TourCert Journal

Review of a successful ITB week – in pictures, videos and poetry

Messegelände Berlin


TourCert celebrated its 10th anniversary with great success

As one of around 10,000 exhibitors, TourCert was once again present with a stand at the leading international tourism trade fair. This year on a very special occasion: 10 years ago TourCert was founded as a GbR and emerged from the project existence of the organisation kate Umwelt & Entwicklung. Together with the strong partners Tourism Watch, Naturfreunde Internationale and the Hochschule für Nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde, the internationally recognized management and certification system was born.

Logos der vier Gründerorganisationen
The four founder organizations

We celebrated the year of honour at the anniversary and certification ceremony on 6 March 2019. On the big stage in hall 4.1, which had the motto “Adventure travel and social responsibility”, the TourCert team with presenter and radio speaker Nadine Kreutzer reviewed the history of the organisation. Already in 2004, the first thoughts on the implementation of CSR in tourism began. In the following years, a reporting system was developed together with forum anders reisen and eight pilot companies in Germany and Austria.

Günther Koschwitz berichtet über die Anfänge von TourCert.
Günter Koschwitz reports about the beginnings of TourCert

In 2009, the first tour operators were certified, and the forum anders reisen set the TourCert certification as the standard for members at its annual meeting. The certification was regarded as a means to an end, the aim was a transformation in tourism. The first e-learnings and seminars were developed, sustainability managers were trained and soon the first travel agencies and hotels were certified. On behalf of the Ministry for Rural Areas and Consumer Protection Baden-Württemberg (today Ministry of Justice and for Europe), TourCert developed a destination certification in 2013, which has already established itself as the “Green N” for 17 sustainable destinations in Germany and three Latin American destinations.

Die ersten Pilotdestinationen, die 2014 zertifiziert wurden.
The first pilot destinations, which were certified in 2014

In 2015 TourCert was restructured as a gGmbH – the organisation wanted to become more independent and had to take the leap for further development. More professionalisation took place, the headquarter in Stuttgart was established and an infrastructure was built up. The goal was international positioning. At the same time, a generation change was initiated with Marco Giraldo as one of the managing partners. Already in 2016 the two big projects TourCert Danube and TourCert Latina (at the beginning TourCert Andina) started, the latter received the DRV award EcoTrophea in the same year.

Prof. Dr. Harald Zeiss, Vorsitzender des DRV-Ausschusses Nachhaltigkeit, Marco Giraldo und Martin Balaš bei der Übergabe der EcoTrophea.
Prof. Dr. Harald Zeiss, Chairman of the DRV Sustainability Committee, Marco Giraldo and Martin Balaš at the EcoTrophea award ceremony

Networking played a major role in development, otherwise such progress would not have been possible with supporters like the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU). Especially the development in Latin America was rapid, further projects followed in Colombia and Costa Rica with the establishment of local representative offices.

Jessy James LaFleur summed up the history of TourCert in her very own words – and the audience was very enthusiastic about her performance:

The text is here for you to read.

You can see some nice impressions of the celebration in our film:

We also completed our activity report 2018 on time for the ITB.

Congratulations again to all new TourCert Label certified and TourCert Check awarded companies. We were very happy to welcome so many international members of the TourCert Community on stage.

Gruppenbild auf der Zertifizierungsfeier in Berlin
Proud new members of the TourCert Community at the certification ceremony

Once again we would like to thank our sponsors and supporters:

Sponsorenlogos Delinat, myclimate, forum anders reisen

10 years, Certification, History, ITB Berlin, Jessy James LaFleur, Jubilee