New report claims greenwashing in tourist industry misleads consumers

A new report has revealed the extent to which misleading “green marketing” may be being used in the tourism industry.

The Tourism & Greenwash Report suggests that anything which appears to be “green, honest and wholesome” in the tourism industry is often “cynical, greenwashed marketing spin.
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In recent years there has been a significant boom in ethically responsible tourist-related companies, including B&Bs and airlines.

However, the Greenwash study has discovered that many of the companies claiming to be ‘green’ are self-certificated.

TotemTourism Greenwash publisher, Valere Tjolle, called for industry-wide changes to be made.

She said: “Green tourism clearly has massive advantages for everybody – destinations, tourists and the industry – but to be really sustainable it needs to be marketed transparently and honestly.

“The growing practice of greenwashing debases the whole sustainable tourism movement and reduces the opportunities for everybody.”

Despite the economic crisis, this year tourism created $2 trillion of global GDP and over 120 million jobs worldwide, however, the Tourism & Greenwash Report reveals that many of these jobs abused labour rights, as well as men’s, women’s and children’s rights.

One sector of the tourist industry which is inherently “eco and economical” is timeshare.  Because timeshare and fractional accommodation is used year round, and shared by owners on an ongoing basis,  this has helped create more jobs in tourist destinations.  Timeshare resorts are usually open all year (whereas many hotels close in the winter) thereby providing ongoing employment for local staff and helping boost local economies and tourist-related businesses.

One example of ethical accolades in the timeshare industry is RCI’s Going Green Awards which take place again this September.  The Awards recognise the most ethical and eco-centric timeshare resorts and brands in the entire industry, based on a two part review including self-assessment and on-site inspections.

For news on the RCI Going Green Awards, see http://www.athoc.com.au/news-and-info/2013/06/rci-going-green-resort-awards/

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