The "CSR Reporting Initiative for Tourism", an initiative by KATE (Center for Ecology & Development, Stuttgart) in cooperation with EED-Tourism Watch, "Forum anders reisen" and the European network of services trade unions UNI Europa, has published guidelines which outline eight steps towards sustainability reporting for small and medium-size tourism enterprises.
It provides check lists and other tools to gather and assess data, including destination checks, accommodation checks, partner agency checks and tourist guide checks. Five small tour operators participated in the pilot project and developed sustainability reports. The CSR Reporting Initiative was co-funded by the European Commission.
Simone Probost, CEO of INTI Tours, a small German tour operator specialising in Latin America, took part in the pilot project. Interviewed by TourismWatch, she describes her experiences in analysing her business operations against a set of criteria covering the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of sustainability. She welcomes the process as an opportunity for reflection on the strengths and possible weaknesses of the company and recommends sustainability reporting processes to other tour operators. As a next step, external certification of sustainability reports could be introduced. The guidelines include suggestions with regard to such certification.
Guidelines CSR-Reporting in Tourism. 8 Steps towards Sustainability Reporting. Kontaktstelle für Umwelt & Entwicklung (KATE), Stuttgart. 2008.
(December 2007, TW 49)