme against current best practice.
Accepted: 20 Aug 2004
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