THE TOURISM INDUSTRY
7.1 TOUR OPERATORS
Guidelines for tour operators
Four case studies
Hotels, resorts, & other lodging facilities
Hotel site selection & design
Hotel management practices: water, energy, waste
Off-site activities & community relations
7.3 CRUISE SHIPS
Growth of the cruise industry
Waste discharge & other environmental issues
The cruise industry as a source of funding & support
7.4 RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
Guidelines for boating, snorkeling/diving, and wildlife viewing
7.5 SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAINS
Benefits of using sustainable supply chains
The majority of the following material is excerpted or modified from:
Christ, Costas, Oliver Hillel, Seleni Matus, and Jamie Sweeting. 2003. Tourism and
Biodiversity, Mapping Tourism’s Global Footprint. Conservation International and
UNEP, Washington, DC, USA.
Drumm, Andy. Alan Moore, Andrew Sales, Carol Patterson, and John E. Terborgh.
Volume II. The Business of Ecotourism Development and Management. The Nature
Conservancy, Arlington, Virginia, USA, 2004.
From Ship To Shore: Sustainable Stewardship in Cruise Destinations. 2006. The
Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, & Conservation International.
International Hotels Environment Initiative, website, www.ihei.org, 2006.
Small Tourism Enterprises Project (STEP) Toolkit Series - Small Hotels. Water
Conservation, Energy Conservation, Waste Management, and Wastewater
Sweeting, James E. & Amy Rosenfeld Sweeting. 2004. A Practical Guide to Good
Practice: Managing Environmental and Social Issues in the Accommodations Sector.
The Center for Environmental Leadership in Business & The Tour Operators’
Tanzania Ministry of Natural Resources & Tourism. 2003. Guidelines for Coastal
Tourism Development in Tanzania. Tanzania Coastal Management Partnership.
The Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development, 2004. Supply
Chain Engagement for Tour Operators: Three Steps Toward Sustainability.
The involvement of the tourism industry is essential for sustainable tourism to succeed.
Tour operators, hotels, cruise ships, and recreational activity providers can all make
substantial differences by using environmentally sound management practices.
The tourism industry is multifaceted and consists of a large variety of tour operators, hotel
operators, cruise ships and recreational activity providers. For tourism to be carried out in a
sustainable manner, representatives of all of these industries need to be contacted and included
in the planning process.
Tour operators can have a particularly large impact since they influence tourists’ choices to go to
a particular destination, and they contract with many other operators (hotels, recreation, etc.).
Tour operators who run their own tours can make a big impact by hiring local guides, limiting
group size, and including educational messages. Tour operators can also develop a “sustainable
supply chain” of providers who adhere to sustainable practices.
Hotel design, location, and landscaping all will affect the ultimate impact of the hotel on coastal
and marine resources. Once constructed, a hotel’s daily management practices for water use,
energy use, wastewater treatment and solid waste can all contribute substantially to preserving
the local environment, and building ties with the local community, while at the same time saving
money for the hotel operator and enhancing the tourist experience. Cruise ships have particular
impacts at ports and via waste dumping at sea, and off-ship excursions by the tourists can affect
coastal and marine areas. Recreational activity providers are at the forefront of tourists interacting
with the environment, and can directly act to minimize damage to coral reefs, harassment of
wildlife, and other impacts by educating staff and tourists.
Understand the role of all segments of the tourism industry in contributing to sustainable
Become familiar with environmentally sound management practices for tour operators, hotels,
cruise ships & recreational activity providers
Develop guidelines for hotels, cruise ships, and recreation in your MPA
Understand trade-offs of supply chain standards
Understand the relationship between economic efficiencies and conservation
Handout 7.1 - Tour Operators’ Initiative Pamphlet
In the last module we focused on the role of the local community in sustainable tourism planning
and management. Today we will focus on another major group of stakeholders: the tourism
industry itself. Engagement of the tourism industry is key for the success of any sustainable
tourism plan. The tourism industry is primarily responsible for the siting and design of tourist
facilities, the environmental impacts of those facilities in water, energy, and waste outflow, the
type of local jobs and treatment of local employees, the types of activities offered to tourists and
environmental impact of the tours, and, ultimately, the tourists’ choice of destination. However,
the tourism industry is not a single entity. It is composed of a multitude of small and large
businesses, engaged in very different enterprises. The needs, viewpoints, and impacts of all the
different sectors of the tourist industry should be considered, to the extent practicable.
In this section we consider the role of tour operators. Later today we will look at three other major
segments of the tour industry: hotels, cruise ships and recreational activity providers. Whether or
not these tourism sectors impact your MPA right now, they likely affect nearby communities and
may encroach on your MPA in the future. For effective long-term planning, it is important to
understand all of the environmental impacts of all sectors of the tourism industry, both within and
outside the MPA.
Sustainable Tourism Guidelines for Tour Operators
Tour operators are in a key position to have enormous impacts on tourists’ choice of destination
and of the type of tours and activities that are promoted for a certain area. Many tour operators
are already part of voluntary initiatives to promote sustainable tourism (for example, the Tourism
Operators’ Initiative, www.toinitiative.org). Promotion of sustainable tourism makes good business
sense in the long run for tour operators, because sustainable tourism can be carried on
indefinitely without degradation of the tourist attractions, and in addition, tourists are often more
satisfied with their experience and are more likely to bring repeat business to the tour operator.
Tour operators can make great impacts via their own management practices. Operators
who run their own tours can follow the management guidelines such as those listed below. Tour
operators who sub-contract to other providers can use sustainable supply chains (to be discussed
more later today) to ensure and encourage sustainable practices by every provider, contractor
and supplier involved in the tour experience.
Tour operators can also help monitor the ongoing success of a sustainable tourism
operation in an area, by surveying tourists after their visits to ask them about such issues as
pollution, damaged habitats, poverty, etc. If the local authorities are alerted by tour operators that
tourists have negative perceptions about the destination, they may be encouraged to address the
7.1 THE ROLE OF TOUR OPERATORS
Some management guidelines for tour operators:
destinations to take tourists to. They may not be aware of the environmental vulnerability
of certain destinations, or about other more sustainable destinations that may be just as,
or more, attractive to tourists. Throughout the assessment process, the MPA manager,
local community, and tour operators can all help inform each other about which
destinations to focus on.
vulnerable to tourist-caused damage or tourist-associated construction. Tour operators
need to be alerted to which environments locally are most sensitive, such as mangrove
forests and coral reefs (we will discuss these more in the recreational activity section).
visitor group size is limited. Though this reduces client numbers per tour, tourists often
appreciate the more intimate experience and personalized attention of smaller groups
and less crowded environments, and are typically willing to pay more for the tour.
local guides & suppliers should be used. This may require guide-training programs in
such areas as history, wildlife biology, botany and languages. Guide quality is often
ranked by tourists as the most important feature of a nature tour.
When using local staff, it is essential to pay staff fairly and treat them well.
handing out brochures and/or having guides describe the conservation and cultural
issues of the local area. Most tourists want to learn about the local environment and
culture, especially if the information is presented in an interesting way.
of proceeds to local conservation activities and to local community needs such as
schools, clinics, etc., and can set an example by using conservation measures in their
own offices (recycling, etc.)
Case study 1: Eutrophication in Italy - tour operators pressuring for change
The municipalities of Rimini in Italy, located in the Mediterranean and heavily dependent on
tourism, experienced overdevelopment and environmental degradation throughout the 1970’s and
1980s. Coastal eutrophication of the Adriatic Sea led to algal blooms and heavy fish mortality in
1985, with ensuing odors and pollution causing tourism losses. The tourism industry pressured
local authorities to engage agribusinesses and hotel chains to reduce use of fertilizers and
improve waste and sewage management. The environmental improvements were accompanied
by public awareness and marketing campaigns to improve the city’s image, and visitor numbers
Case study 2: Side, Turkey - tour operators focusing on a destination
The Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Development (TOI) is a voluntary initiative by
primarily Europe-based tour operators who are seeking to encourage sustainable tourism in the
destination countries that they patronize. TOI members recognize that they cannot achieve their
sustainability goals without working in partnership with stakeholders in the destinations. Side, on
the southern coast of Turkey, was the first destination in which TOI members forged a partnership
with local stakeholders. TOI members and their local partners bring approximately 300,000
tourists to Side annually.
To begin, local stakeholders and TOI members were interviewed for their opinions on key
sustainability issues. These interviews were followed by a workshop in 2002, organized by one of
the TOI members (Vasco Travel) and TUDER, the local hotel association. The meeting was
attended by the mayor of Side, the local chamber of commerce, local hotel owners, local tour
operators, and local travel agencies; representatives of WWF Turkey, UNEP, UNESCP, and
WTO; and TOI members. This is a good example of the mix of stakeholders that should be
included at planning meetings.
The meeting gave the opportunity for all members to share their views. They agreed on the
importance of a continued dialogue between tour operators and local stakeholders, and agreed
on three priority issues:
During follow-up meetings, a detailed plan of action was developed and a locally based
coordinator was appointed, financed by the Side administration and by TUDER, the local hotel
association. In the two years since, activities included design and implementation of waste
separation schemes, coordination with recycling companies to schedule pick-ups of recyclable
waste at local hotels, placement of used-battery containers in hotels and schools, and training
sessions on solid waste management and recycling for managers and staff at hotels, restaurants,
sanitation workers. Over 100 hotels and all local shops and restaurants now participate in the
scheme. Data are promising: 276 tons of inorganic waste and 11,978 batteries were collected,
and a new land fill was approved and is under construction.
Note that in this example, tour operators and local representatives together identified on a very
specific issue - waste management - and then took concrete, practical steps to improve waste
management throughout the town.
Case study 3: Peru Treks & Adventure - the impact of a local operator
One of the most popular tourist destinations in all of the Americas is the ancient Incan city of
Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes. Over the last twenty years, the 4-day “Inca Trail” hike from
Cuzco through the Andes to Machu Picchu has become extraordinarily popular. It is perhaps the
most popular overnight hike in the Western Hemisphere, and offers an interesting example of a
carrying capacity problem because massive numbers of tourists overwhelm the limited resource,
but the local operator can make an important contribution towards solving it. Though this
tourist example is in a mountain rather than marine environment, the general principles, of
carrying capacity and fair treatment of local staff, are applicable to marine environments as well.
The main message of this example is the attention a local tour operator can give to fair treatment
of local staff, and contributions to the local community. See the accompanying handout for
Handout 7.2 - Peru Treks & Adventure
Case study 4: Lastovo - developing a small island destination
WWF and TOI have forged a partnership to support biodiversity conservation in areas of highvolume
tourism. In 2004, they sponsored a joint workshop for sustainable tourism in sensitive
marine areas. Both WWF and TOI share concerns over the environmental effects of tourism at
popular coastal destinations. Negative effects include hotel construction which infringes
environmental guidelines and causes destruction of important habitats, while increased
sedimentation from surface-water outflows via rivers and drains can damage warm-water corals,
which are particularly sensitive to water clarity levels.
At the same time, it was appreciated that not all adverse impacts on sensitive marine biotopes
are caused by tourism, and that the passengers handled by high-volume tour operators are not
the sole cause of tourism-related impacts. In particular, it was noted that with the availability of
cheap, Internet-booked flights and an increasingly sophisticated traveling public, FITs ("free,
independent travelers") make up an increasingly large segment of the total market, while certain
important niche markets for marine tourism (particularly dive tourism) have an especially high
proportion of FITs. Furthermore, a significant proportion of visitors to coastal destinations are
domestic tourists, originating from within the destination country, and statistics for this group are
often either non-existent or unreliable. The attitudes and behavior of these categories of travelers
are clearly not susceptible to influence through international tour operators, and will need to be
tackled through other channels.
As the first 'pilot project' the partners selected the island of Lastovo, on the Dalmatian coast of
Croatia, which has been proposed as a Marine Protected Area to the Croatian government. In
September 2005 a 'Sustainable Tourism Day' was organized on the island of Lastovo for the local
community. Participants included over 30 representatives of the local community. The TOI team
was composed by representatives of Aurinkomatkat, LTU Touristik, TUI AG and First
Choice/Sunsail. WWF Germany, representing the WWF International tourism network, the
Mediterranean Program and SUNCE also participated as main organizers.
Recommendations from this meeting included:
incoming agent would then coordinate all the elements, including private apartment
rentals, hotel, bars, restaurants, car and bicycle rental, dive operators, as well as
providers of agricultural and fisheries products into a tourism package, and then sell it to
outbound tour operators. The outbound operators would find this much more efficient
than having to deal with individual small operators.
with each segment having different and often conflicting requirements. The segments
include sun & beach; fun & action; nature & outdoor; culture & education; families;
traditional repeat tourists; and individualists. Rather than trying to serve them all, which
would be a mistake given the island’s small size, define which groups can be best served
by the unique attractions of Lastovo.
and safety criteria, for comfort as well as environmental reasons.
for the island. This could be improved by the establishment of mooring buoys, which will
also prevent damage to the sea bed. In general yachters will be willing to pay for this.
Rubbish removal service can be offered as part of the mooring fee, as well as providing
good local food, nature and cultural excursions, and cultural events.
international levels. It is therefore important to define what would make Lastovo unique.
industry is the assessment and improvement of the island’s fresh water supply, waste
water management, sewage water treatment etc.
that , in their experience, areas that are declared protected typically experience an
increase in tourism. Tour operators therefore strongly support conservation, and in
particular the establishment of protected areas when necessary, as this will preserve the
tourism industry in the long term.
Exercise: Assess the impact of tour operators in & near your MPA
Working in small groups, develop a list of tour operators, inbound (local) or outbound
(international), who send tourists to your area. Are guided tours common in your area, and if so,
are local guides used? If not, why not? What do tour groups do in your area? Could group size be
limited? Are local tour operators aware of environmental and sustainability issues? Are they
aware of the existence of the MPA, and do they make use of it?
Handout 7.3 - Hotel Water, Wastewater, Waste & Energy
Handout 7.4 - Hotel Planning Principles & Checklists
Hotels, resorts and other lodging facilities
Lodging facilities are the tourism industry’s main local job generators, and the main users of local
resources such as water, energy and land. They require significant infrastructure (roads, energy,
water and sewage facilities). They are the cornerstone of coastal tourism, because without
adequate accommodation, very few tourists will visit coastal areas, particularly rural coastal
Most hotels are independently owned, medium-scale enterprises. Since hoteliers have invested
their assets in a particular site, they have a particularly strong stake in the long-term sustainability
of the surrounding environment. In addition, most management practices that will reduce a
hotel’s environmental impacts will also immediately reduce its utility costs. For both
reasons, the hotel industry is often very active in community outreach and in social and
environmental sustainability, and hotel owners are often very willing to participate in sustainable
Hotel site selection & design
A primary initial step in a hotel’s impact on the environment is simply where it is located. MPA
managers may become involved in this process if hotels are to be sited in or near the MPA. Site
selection by resort developers usually involves simply finding a spot along the shoreline where
guests can have quick, easy access to the beach and scenic views of the sea. However,
available infrastructure, sewage treatment, water supplies, etc., may not be sufficient to support
the site. Some guidelines for good site selection:
particularly aware of beach erosion (we will discuss this more tomorrow).
use that area for fishing, etc.
protect structures from wave action, protect shorelines from erosion, and ensure free
access for local residents to and along the beach.
Once the general site has been selected, a detailed site plan should be drawn showing the exact
location of all facilities (reception areas, guest rooms, swimming pools, parking areas, etc.). This
will help with planning for:
Although some tourism developers feel setbacks decrease their establishment’s desirability
tourists, there are several advantages to having setbacks in place. In a resort or tourist area, the
land between development and the beach can be enhanced and provide attractions to tourists.
Many tourists come from countries where they have to spend months indoors avoiding the cold.
When they travel to the tropics, they want to spend as much time as possible outside. The beach
will always be an attraction, but open, landscaped spaces away from the water can be equally as
appealing in providing:
Landscaping and vegetation add to a visitors’ sense of place. Native plants and trees provide a
sense of “getting away” for tourists, who often become quite interested in tropical flowers, palms,
and birds. Vegetation also provides shade from the sun, helps minimize erosion, provides privacy
barriers between guests, and can even filter wastewater. Shading of lodgings by shrubs and trees
can often reduce air conditioning energy use by about 20%.
Typically, developers completely clear vegetation during the construction process. Evaluate soil,
water conditions and suitable plant species before final site selection. During construction, retain
as much of the original vegetation as possible, and plant additional vegetation when construction
is finished, paying particularly attention to using drought-resistant vegetation where possible,
grouping plants with high-water needs together, and planting shade trees where they will shade
guest areas (patios, etc.) during the hot mid-day sun.. Those areas that do require irrigation
should be irrigated during the cool hours of late evening, night, or early morning, and irrigation
should be designed to water just the plants, not concrete walkways and roads.
Hotel management practices
Once operational, a hotel can both save money and benefit the local environment with careful
management of water & energy use, and environmentally sound policies for treatment of
wastewater and solid waste (garbage). Simple changes in policy and staff training can produce
cost-savings and benefit the coastal environment immediately. Other improvements may require
investments in cost-effective appliances and repairs; these will typically pay for themselves within
3 months to a year, with further savings accruing in subsequent years. Overall, hotels usually
will reduce their utility costs by about 20-30% by using environmentally sound
Though it is not expected than an MPA manager will need to operate a hotel, MPA managers
should be aware of the ways in which hotel management contributes to environmental impacts
along the coast, and able to steer interested local hoteliers toward good information. Hotels that
wish to implement best management practices should be encouraged to begin with a thorough
evaluation of the hotel’s current usage and policy, resulting in a detailed list of specific desired
changes. The ideas below are excerpted from the “Toolkit” series from the Small Tourism
Enterprises Project (STEP) in the Caribbean.
Tourist hotels require vast amounts of water for bathing, housekeeping, cooking, laundry,
landscaping and swimming pools. Tourist consumption of water is usually many times higher than
that of the local people. Studies show that in most hotels, a tourist will use between 40-100 US
gallons of water per day. This can result in water shortages and degradation of water supplies, as
well as increased wastewater discharge. The problem is particularly acute in hot, dry countries,
where available resources can be in short supply, yet tourist demands on water (for swimming
pools, showers, etc.) are high because of the climate. At large resorts, golf course irrigation can
be a particular problem. An average golf course soaks up at least 525,000 gallons of water per
day, which can severely affect fresh water availability in certain areas.
Water sources should be identified during site selection. Water wells may be needed; as a
general guideline, place them away from the beach to minimize salt water contamination, and
away from the hotel’s septic tanks. (Detailed well and septic tank placement guidelines can be
found in the “Guidelines for Coastal Tourism Development in Tanzania” (2001); see citation at
beginning of this module.)
Water conservation is an easy win-win step for hotels to take, as it immediately reduces water
costs. Small hotels often can reduce water use by 1/3 with simple steps such as:
while hands are occupied. These usually pay for themselves in 3-12 months.
See the “Water Conservation” handout from the STEP series for details & more ideas.
Case Study: Resort Impacts in Pulau Redang, Malaysia
Before development on the island of Pulau Redang, Malaysia, an environmental impact
assessment predicted that major resort development would result in depletion of freshwater
supplies, slope erosion and the destruction of the surrounding coral reef (marine park). Although
the EIA recommended significantly limiting development and placing restrictions on building in
steep areas, these recommendations were ignored and major resorts were developed, not
surprisingly causing the predicted impacts. Freshwater resources on the island have been
overused, resulting in saltwater intrusion and contamination and forcing the government to
propose an expensive water pipeline from the mainland to meet tourists’ needs. Furthermore,
slope erosion has destroyed terrestrial ecosystems and choked the surrounding reef, resulting in
significant species loss, the clouding of previously clear waters and a decline in the quality of the tourism product.
Source: Sustainable Coastal Tourism Handbook for the Philippines, 2002
Case Study: Undetected leaks
Hotels lose an astonishing amount of water, and money, to undetected leaks, particularly leaky
toilets. On average, 40% of hotel toilets have leaks and other water-related problems. A typical
case: a water conservation check at a 35-room hotel in the Caribbean found three malfunctioning
toilets that together wasted 3900 gallons or US$41 per day. These three toilets alone accounted
for 40% of the hotel’s water consumption. They were fixed by adjusting the position of two of the
floats and replacing one damaged flapper valve; the repairs took 15 minutes and US$5 worth of
parts. Other cases: A defective drain valve on a washing machine at another hotel was costing
US$6000 per year of wasted water. A third hotel had a large underground leak that had gone
undetected for a week because nobody was checking the water meter daily. During that one
week the leak wasted US$1700 of water. (Source: STEP Toolkit series, “Water Conservation”)
Leaks can only be fixed if they are detected. This simply requires daily checking of water meters,
and instructing staff to report leaks promptly.
Case Study: Simple water conservation steps reduce costs
Treasure Beach Hotel, Barbados, adopted these changes and immediately reduced water use by 10%:
Wastewater treatment facilities are often virtually non-existent along rural coasts, and tourist
developments will usually need their own septic tanks or other waste treatment systems. Care
should be taken in the design and placement of the septic systems, particularly with regard to
sources of freshwater; see the accompanying handouts for details.
Handout 7.5 - Septic Systems
Handout 7.6 – Water Wells
Wastewater is simply any water that has been used and is no longer pure. It includes human
sewage from toilets, scraps and grease from kitchen sinks, and “graywater” (water that has been
used, but that does not include toilet waste or kitchen waste. It usually has been used for washing
- in sinks, tubs, showers, or laundries - and appears gray). Wastewater also includes industrial
wastewater from factories, shops, etc.; and storm water, flood water, etc that enters the water
system through the soil or drains.
Wastewater is often overlooked by hotels, often because of a lack of understanding of potential
problems, a lack of appreciation of the need for continual maintenance and monitoring of sewage
equipment, as well as by a tendency to consider wastewater treatment a “menial” task to be
delegated to lower-level staff.
A particular problem in tropical resorts is poorly treated or non-treated wastewater, particularly
raw sewage, polluting beaches and coral reefs. This can cause growth of seaweed and algae that
can smother the coral reefs, can create foul smells on beaches, and can spread disease. To
avoid this problem, most coastal hotels need their own septic tanks. Many do have them, but may
not appreciate the need to site them correctly, and monitor the tanks and outflow field for
blockages. Another common problem in small hotels is the excessive grease from kitchens and
cleaners, which can clog septic systems.
Some management tips:
correctly and is safe for animals and children.
in the septic tank and slow the septic process of waste filtration.
In many tropical resort areas, hotels and resorts produce more solid waste (garbage, trash, etc.)
than all the local residents combined. In some cases, poor waste management results in garbage
washing up onto the beaches and contaminating the coastal waters, threatening the very
attractions that lure visitors.
The cleanliness of beaches can be a major factor in tourists’ decisions
to return to the area, or to recommend the area to others.
Other costs of poor waste management include: odors, infestation by rats and other vermin and
their associated diseases, pools of stagnant water that breed mosquitoes and their associated
diseases (dengue fever, etc.), physical injury to workers & guests, and fire hazards.
Improved waste management is beneficial to fragile coastal ecosystems, and protects the natural
beauty that tourists and locals both enjoy. In addition, hotels can save on manpower for waste
hauling and landfill tipping, can gain revenue from recyclables, can reduce insect, rodent and firehazard
issues, improve community relations and increase guest satisfaction.
Reduce, Re-use, Recycle
Most waste can be enormously reduced with the simple guidelines of “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.”
Reduce: minimize use of unnecessary packaging, plastic bags and other disposable
items; use cost-effective home-made alternatives to harsh glass cleaners, pesticides,
etc.; buy supplies in bulk; provide coffee mugs instead of paper coffee cups; etc.
Re-use all possible items (scrap paper for notes, scrap lumber, etc.); donate old furniture
and soap ends to the local community for re-use; etc.
Recycle all possible materials such as paper, plastics, aluminum and glass. In rural
communities, recycling capacity is often low, but local communities and governments
may be able to start simple recycling schemes. Organic garden and kitchen waste
can be composted for use as garden fertilizer (typically, about 60% of hotel solid
waste is organic waste.). Buy products made from recycled materials whenever
Case studies: Simple steps to reduce solid waste at 2 resorts
Concordia Eco-Tents (US Virgin Islands) implemented these changes:
they are available to incoming guests.
Casuarina Beach Club (Barbados) implemented these changes:
restricted. Reusable plastic glasses are also used in preference to disposables.
plastic bags used when necessary. Garbage bags are replaced only when soiled and
reusable cloth bags are available in the hotel’s Mini-Mart.
given away to the needy.
At a typical small tropical hotel, guestrooms use approximately 40% of energy use. The majority
of this is air conditioning. In such hotels, an investment of approximately US$20-30 per room
in energy conservation will usually yield an annual savings of US$100 per room.
Investments in solar and wind power, while requiring a considerable investment up-front, may
result in large long-term savings as well.
Note the high energy use by guestrooms - primarily air-conditioning.
Simple steps to take include:
the guest is not there; turn off AC while cleaning.
belts, cleaning filters, repairing ducts, etc.) will often result in a 20% energy savings
Off-site activities & community relations
Hotels should, obviously, always seek to maintain good relations with the local community. The
most important aspect is simply to maintain open lines of communication from the beginning. Use
local employees and local materials whenever possible. Hotels can also work with local
communities to identify sources of locally produced supplies and also handicrafts and artwork.
Training may assist local villages in producing particular handicrafts that will be marketable to
tourists. Hotels can assist local people in developing village or cultural tours. This helps create a
comprehensive tourism destination that can only improve the business prospects of the hotel in
Hotels are the base from which a tourist engages in other nearby activities, such as water
recreation, tours, shopping at local markets, etc. It is the responsibility of all stakeholders,
including the local hotel management, local authorities and villages, to ensure that these
excursions are positive ones, for the locals and the tourists alike. Guiding principles:
Exercise: Develop hotel guidelines for your MPA
wastewater, and garbage practices of local hotels in your area? If not, how could you find out?
What would be the most effective way in your area to encourage local hotels to implement
environmentally sound management? Are there other important practices, besides the ones listed
below, that you think would benefit your area?
and management practices for hotels in your area.
Growth of the cruise industry
Since 1980, the cruise ship industry has grown annually at a rate of 8.4% - nearly twice as fast as
tourism in general. It is expected to continuing growing at this rate throughout this decade. Much
of this growth has occurred as cruise lines redefined their market from being exclusive journeys to
being entertaining vacations for everyone.
Year Number of passengers worldwide
1998 9.5 million
2010 14.2 million (estimate)
Most cruise business worldwide focuses on Alaska and the Caribbean, but cruises occur
worldwide. The Panama Canal zone also is experiencing a sharp upswing in cruise business, and cruise lines are constantly looking for new attractions. Many cruise lines are currently advertising
a Panama Canal transit, and hence are exploring possible activities and destinations for cruise
ships on the Pacific side of the canal. MPA managers should keep aware of the locations of the
nearest cruise ship ports, the major cruise ports throughout the ETPS, and of any plans to build
Three major cruise line companies comprise nearly 2/3 of the market - Royal Caribbean Cruises,
(with 23 ships), Carnival Corporation (43 ships), and P&O Princess Cruises (18 ships). Though
this may sound like a relatively small fleet, each of these ships represents a floating city with
thousands of passengers, and the aggregate environmental impact can be large.
Cruise ships have large impacts at ports, where their numerous passengers disembark. Tourist
attractions, restaurants, retail shops, and shore businesses all may benefit financially by tourist
visits. Tourists may also take day trips to nearby attractions, with concomitant environmental and
cultural effects. (See the “Recreational Activities” section below for some common issues.) Cruise
lines should be encouraged to send their guests to appropriate tours run by environmentally
responsible tour operators.
Waste discharge & other environmental issues
Waste discharge has been the primary environmental concern in the cruise ship industry.
Cruise ships obviously have limited capacity to carry all their waste until they reach their home
port, and destination ports have limited incentive (and capacity) to accommodate periodic
In the last decade there have been numerous cases of cruise lines illegally dumping oily bilge
water, garbage, and other waste. In 2001, four major cruise lines were cited in Juneau, Alaska,
for illegal wastewater dumping (and another six for air pollution). For instance, in 2002, Carnival
Corporation was fined $18 million and Norwegian Cruise Line $1 million for deliberate falsification
of oily bilge-water record-books. This issue has garnered much attention recently, and, partly due
to the embarrassing publicity, all major cruise companies have responded to this issue and have
refined and developed new technologies for waste handling, bilge water treatment and other
Cruise ships produce three major types of waste:
the open ocean is capable of assimilating and dealing with human sewage through natural
bacterial action. The assimilation process is fastest when the wastewater is dispersed by being
discharged while the ship is moving fast, which is now standard procedure on all cruise lines.
Within 4-10 miles of land, sewage must be treated and disinfected before discharge. Sewage
may not be legally discharged within 4 miles of land.
generates at least two pounds of trash per day and disposes of two bottles and two cans. Much of
this waste is not biodegradable and can injure and kill marine wildlife that eat or become
entangled in lines, plastics, etc. Most of the major cruise lines have experienced embarrassing
incidents of illegal dumping, and all now have shipboard recycling programs, waste separation,
reducing use of plastics, etc.
incidents, causing oil slicks and oiling of wildlife. Oily bilge water is a by-product of
normal ship operation. Bilge water (water in the lowest part of the ship’s hull) becomes
progressively contaminated with engine oil during normal ship operation. When engines are in
operation, a large cruise ship produces approximately 8 metric tons of oily bilge water per day. To
maintain ship stability and reduce the hazards associated with oil vapors, the water must be
pumped out regularly. Ships now pass bilge water through OWS (oily water separator) devices to
remove and secure the oil before the water is pumped out to sea. The separated oil can be reused,
or disposed of on shore. All cruise lines maintain log books of oily bilge water disposal.
Some other environmental issues relevant to the cruise line industry:
Construction of cruise ship ports and related infrastructure has a significant impact on
certain coastal areas. The building and maintenance are often done by local governments in
order to attract cruise ship business. Because the cruise lines themselves do not build the ports,
the cruise lines have historically had little accountability if port construction harmed fragile
environments. The local governments, for their part, often have few resources for designing
conservation-friendly ports. Cooperation and communication between local governments, the
cruise industry, and conservation-minded communities and organizations is necessary to ensure
that ports are constructed in an environmentally sound manner, with minimal disruption to fragile
Air emissions - Cruise ships use diesel fuel, which generates air pollution that, while small
when compared to the global shipping fleet, can produce air opacity, or haze, at frequently visited
ports. In response, P&O Princess and some other small cruise lines are switching to newer
“enviro-engines” that lower emissions and eliminate haze. Cruise ships in some ports also now
shut down engines while in port, connecting to the local energy supply instead.
Ballast water is used to maintain stability on large ships. Discharge of ballast water that was
taken on board in another environment can release non-native plant and animal species. In
some locations this has caused significant environmental problems. San Francisco Bay, for
example, now has at least 212 non-native species that were introduced via ballast water, and
which have now invaded 100% of shallow-water habitats in the area.
Anchor and cable damage - Cruise ships’ large anchors and anchor cables can cause
substantial damage on coral reefs. Designated cruise ship mooring locations, as used on the
Great Barrier Reef in Australia, can help reduce this problem.
The cruise industry as a source of funding and support
Cruise lines have a large stake in supporting the sustainable tourism in the coastal areas that
they visit. Increasingly, their passengers want to see clean, healthy coastal environments, want to
learn about local communities, and want to travel with a cruise line that is environmentally
responsible. In response, many cruise lines now have diverse programs for supporting
conservation, education, research and community programs in the coastal environments that they
visit. MPA managers should be aware that cruise lines may be a potential source of
funding support for projects in their MPA and local community. Some examples are:
For example, Cunard cruise line offers a special shore excursion for its passengers in the
Panamanian port of Puerto Amador, in partnership with the Embera Indian village. This is designed to help community members maintain their unique heritage and share it with villagers.
Cruise ship passengers travel by traditional canoe to the village, where they meet members of the
Embera community who share information about their culture, crafts, and lifestyle. The
partnership not only educates visitors, but has also encouraged some members of the younger
Embera generation to maintain stronger connections with traditional aspects of their culture.
Many cruise lines also visit MPAs directly. In large MPAs, cruise lines may dock in or near the
MPA. Creation of designated cruise ship sites can limit anchor damage and streamline the
permitting and fee-collection process. Usually, arrangements are made directly with the cruise
line to collect an entrance fee for each passenger (often approximately US$4 per passenger).
Many cruise lines now have educational programs for their passengers, and some will hire local
community members to come on board for talks or short visits. For example, Holland America
Line (HAL) has a variety of programs to enhance environmental understanding among its
passengers. On all of its Alaska cruises, the company employs naturalists who give lectures and
host environmental discussion groups and bird- and whale-watching programs. Native artisans
and local tribe members are brought on board to demonstrate their skills and discuss their
For example, in Juneau, Alaska (where cruise ships have struggled with a poor image among
local residents), an association of several cruise lines works with the local community in an
environmental education program for students from local schools. The program includes tours of
ships docked in port, where students learn about the ships’ recycling, emissions, and wastewater
programs. Princess Cruises takes students to their lower deck recycling center, to see boxes
broken down, glass crushed and garbage incinerated. Celebrity Cruises includes the engine room
on its tours, to show students where emissions are monitored and teach them about gas turbines.
Holland America has provided oceanography classes to local high school students. Additional
programs are being piloted in Hawaii and elsewhere in Alaska.
Several cruise lines directly fund environmental programs in coastal parks, communities and
MPAs. Celebrity Cruises, for example, supports several conservation and community efforts in
the Galapagos, paying for a high-speed Zodiac for park members to use in patrols, and donating
to a local foundation (Fundacion Galapagos) that recycles plastics and hires local fisher people
for shore clean-ups. Celebrity Cruises also sponsors an agricultural engineer to assist local
farmers in their efforts to grow local produce, and invites local school children and teachers on
board to join the cruise and learn more about their own islands, and sponsors local programs in
sustainable hotel management.
As another example, the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund collects donations from Disney’s
cruise ship passengers for conservation, and use the donations to fund grants to non-profit
organizations for conservation projects world-wide. The fund is supporting projects on sea turtles,
conservation of the Bahamas parrot, the Jamaican Iguana Recovery Program, coral reef
preservation, etc. This fund also has a Rapid Response Fund as a source of rapid funding to
coastal communities in times of crisis, such as after hurricanes.
Exercise: Attracting cruise lines to the ETPS
the ETPS to refer to during this discussion. Do you know which cruise lines currently go in the ETPS, how often, and where their major ports are? How could you find out? Mark major cruise
line ports, if known, on the map.
in the ETPS. Based on your attractions and infrastructure inventories performed earlier, and the
cruise line ports you have just identified, are there locations that cruise lines could be visiting, but
are currently not visiting? Would the environmental and cultural benefits outweigh the costs?
projects in the MPAs of the ETPS as a whole. (Information on many programs is available in the
brochure “From Ship to Shore”, published by Conservation International.)
More so than in the case of cruise ships and hotel operators, recreational activity providers help
tourists interact directly with flora, fauna and environment of the seascape. They are in a prime
position to help or hinder tourists in the ways they affect particular species and habitats. A critical
step is to facilitate training and information to local recreational activity operators about the
particular impacts of their activity, and particular issues of certain species or waste disposal. A
good initial goal is for the tour operators to educate their on-site staff, and, ultimately, educate the
Handout 7.7 - Questions for Marine Recreation Providers
Handout 7.8 - Visiting Mangroves & Coral Reefs
Boat anchors and chains can cause extensive physical damage to the underwater environment.
Coral reefs are especially vulnerable. Repeated anchoring causes extensive physical scarring to
reefs, and can also kill or weaken corals by clouding the water with sediment, which chokes
corals and blocks out sunlight. Anchor damage can also occur not only on reefs, but also on
shipwrecks and other maritime heritage sites. Boats swinging around from anchors can also mow
down seagrass beds.
Dive operators are typically very willing to help address this problem, because anchor scars on
reefs obviously reduce the reefs’ appeal for tourists, and directly threaten the tour operators’
Damage can be greatly reduced through a mooring buoy program at popular coral reef sites.
Companies that rent boats directly to tourists can help by providing information to the tourists on
basic seamanship, navigation and the locations of the mooring buoys. This can include education
regarding the damage that anchors can do to coral reefs, and a waterproof map of the location of
the buoys at popular snorkel and dive sites. If mooring buoys are not available, another
alternative is drift dives, where no anchor is dropped.
Propeller wash and boat wakes in shallow-water environments disrupts sedimentation,
particularly in coral reefs, sea grasses and mangroves. Boat operators should:
7.4 RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
Hazardous materials such as fuels and oils can threaten the health of coral reefs and other
environments in popular destinations. Though one small leak from one boat may not seem like
much, many small leaks from many boats in a limited area can stress corals and make them
vulnerable to disease. Encourage regular boat maintenance, particularly regarding engines, fuel
tanks and other potential leakage areas.
Antifouling paints contain known carcinogens and heavy metals. These toxic paints
slowly flake off of boats and settle on reefs as small chips that eventually acquire a film of algae,
are eaten by herbivores. The heavy metals and carcinogens thus enter the food chain and are
eventually concentrated in the bodies of carnivorous fish, which are in turn eaten by humans.
Dumping of unused paint in bulk can directly kill animals. Encourage the use of antifouling paints
made from biodegradable fuels, and encourage proper disposal of unwanted paints and
chemicals, both at-sea and at dry docks.
Older two-stroke engines are inefficient and discharge as much as 30% of the fuel,
unused, into the environment. Encourage replacement of older models with the newer, much
more efficient four-stroke models. An alternative is retrofitting for biodiesel as an alternative fuel
source. If a two-stroke engine must be used, use alkylate petrol.
Sewage & garbage disposal
Discharge of raw or partially treated sewage into coastal waters is obviously not environmentally
sound. Sewage should be disposed of at land-based pump-out facilities. If pump-out facilities are
not available, boats should treat sewage mechanically and with nontoxic biodegradable
chemicals. Boats should move as far offshore as possible before pumping out. Alternatively,
boats can use self-contained toilets, which can be removed from vessels and dumped at onshore
facilities. Remind passengers to use land-based toilets before heading out. Particularly sensitive
environmental areas can be marked as No Discharge Zones.
Garbage on shores and in water is unsightly and threatens health of many forms of
marine life, as well as of human beach-goers. Plastic objects, fishing line, cigarette butts and
styrofoam debris are mistakenly consumed by turtles, seabirds, fish and marine mammals.
Fishing lines, nets, and plastic rings entangle and kill many animals. On boats, garbage bins
should be contained or kept inside to minimize the chance of garbage blowing overboard. Where
possible, use products made of paper instead of Styrofoam or plastic; paper is more
biodegradable. Always try to avoid loss of long non-degradable filaments of any type, such as sixpack
holders and lost fishing lines and nets; these frequently entangle and kill animals.
Snorkeling & scuba diving
Corals are notoriously vulnerable to physical damage. Inexperienced or simply over-abundant
snorkelers and divers frequently crush and break corals and stress wildlife. Most damage occurs
when snorkelers or divers lose control in the water (i.e. grabbing coral while fighting a current),
walk in a shallow area, or try to touch wildlife. Explain to tourists the importance of following a nocontact
rule with corals and other animals. Offer buoyancy refresher courses to enable divers to
better maintain control in the water, and remind them not to stand or walk in shallow areas and
not to grab coral for control. If there are simply too many divers, limit diver numbers by
establishing a diver carrying capacity for the area.
Recreational fishing, seafood consumption & souvenir collecting
Many food fishes and invertebrates are being harvested at unsustainable levels from near-shore
and coral environments. Tourists are often unaware that a seemingly harmless purchases of a
souvenir or food dish can have serious environmental consequences. Many popular game fish
and other marine species have declined significantly due to overfishing. This includes many
species of groupers, jewfish, jacks, marlin, tuna, snappers, lobsters, and crabs. Overfishing
directly threatens the ecological integrity of coral reefs and other marine environments throughout
the world. Similarly, over-harvesting of reef fish, sea urchins, shells, coral pieces, and other
marine animals to sell as ornaments will contribute to the decline of coral reefs.
Marine recreation providers should not harvest rare, threatened, or endangered species
to serve as seafood. Fishing charters can protect healthy fish stocks by using catch-and-release
programs, and educating tourists about which species are rare and to be avoided. In general,
tourists should be discouraged from collecting “souvenirs”. For those tourists that insist on a
physical souvenir, the best souvenir option is “sea glass” (glass litter that has been buffed by
wave action to form blue, green, and white pebbles), since in that case tourists are actually
Marine wildlife viewing
Marine wildlife such as turtles, dolphins and whales can be easily disturbed. Note that species
that appear to be unaffected may, in fact, be disturbed in subtle ways that may not be apparent to
a tourist. Research has shown, for example, that animals that are apparently undisturbed by
humans may have elevated levels of stress hormones and may alter their behavior in subtle
ways, e.g. whales surrounded by boats may dive more often and spend less time resting at the
surface, and sea turtles may feed less.
The most appropriate way to view marine mammals is at a slow speed from a distance that does
not change the animal’s behavior, such as its rate of feeding, the direction of its swimming, and
its intervals between dives. Other guidelines:
humans for food, and is often not nutritionally sound. (An exception is bird feeders at
hotels, which can be done in a nutritionally sound way, and is generally not disruptive to
the birds. The birds can also become “conservation ambassadors” for hotel guests who
might not have gone on a wildlife tour.)
Terrestrial wildlife viewing
For land-based tours such as of sea lion colonies, seabird colonies, etc., blinds and viewing
platforms are an excellent way to provide tourists with a clear view, while also protecting animals
and vegetation. Bird-watching tourist groups will seek out areas that have elevated blinds by
wetlands, mudflats, and ponds. Just as with viewing of marine wildlife, terrestrial wildlife should
never be touched, chased, or approached too closely. A few other guidelines for terrestrial
such as sea turtle nests and some shorebirds, are particularly vulnerable and may
require closing of beaches, or roping-off of nesting areas.
humans. The disruption can result in territory battles, breakage of eggs, and death of
Exercise: Develop recreational guidelines for your MPA
In small groups, describe the primary marine recreational activities that occur in your
area, or you think could be a useful part of a sustainable tourism project in the future.
What negative impacts could these activities have on species, habitats aquatic and
terrestrial environments? In consultation with other group members, write a list of the
major recommendations you would make to recreational operators in your area.
Case study: Coiba – Small Business Credit Schemes
Presenters will discuss business models for sustainable tourism at Coiba.
Case study: Gorgona – Concesiones de Servicios
Presenters will discuss business models for concessions at Gorgona.
Benefits of developing a sustainable supply chain
Handout 7.9 - Tour Operators Products and Suppliers
Because most of the goods and services included in an arranged tour are provided by a supply
chain of subcontracted companies, organizations, and agents, tour operators are not always in
direct control of the environmental and social impacts of those products. For example, tour
operators may send to tourists to a cruise ship, hotel or recreational tour that does not use the
management practices outlined above. Yet, a tour operator’s choice of service suppliers, and
their contracts with those supplies, can encourage suppliers to meet sustainability standards and
report on progress made.
Working with suppliers to integrate sustainability into the supply chain can benefit tour operators,
suppliers, customers and destinations. From a financial standpoint, improved sustainability can
lower costs through greater operating efficiency, reduced waste generation, and reduced
consumption of energy and water. Sustainability practices can also lead to increased revenue by
generating more repeat business and attracting new business from customers who value good
environmental and social performance. A strong positive reputation as a company that cares
about sustainability issues, coupled with improvements to the quality of the tourism experience
provided to clients, can result in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, strengthened brand
value, enhanced publicity and marketing opportunities, and better acceptance by local
communities in destinations.
Good performance and a high-quality, sustainable product can also help a tour operator reduce
the risk of conflict or problems with suppliers, governments, staff and local communities, and
improve its status as a respected partner in destinations. This may mean enhanced access to key business resources such as capital, the ability to develop products to meet growing market
demand, improved relationships with governments, and a motivated and loyal staff.
The costs and benefits of integrating sustainability criteria into the supply chain will vary for each
company, depending on:
Large tour operators often encourage suppliers to join a sustainable supply chain by offering
better marketing or advertising to those that join the program. This may take the form of
certification programs or eco-labels (an icon, such as a green leaf, that advertises to tourists that
that hotel is environmentally friendly). Certification programs and eco labels will be discussed in
more detail in the next module. As an introduction, consider the following case studies.
Let’s look at how some outbound tour operators are establishing sustainable supply chains in
Discussion: Effectiveness of Sustainable Supply Chains
As you read through these case studies, think of what are the plusses and minuses of outboardoperator
initiatives for the businesses at the local destinations? What can make it worthwhile for a
local business to participate in one program versus another? After all case studies have been
described, discuss these issues with the whole group.
Sustainable Supply Chains - Case Study 1
Aurinkomatkat, a Finnish outbound tour operator, began integrating sustainability measures into
its supply chain system in early 2000. The company developed sustainability criteria for partner
hotels, based on existing tourism literature and using expertise from academia, with priority given
to good water management and energy saving.
Minimum criteria were established for partner hotels, including connection to a wastewater
treatment system and water- and energy-saving measures. The sustainability program has been
implemented in phases, to give existing contract partners a several-year transition period to
meet the requirements of the program and understand what will be expected in the future.
The first phase of the program included monitoring of environmental performance, but did not
actually require accommodation providers to meet all the requirements. Most of the monitoring of
the program is done by the Manager for Sustainable Tourism, together with staff and agents at
the destinations. The initial monitoring takes place through a checklist completed by a
representative of the facility, which is then checked by Aurinkomatkat personnel at the
destinations and verified annually. All Aurinkomatkat staff have been trained in sustainable
tourism through lectures and round-table discussions. Training continues through discussions, an
intranet site, a newsletter on sustainable tourism and an information package. Responses to the
program from Aurinkomatkat agents and accommodation suppliers in the destinations have been
positive, and some hotel managers have provided information on their environmental
performance before being asked to do so. Aurinkomatkat informs its suppliers about the program
and how to fulfill the sustainability criteria through letters and personal visits, depending on the destination. Because many of the accommodations are family-owned enterprises, the
environmental program and the criteria are translated into the language of the destination.
To provide incentives for its partners to improve their environmental performance, Aurinkomatkat
has created a sustainability classification system. The classification system will soon appear
beside the traditional quality classification in Aurinkomatkat brochures, web pages and marketing
materials. The classification system is based on a 100-point scale. By meeting the minimum
criteria of connection to a wastewater treatment system, and water- and energy-saving measures,
a facility can achieve the 30-point minimum required for inclusion in the sustainability program.
Additional points are awarded for having an environmental or sustainability policy, developing an
effective waste management system, using renewable energy sources, implementing a
sustainable purchasing policy and having a community relations program. Hotels can receive up
to three stars for environmental performance. If there is negative feedback from customers or if
issues arise that compromise the criteria, a hotel may have its environmental classification
Concerned that integrating of environmental criteria into hotel contracts might increase the risk of
losing touch with the socio-cultural and economic sides of sustainability, Aurinkomatkat has also
integrated indicators for social, cultural and economic sustainability into the program. These
criteria recognize that an 800-room hotel has a different scale of impact than a six-room holiday
apartment hotel, and their resources are not comparable. A five-star multinational resort with ecocertificates
is not always a “better” choice than a family-owned apartment building that has no
environmental program but which employs the family next door and helps the local economy by
encouraging tourists to buy food and other goods from local stores. Thus, the company has made
it easier for small family-owned properties that cannot invest in environmental technology to
the same extent as large hotels by giving an additional five points to small-scale locally owned
accommodations. This will mean that a small family-owned hotel that uses water- and energysaving
measures and treats its sewage appropriately will meet the minimum requirements for
inclusion in the sustainability program. Achieving a higher environmental classification will require
Sustainable Supply Chains - Case Study 2
In summer 2000, LTU Touristik, a German tour operator that specializes in package tours to all
continents, launched a campaign to help contracted hotels improve their environmental
performance. The campaign was based on the company’s experience with contracted hotels that
showed that most hoteliers felt a general sense of responsibility for the environment, but needed
suggestions for how they could implement good environmental practices. To determine where
assistance was most needed, LTU Touristik’s Environmental Department worked with a
consultant to distribute a questionnaire to contracted hotels. The department also held personal
meetings with hotel managers in a number of destinations, allowing them to learn firsthand about
the contracted hotels’ environmental practices and environmental impacts.
As the centerpiece of the campaign, the company developed a small manual, Das Umwelt
freundliche Ferienhotel (The Environmentally Friendly Holiday Hotel) to give technical assistance
to contracted hotels (those that are not directly operated by LTU Touristik). Topics addressed in
the manual include drinking water, outside areas, energy, purchasing, waste and communication.
Each section includes a general description of the problem and concise suggestions about how to
solve it, presented in simple language and a user-friendly layout. Great importance is attached to
explaining why actions should be carried out in the way described and symbols show how much
time an action will take and the investment required. Many examples are given of how actions to
improve the environment can save money.
The manual, which targets hotel managers and other staff members responsible for hotel
operation, was launched in all destinations worldwide where LTU Touristik does business. Now in
its 3rd edition, the 20-page manual is published in German, Greek, English, French, Italian and
Spanish. In 2002, about 15,000 manuals were distributed, and several large hotel companies
ordered the manual to use for staff training or reprinted it on their own.
Where possible, the manual was distributed personally to hotel managers. Tour guides, buyers
and the head of the destination agency delivered the manuals during routine visits, explained LTU
Touristik’s objectives and offered initial suggestions for environmental practices. These
representatives then reported back on the first reactions of the hotel managers to LTU Touristik’s
Environmental Manager. Along with the manual, hotel managers received a personally addressed
letter and a one-page questionnaire about whether they were able to use some of the practices in
the manual, whether they needed further information and which environmental protection
measures they already implemented. Nearly 20 percent of all contracted hoteliers have offered
feedback to the company.
If hoteliers need further assistance beyond these first contacts, LTU Touristik provides it through
its Environmental Department’s two-person technical assistance team, thus guaranteeing a
continuous dialogue with hotels that want to improve their environmental performance. Training is
offered to buyers, heads of destination agencies and tour guides, and the Environmental
Manager personally updates them on the campaign. Information is also provided on what type of
technical assistance is expected from them and how to make an informal evaluation of the visited
facilities. The company’s web site provides all interested employees with more detailed
LTU Touristik has recognized that relying solely on manuals has its limitations, principally that
there are no mechanisms for enforcement of the voluntary practices nor incentive for their
implementation. The company’s long-term goal is to be able to demonstrate the benefits of
environmental action and to establish environmental standards for holiday hotels. As a next step,
LTU Touristik plans to collect all information about environmental action introduced by the hotels
and report its findings to other hotels and eventually to its clients.
Exercise: Assemble the management guidelines produced today
Look over the management guidelines and other ideas that you or your small group created today
for tour operators, hotels, cruise ships, recreational activities, sustainable supply chains, and any
other particular sectors of the tourism industry that you may have discussed. Do you have good
information on management guidelines for all sectors of the tourism industry that are involved, or
could be involved, in your MPA? Take a few minutes to fill in any gaps, and to make notes on
what the next steps are that you wish to take when you return home.