The Blueprint of the European Ecotourism Labelling Standard-EETLS, titled 'The European Ecotourism Labelling Standard' is one of the milestones of the ECO-DESTINET project.
The publication is available online and in print in English. Currently the web version follows a simple format for ease of download. Translations are available in Italian, Greek, German, Romanian , Finnish and Bulgarian .
The blueprint consists of an executive summary which introduces the reader to the concept of the project and the development aim of the EETLS. Its also explains the structure of the EETLS and the target group of the standard. The publication is then divided in 5 parts based on the EETLS Criteria categories (A Group, EETLS Group, B Group, C Group, D Group) and a references and acknowledgments section. In total 40 different criteria are included in the EETLS.
Each Group of Criteria includes an introduction to the specific Group. Each criterion is presented with a Criterion Description, the Rational of the Criterion, a set of of sub-criteria and a table with recommendations on how an operator can comply with the criterion, which includes a set of indicators and recommendations. Finally many of the criteria are further elaborated with a case study from Europe or internationally that shows best practise. The Blueprint has been structured and formatted so that it can be easily read and referenced by the project target group. Each criterion feature also specific recommendations and indicators , which have been developed based on the research carried out for the EETLS development, gives to the reader a set of actions with which he can implement in order to comply with the criterion. All the recommendations and indicators are viable and easy to follow and are based on best practise around the world.
The Blueprint was finalised based on three earlier drafts. The first draft consisted of 17 pages and was disseminated at the Internationl Workshop of the project in Munich. Based on the feedback received from the ecotourism lable representatives and the communication that followed with them, the second draft was prepared which consisted of 18 pages. The second draft was discussed in lengths with project stakeholders and during the Training Seminar. Following the Training Seminar the third draft was produced which consists of 239 pages and included an analysis for each criterion and a specification of each criterion for different service providers (Visitor Centres, Accommodation, Tours, Activities, Restaurants). From the 3rd draft the final publication was prepared which is a practical synthesis of recommendations of the third draft. It has to be noted that several revisions of the versions were produced in between the drafts based on the progression of the research and the feedback received. The result is the achievement of consensus on the baseline standard for ecotourism labels, which form the basis for the EETLS, not only among the project partnership, but also amongst the wider community of networks and initiatives that manage ecolabels or represent their holders; and the launch of the EETLS.