PRODUCT QUALITY ASSESSMENT OF AN ECOTOURISM ITINERARY
Sustainable tourism requires an offer of high-quality products that are market oriented, attractive and respond to the needs of customers, while providing a sustainable and immersive experience that adds value to the customer and the destination. When developing ecotourism itineraries in and around protected areas, operators and stakeholders must carefully select providers, create compelling storytelling that values the destination appropriately delivered by tour leaders and guides, that interacts meaningfully with its communities, and prioritizes the conservation of the protected areas and cultural heritage of the destination. To achieve these goals, MEET has established a set of criteria that must be met by multi-day ecotourism itineraries. These criteria encompass essential conditions related to product and itinerary design, safety measures, supplier selection, and more. By adhering to these criteria, operators and stakeholders can ensure that their products meet the necessary standards and contribute to the sustainability of ecotourism.
Who is it for?
This tool is designed for Inbound Tour Operators (ITO), Local Ecotourism Clusters (LEC), Destination Management Organisations (DMO), and Protected Areas (PA) involved in the development of multi-day itineraries. Its purpose is to enable self-assessment of the alignment of their products with the standards set by the MEET Network. However, it can also be valuable for any multi-day ecotourism product, whether located within or outside the Mediterranean region.
The Inbound Tour Operator (ITO) responsible for designing the multi-day tour will serve as the primary user and provider of information for this tool. As they should have access to the required data from various service providers they work with, they can effectively use the tool. In certain cases, the ITO may need to coordinate with specific providers to ensure their compliance with the different indicators.
What to expect when using the tool?
This assessment is conducted through a simple survey that collects data already available to the Inbound Tour Operator (ITO) and reflected in the itinerary. Data collectors will gather the necessary information and then enter it into the platform. To assist you in planning the data collection process prior to inputing the data into the tool, we provide the following documents.
The methodology for assessing the quality of a MEET Product has been developed by IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, with the support of the MEET Network tourism experts and the DestiMED PLUS project partnership.