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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.

Volume XI |

Identity and sustainable development in rural tourism

Abstract: There are many studies talking about the “anonymity” in which our country is sinking, in terms of international tourist identity, of the symbols that define us. We have never known how to promote ourselves using the unique elements that we have and not because we do not have these unique features, but because it is possible that we do not know or we have forgotten what really represents us. There were several initiatives, some of them recent and costly to create and promote a country brand, starting from tourism, but these did not have the expected impact. Why did not have the expected impact? Have we got an element/several elements that may render a sustainable image, not a temporary one, for us and for the Romanian rural tourism? Are the village, the traditions, and the gastronomy authentic elements of tourist identity for the Romanian village as an element within the tourist offer? What symbols, values, ideas, feelings, places, emotions, personalities, food, artistic expressions are by excellence truly Romanian? How many of us recognize them? These are only a couple of the many questions we try to answer, not desperately, but with the interest of the person who is not only in love with tourism, its values, with its message over time. The article tries to underline the role of identity in the promotion of a tourist product, the Romanian village, a valuable treasure up to the present based on an adequate methodology of the tourism geography research (questionnaires, diagnosis, analytical prospecting, etc.).