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Destination Assessment and Certification: Challenges and Opportunities

Stephan Grapentin () and Maureen Ayikoru ()
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Stephan Grapentin: absolutGPS, 04105 Leipzig, Germany
Maureen Ayikoru: Faculty of Business & Law, School of Management, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 13, 1-24

Abstract: This study examines recent developments in destination assessment and certification as a basis for identifying challenges and benefits they engender, from tourist and tourism organizations’ perspectives. It uses online surveys and semi-structured interviews to collect primary data from prospective tourists and key informants on destination assessment and certification. The findings highlight the strengths and weaknesses of schemes currently in use, including various factors that might influence their future development. Specifically, the study finds that destination assessment and certification are affected by four key issues, namely, practicability, reliability, visibility, and (un)availability of incentives. It concludes that the manifestation of these issues and their ensuing complexity affect the way in which tourists and tourism destinations engage with destination assessment and certification. This, therefore, delimits the inherent opportunities and constraints within such schemes.

Keywords: destination certification; destination assessment; ecolabels; tourist attitudes and awareness; sustainable tourism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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