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Volume XVII |

The connection between sustainable tourism and certification systems

Abstract: The subject of certification and standards is vast, complex and at the same time topical, so the best is to begin by clarifying the terms. A “standard” by definition is a set of guidelines that helps organizations to develop, manage and control everything, from processes and products to services and systems. These guidelines meet specific requirements in areas such as efficiency, quality and safety. On the other hand, the certification is the process that verifies whether an organization, product or tourist service meets the specific standards of providing a written guarantee (the commercial logo), the latter representing a good way to allow customers to identify products that deliver higher quality service levels. At the same time, it participates in increasing the confidence in ecotourism products both nationally and internationally, but also in promoting the concept and principles of ecotourism at local, regional and national level; it contributes to the sustainable achievement of destinations and to the growth of shared knowledge with regard to a certification system, resulting in the benefits brought by it. In order to certify an organization, product or tourist service that meets certain standards, accredited third-party certification bodies must verify that the requirements are met through an audit process. Only after the successful completion of the audit process, an official certificate of an organization can be issued, and the admitted company agrees to maintain the systems according to the standard requirements of the continuous improvement. But why do you need to submit to the certification process activity and to all its expenses? What are the benefits of a company or its customers? The third-party certification shows to current and potential customers that an organization is committed to quality and has taken enough time to build and maintain a culture in its processes to give customers the same thing, i.e. the quality of the travel product.