Tourism Impact Alliance

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Working together for efficient sustainability in tourism

The Tourism Impact Alliance is an international project implemented by TourCert in collaboration with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and co-financed by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO. The project addresses the challenge of over 150 tourism sustainability labels and the many different standards and aims to promote harmonization of standards and measurability of sustainability performance. An impact model with core indicators is to support the comparability of certified businesses and destinations and improve the sustainability impact. At the same time, the project is intended to provide impetus for increased cooperation between certification organizations and to promote digitalization, innovation and collaborative thinking in certification and auditing

We face the global challenges

The demand for reliable and credible sustainability labels is continuously growing. However, the industry as well as tourists* are already confused by the label jungle with more than 150 seals, resulting in weak market relevance for certified companies and destinations, among others. In addition, much of the tourism industry is made up of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with complex supply chains, making quality assurance and accreditation of certification bodies difficult. Together with the GSTC and other tourism stakeholders, we want to address the global challenges with the Tourism Impact Alliance and seize the great potential for more networking and collaboration to promote transparency and harmonization.

We pursue common goals

  • Better management and measurability

Capacity, tools and processes for impact management of companies, destinations and supply chains are strengthened

  • More efficient and credible verification

Review processes are more efficient and their quality is improved through an independent review body.

  • Stronger market presence and innovation

Key industry players work together to ensure quality, innovation and visibility of certified offerings

  • More sustainable destinations

Destinations for Future is introducing innovative destination models that promote sustainable, resilient and inclusive development.


Measuring sustainability

The Tourism Impact Alliance is an initiative of different certification bodies, standard holders and national authorities together with the GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council), all sharing the same vision, namely to promote sustainable tourism, make its impacts visible, increase the credibility of certification and achieve greater market impact.

Various international certification bodies have joined the Impact Panel to share common challenges and quality efforts.

Audit Office

The Audit Office is based on the cooperation of the Tourism Impact Alliance and is a joint venture certification body that offers services to certification systems and standard holders and establishes an independent audit system. Several certification schemes have come together to do important groundwork for the Audit Office.

A first group of certification organizations is jointly developing a transparent and neutral audit process for destinations and companies that meets the framework conditions for GSTC accreditation. For the development of the audit process, the online tool of the Audit Manager is used.

Audit Manager

The Online Audit Manager is a tool that helps auditors and certifiers manage the entire audit process and automatically guides all stakeholders through the audit process – for both on-site and remote audits.

It will consist of three elements: a Business Cockpit, a Destination Cockpit and a Supply Chain Monitor. The elements complement each other so that the impact of tourism offerings can be measured and managed along the entire supply chain of a company or destination. In doing so, the online platform offers measurable indicators, benchmarking, checklists and surveys, as well as training elements such as e-learnings, videos and best practices.

The Audit Manager is part of the Audit Office and is used for the transparent and neutral audit process.

Regional networks

The Destinos del Futuro knowledge network and brand will be established with international tourism destinations. The Latin American network will serve as a “Sustainable Destination Lab” and jointly develop innovative destination concepts for SDG transformation.

Think and act collaboratively!

Are you interested in further information about the project or would you like to get in touch with us? We look forward to receiving your inquiry.

Cilia Mayer

Head of Project Management

+49 711 24839727