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40 Spanish UNE standards endorse the quality of Spanish tourism


  • The Spanish Association for Standardization publishes a report analysing how standards contribute to improving the competitiveness of tourism. UNE collaborates with relevant Spanish tourism organisations, such as the ICTE, in the development of Spanish and global standards.


  • Spain leads the ISO/TC 228 international technical committee for standardisation on tourism and related services. This committee is responsible for developing, among other things, the world's first standard on accessible tourism for all, to be published in 2020.

18 July 2019. The Spanish Association for Standardisation-UNE has published the Report Support for standardisation in the tourism sector, which analyses how standards contribute to promoting the quality and competitiveness of Spanish tourism, providing an effective response to the challenges of the sector. Thus, according to the Report, there are 40 Spanish UNE standards covering practically all tourist activities: from diving and rural accommodation, to travel agencies, ski stations and mountain resorts and spas.

These standards are drawn up in the UNE Technical Standardisation Committees (CTN), and are the result of the consensus of all parties involved. Under the impetus of the Institute for Spanish Tourism Quality (ICTE), which has managed the secretariat of several CTN for the last 15 years, key standards have been developed regarding quality tourism, such as the UNE 182001 for hotels and the UNE 302002 for museums. Many of these have provided the basis for drawing up international standards, such as the Standard UNE-ISO 13009 for beaches, this way exporting Spanish experience and knowledge.

World leadership

Another example of a globally successful Spanish standard is the UNE 178501 for smart tourist destinations, a standard promoted by SEGITURR (National Corporation for Innovation and Tourism Technology Management). A world pioneer, it is committed to a holistic approach in destination management, based on 5 axes: Governance, innovation, technology, universal accessibility and sustainability.

Spain also leads the future ISO 21902 on accessible tourism, to be published in 2020. It will be the first international standard in this field and it has received the support of the ONCE Foundation, the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), UNE and the Royal Board of Disability.

Spanish standardisation represents a global benchmark in tourism. The Spanish Association for Standardisation, UNE, manages, together with the Tunisian standards organisation, the International Organization for Standardization ISO/TC 228 on tourism and related services. In this committee, experts from more than 100 countries and over 20 prestigious international organisations have published 29 ISO standards and are developing 12 projects in areas such as medical tourism, adventure tourism, marinas, accommodation and catering.

UNE also participates in UNETUR, the Interinstitutional Coordination Committee for tourism standards and seals, an initiative of the State Secretariat for Tourism. The aim of UNETUR is to provide consistency and place value on the comprehensive Spanish tourism quality model and is supported by SEGITTUR, ICTE, the Technological Hotel Institute (ITH) and UNE. This initiative aims to contribute to maintaining Spain's leading position in tourism, through the standardisation and application of diagnostics and best practice manuals.

Tourism standards and SDG

The report also highlights how technical standards for tourism help the Public Administration, industry and consumers to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. For example, the future Standard ISO 21416 - Requirements and Guidelines for the Sustainable Practice of Recreational Diving, is a tool for the sustainable conservation and use of the oceans, seas and marine resources that helps to comply with the SDG 14 Life Below Water.