Green Globe Member Collaboration to Counter Disruption and ‘Overtourism’

Green Globe Member Collaboration to Counter Disruption and ‘Overtourism’
May 9, 2017 Bradley Cox

Green Globe Presents at World Tourism Forum, Lucerne, Switzerland

Attending the World Tourism Forum Lucerne (WTFL), Green Globe CEO Guido Bauer briefed industry and government leaders on the success of sustainability certification in preserving the environment, liveability and prosperity of tourism destinations worldwide.

The WFTL, a highly focused, top level and strategic body, bought selected leaders from around the world to Lucerne, Switzerland, to reflect on the big challenges of the industry and to address them in out of the box “game-changing” ways.

During the forum it became apparent that sustainability is now a mainstream part of travellers’ expectations. In his speech, Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization highlighted the importance of sustainability for the travel industry and the advantage certified hotels and tourism related businesses already enjoy. Overall WTFL attendees all recognized the importance of sustainability as travellers have become more aware of the issue.

Green Globe CEO Mr Guido Bauer (L) meets Mr. Taleb Rifai (R) Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

In support of the UNWTO Secretary-General’s remarks, Green Globe CEO Guido Bauer explained during his presentation, that Green Globe Members are best equipped to handle global travel and tourism challenges. This was due to these certified hotels and businesses being interconnected with destinations via a mandated approach to sustainable operations and the ability to clearly communicate their green credentials to travellers.

The WTML’s Aviation Study 2017 highlighted the fact that airline carriers, which feed all major and minor tourism markets, face significant digital disruption. At the heart of this challenge is the digital empowerment of travellers, who have become highly selective about airline and destination choices, via their ability to plan itineraries outside traditional channels. The ability of tourism businesses to communicate their sustainability efforts has therefore become important, in securing the attention of travel consumers and influencing their travel purchases.

CEO Guido Bauer said, “At Green Globe we have recognized the importance of communicating our members’ sustainable efforts early on and we have built a worldwide audience. This new group of green buyers is craving news from sustainable hotels and resorts for both leisure and business travel.

“From Green Globe’s perspective we will expand our communications efforts into the new source markets in India and China to further assist our members,” added CEO Bauer.

The impact of tourism spikes on tourism destinations was another major topic for WTML participants with the release of the report, Tourism Destinations Under Pressure from Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

CEO Bauer explained, “From Green Globe’s perspective, our approach to sustainability – an approach we established 20 years ago – mandates an integrated management strategy that drives our members to connect intensely with all stakeholders in their destinations

“To avoid what this new report calls ‘overtourism’, Green Globe has given our members the tools to ensure they are connected to local governments and NGOs as well as directly to community via their staff and suppler businesses. These connections are imperative, when the success of a destination outstrips capacity and turns from a positive contributor to negative de-valuer of core offerings.

“I was very pleased to see in this WTML report that the fundamentals of sustainability certification, where tourism operators are encouraged to connect to all stakeholders, are seen as a core builders to innovative solutions,” concluded CEO Bauer.

About World Tourism Forum Lucerne

The WTFL is an interdisciplinary professional platform which is held annually, alternately in Lucerne (Switzerland) and – from 2018 – China. It offers decision-makers in business, politics, science and finance an overview of current topics and trends in the global tourism industry. It is the only international platform enabling leading decision makers and emerging young talents in the industry to interact under the “Next Generation” designation. The World Tourism Forum Lucerne is supported by an international Advisory Board under the chairmanship of Reto Wittwer.

About Green Globe Certification

Green Globe is the worldwide sustainability system based on internationally accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses. Operating under a worldwide license, Green Globe is based in California, USA and is represented in over 83 countries. Green Globe is an Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). For information, please visit


Bradley Cox
Director of Communications
Green Globe Certification
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