Triple Bottom Line Business Structures and Strategies

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janwig
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Post by janwig »

I am doing a test, since after having completed all text, and clicking submit it have not gone through. Why I am now writing off

Toby

Post by Toby »

Hello colleagues,
Sorry to be writing so late today, but our internet was playing tricks on us this morning...

Anyhoo, I think the conversation last week on Certification yielded some good points, all which will be included in the weekly summary.

Not to beat a dead (but certified) horse, but I collaborated on a booklet that was just published last week, called " Beyond The Beach: Quick Reference Guide for Competing in the Sustainable Tourism Market." The PDF version and background info will be available to the public at
www.chemonics.com in the next few weeks, and the content will be posted on the Triple Standards Working Group website,
www.caudillweb.com/triplestandards, in the next few months. Paper versions are currently available in English, and the booklet will soon be translated into other languages. The booklet discusses sustainable tourism certification schemes, awards, codes of conduct, traveler guidelines, and resources. It is meant to be a primer for operators that are new to the concept of sustainable tourism.

But enough about certification... There was an audible e-silence on the topic of successful BOT transfers. I ask again: Can anyone cite a successful example that has been through the entire buy-operate-transfer process? What were the biggest challenges? What should we, as technical assistants, know going into the process? I look forward to discussing this and other themes that you all feel are important this week!

cheers,
Toby

Toby

Post by Toby »

sorry, more internet troubles over the last couple of days...

here is a summary of the first week!

Triple bottom line biz strategies summary for week 1


Miker
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Post by Miker »

I am concerned that we are dismissing the benefits of certification - just because there is a lack good research to quantify the benefits of ecotourism certification. Why not approach the tourism research community to push for good research so we can develop research-based programs? We lack good research to quantify the benefits of ecotourism period, or to even characterize who is looking for an ecotourism experience

Toby

Post by Toby »

here is a summary from week 2:

This week, the conversation started off focusing on the benefits and challenges of Resort developing in generating jobs and contributing to resource management. Toot Oosteveen shared with us an example cited at a WTO conference, where approximately 90% of labor and goods at a resort in Nicaragua were procured locally. Oliver Hillel said that those interested in further researhc should check out Voyages, an Australian resort chain, or could contact Klaus Lengefeld at GTZ in Germany, Klaus.Lengefeld@gtz.de.

Miker also contributed an excellent example of how to create a conservation-based economy on a large scale. Tides Canada, along with several other NGOs, works to protect The Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, home to some of Canada

Miker
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Post by Miker »

I am no expert on the NEAP program but here is a bit of insight. The best bet would be to ask Ecotourism Australia for results of more current research.

The NEAP program in Australia was launched back in 1996. The following are the benefits promoted to prospective members.
Nature tourism and ecotourism certification provides benefits to operators, managers, communities and travellers:

Meganew
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Post by Meganew »

Hi everyone,

Just quickly I want to be certain folks are aware that extensive research has been done on the question of certification and its validity in the marketplace and as a quality control mechanism. There have been 2 large Ford Foundation grants associated with this as well as a $3 million IDB MIF project. In fact, this area of our field has had a great deal of research funding associated with it. It is my thought that perhaps the information we need on this topic already does exist.

In my posts, I referenced a few of the many references on this topic. But of course it is easy to find more at the websites for TIES and Rainforest Alliance. Research continues in this field with excellent funding resources, and I have sought to track it closely, and use that experience in my own work.

Thanks,
megan

Miker
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Post by Miker »

Sorry to harp on certification but I believe it is an important tool. Megan was quoted in previous postings as follows:
The authors conclude that while certification may be a valid method to involve businesses in quality and sustainability oversight of their businesses, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that certification of sustainable tourism will have market benefits and that such benefits should not be used to justify government, NGO or donor support of tourism certification.
I want to be certain folks are aware that extensive research has been done on the question of certification and its validity in the marketplace and as a quality control mechanism.
But of course it is easy to find more at the websites for TIES and Rainforest Alliance.
I downloaded a recent TIES report (April 2005) completed in association with CESD and here are some direct quotes re the benefits of certification:

Meganew
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Post by Meganew »

HI All,

I want to concur with Toby that it was excellent getting a chance to meet in person, and it was amazing that she and I and Toot could all meet here together and talk for a couple of hours about what is transpiring in sustainable tourism here in Honduras and elsewhere.

Thanks alot to all who made contributions. We could certainly get into even more depth on all the issues, but in my view this kind of opportunity allows us to share ideas in a way professionals in our field rarely have the opportunity to do.

Perhaps as folks get more used to the idea of on-line forums we will be able to get even further into some of these knotty issues.

Working in a country like Honduras, all I can say is that there are so many important issues to confront, and that our ability to build competitiveness has to take priority in my view in the private sector. The industry here is 95% small or micro with owners who are presently working day and night to stay in business - whatever we recommend must help them deliver a product that works well in the marketplace in a relatively short period of time. I also see that nearly all the communities here have had little exposure to tourism yet, and they need proper systems to decide how and if to enter this field. And as for the protected areas- they need to be able to gain from the tourists who are arriving (most of whom are not paying entry fees) while trying to make sure reasonable infrastructure is in place. These are urgent priorities, and there are many more I have not mentioned, and I want to work to make sure our priorities as a field are in the right order when offering assistance in DEVELOPING countries where there is really a different set of needs and priorities than in countries where tax dollars and government programs are covering a great deal of expense for developing ambitious programs that could not be considered in a place like Honduras.

Best,
Megan

Miker
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Post by Miker »

I too am sorry to see the end of this conference. There has been a lot of good discussion, although not enough people have been participating. There are some thorny issues and areas of disagreement where further discussion and debate are needed. However there are areas of agreement. The point is we can all continually learn from each other as we operate in our respective areas of expertise and geographic influence.

I would like to make a number of concluding recommendations:
1. Ecotourism is a good concept and we do need to work to minimize the mis-use and abuse of the term through education and by example. We all need to work towards pushing the envelope with regards to the principles of ecotourism including:
o Making a smaller ecological footprint with new tourism development
o Ensure more and more benefits go to local communities and local people
o Work to protect cultural integrity of indigenous cultures
o Educate tourists about how they can make more sustainable choices and become more socially and environmentally conscious in their lives and travels

2. We should work to showcase best practice models

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