THE EETLS LABELLING STANDARD
Ecotourism is defined as “responsible tourism in natural areas which protects the environment and supports the well-being of local communities”. At European level, as a common denominator for the understanding and achievement of quality in ecotourism services, the European Ecotourism Labelling Standard – EETLS was developed in 2013, supported by the European Ecotourism Network – EEN. In that framework, the piloting of EETLS was carried out in 10 EU countries, including Greece.
The Hellenic Ecotourism Society – ELETOIK adopted the EETLS as a quality label for certifying accommodation units and businesses offering ecotourism activities in Greece. EETLS is linked to a system of indicators which are used for the evaluation of an ecotourism business against approximately 100 criteria and sub-criteria. These criteria are in full harmony with the sustainability criteria of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council – GSTC. EETLS has been recently revised by ELETOIK and gained full recognition by the GSTC for use in Greece and neighbouring countries.
EETLS, following the GSTC recognition, has been also accepted by large online travel agents (e.g. booking.com, Agoda) as a quality label. Interested hospitality or nature activities’ businesses, with an ecotourism profile, may be certified for compliance with EETLS, following detailed evaluation of their terms of compliance, carried out by ELETOIK in cooperation with PRISMA ltd. The certification of a business may lead to a label of 3, 4 or 5 stars, depending on the percentage of criteria fulfilled. The certification is valid for three years.
EETLS is also accompanied by a training programme allowing interested candidates to understand better the criteria and how they are applied in the business’s everyday operation, but also how to improve their businesses so that they fulfil the certification prerequisites. ELETOIK organises training seminars for this purpose. If you wish to contact us, you may use the “contact” page of this website or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The EETLS certification process inlcudes two steps: the online self-evaluation and the main evaluation, which inlcudes an o-site visit by the appointed evaluator.