Certification & Market Studies

The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics 2017

CREST's 2017 annual meta-analysis is a special edition, structured around the UNWTO's five pillars of the UN's International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development: 1) inclusive and sustainable economic growth; 2) social inclusiveness, employment, and poverty reduction; 3) resource efficiency, environmental protection, and climate change adaptation and mitigation; 4) respect for cultural values, diversity, and heritage; and 5) mutual understanding, peace, and security. The report highlights the need for success of tourism to be measured in increased retention of tourism revenue in the destination and the equitable distribution of tourism earnings to better economic, social, and environmental conditions. The report was prepared in collaboration with 25 leading tourism organizations and institutions.

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Sustainable Tourism Initiatives & Resources

Throughout the tourism industry, there are many initiatives and advocacy campaigns that promote best practices, codes of conduct, and certification programs, all designed to help deepen our understanding of, and commitment to, sustainable travel. In 2017, CREST with the assistance of UN Environment have produced a resource package that contains valuable information for tourism-related businesses and travelers.

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Sinaloa Sur Initiative for Competitive and Sustainable Tourism

With the assistance of two expert consultants from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and a Sinaloa-based tourism expert, CREST carried out a sustainability assessment, based on GSTC methods and criteria, of 5 municipalities in Sinaloa Sur. This region has been earmarked for sustainable and competitive tourism development. This was the third phase of an extensive sustainable tourism development project for CREST in Sinaloa and was completed in 2016.

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The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics 2016

This 2016 version of CREST's annual study demonstrates that the growth of responsible tourism continues to outpace growth of the tourism industry as a whole. In addition, the 2016 report concludes that "the social and environmental imperative for responsible travel" is being spurred, in part, by the twin crises of wealth inequality and climate change. The report was prepared in collaboration with 16 leading tourism organizations and institutions.

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Market Analysis of Bird-Based Tourism: A Focus on the U.S. Market to Latin American and the Caribbean

CREST released a 2015 study, Market Analysis of Bird-Based Tourism: A Focus on the U.S. Market to Latin American and the Caribbean, which analyzes bird-based tourism market statistics and presents the economic value of bird tourism in four countries: Belize, Guatemala, The Bahamas, and Paraguay. This study was commissioned by the National Audubon Society and financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)'s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF).

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The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics 2015

The 2015 version of CREST's popular annual report, "The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics" includes a meta-analysis of consumer and industry demand for responsible tourism, drawn from surveys, polls, and market studies over the last five years. It is endorsed by 11 leading tourism organizations and institutions, including the United Nations Environment Programme and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

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Economic Impact of Bear Viewing and Bear Hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia

CREST's 2014 study, "The Economic Impact of Bear Viewing and Bear Hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia," finds that bear viewing tourism generates 12 times more in visitor spending than trophy bear hunting. This study is the first to compare the economic value of these two sectors and comes in the midst of public controversy over trophy bear hunting. First Nation peoples have called for a ban on hunting, while the government continues to issue licenses.

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The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics 2014

CREST published the 2nd annual edition of its popular factsheet, Responsible Travel Industry: Trends and Statistics 2014 which reviews a wide range of surveys and studies done in the past 5 years. Released in March, "Trends and Statistics" was endorsed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and eight other leading tourism organizations.

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Skyviews Eco-Labeling Program in the Caribbean

The Barbados-based tourist map company Skyviews Inc. worked with CREST in 2014 to develop a new eco-labeling program to encourage their clients to be more sustainable. The voluntary program measures and rates the sustainability performance of tourism businesses against a number of international best-practice criteria. The program enables all businesses to measure their progress towards sustainability and earn eco-labels on the maps in five categories: energy, waste, water, social governance & biodiversity.

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The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics 2013

CREST's 1st edition of "Responsible Travel Industry: Trends and Statistics" makes a case for why responsible travel should be a priority for both businesses and destinations alike. This widely used publication which is endorsed by eight leading international tourism organizations, including the United Nations World Tourism Organization, examines scores of surveys and studies done in the past five years to assess commitment to responsible travel.

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The Market for Responsible Tourism Products with a special focus on Latin America and Nepal

This 2009 report, commissioned by SNV Nepal, provides market data and effective marketing strategies to assist tourism businesses and networks in Nepal and six Latin American countries (Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru) where SNV is involved in initiatives to strengthen responsible tourism. The report is a useful guide for managers of sustainable tourism businesses and Destination Management Organizations seeking to attract conscientious consumers.

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Global Trends in Coastal Tourism

In 2007, CREST was commissioned by the Marine Program of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to analyze the current global trends in coastal tourism. The goal was to test WWF's working hypothesis about the main drivers behind coastal and marine tourism and to propose interventions that would be most useful, should WWF develop a new tourism program to address the threats that coastal tourism development poses to biodiversity conservation and the well-being of destination communities.

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Consumer Demand and Operator Support for Socially and Environmentally Responsible Ecotourism

Despite recent setbacks to the international tourism industry, including economic recession, disease outbreaks, and terrorist attacks, consumers and travel companies show strong support for responsible tourism. Through a survey of recent studies of tourists and tour operators in the US, Europe, Costa Rica, and Australia, this 2005 report shows that many consumers are willing to pay more for ethical practices, contribute to community projects, and support tourism certification programs.

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Ecotourism Handbooks on Certification

CREST (then CESD), in collaboration with Rainforest Alliance and The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), produced several handbooks in 2005 on the topic of ecotourism and certification. The focus of the handbooks is to show how tourism certification can be made into a reliable and useful tool for the tourism industry and its consumers. Although the handbooks are focused on the Americas, many relevant examples are incorporated from sites and certification programs worldwide.

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Giving a Grade to Costa Rica's Green Tourism

In this 2003 article, Martha Honey explains the history of ecotourism in Costa Rica. Ecotourism has become part of a Costa Rican self-identity. However, the ecotourism label is also slapped on "greenwashed" scams, but two certification programs help tourists find the real thing. Costa Rica contains scores of genuine ecotourism businesses that are working hard to be low impact, good environmental stewards, socially responsible, culturally respectful, and beneficial to surrounding communities.

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Protecting Eden: Setting Green Standards for the Tourism Industry

This 2003 Environment Magazine article by CREST's Martha Honey looks at the global environmental movement and how mounting concerns over the negative effects of conventional tourism -such as the loss of habitats and endangered wildlife- have given rise to the concept of ecotourism. She looks at issues with current certification programs and acknowledges the growing consensus over the need for an accreditation body to help assess and standardize these certification programs.

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