Criteria: The business follows established guidelines or a code of behavior for visits to culturally or historically sensitive sites, in order to minimize visitor impact and maximize enjoyment.
Respect for local cultures and historic locations must be observed. Businesses must also understand and actively seek to minimize the impact on built and natural environments caused by increased visitor activity. Education about local people’s cultural customs, mores, and beliefs as well as appropriate verbal and non-verbal behavior will contribute to overall appreciation of the site and local community pride.
Criteria: Historical and archeological artifacts are not sold, traded, or displayed, except as permitted by law.
Sustainable tourism aims to protect and embrace the uniqueness of a destination. Norms, regulations and conventions exist to protect historical and archeological artifacts from international trade exploitation. With lax enforcement and interested markets, tourism businesses are critical in protecting these artifacts while promoting the area’s heritage.
Criteria: The business contributes to the protection of local historical, archeological, culturally, and spiritually important properties and sites, and does not impede access to them by local residents.
Cultural and historical heritage are an important component of a destination’s attractiveness and should be conserved to ensure their enjoyment for future generations. Collaboration with local residents and preservation bodies ensures that tourism-related activities do not damage sites or prevent local people from visiting or using them. Preservation and enhancement of local cultural and historical assets increase the tourism experience and make the product offering stronger.
Criteria:The business uses elements of local art, architecture, or cultural heritage in its operations, design, decoration, food, or shops; while respecting the intellectual property rights of local communities.
Utilizing aspects of the local culture wherever possible increases ties to the neighboring community and promoting the destination’s unique character provides an incentive to preserve unique skills that may otherwise vanish. The communication between community leaders and companies is the key point to ensure a respectful use of local culture (e.g. sacred elements) and avoid possible wrong interpretations, conflicts, and undesirable commoditization.