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First international ISO standard on sustainability in tourist accommodation

Spain publishes the first international ISO standard on sustainability in tourist accommodation

09/10/2019

  • The UNE-ISO 21401 Standard has been published by the Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, with the support of the Spanish Institute for Tourism Quality (ICTE) and the participation of all the parties involved.
  • This standard establishes the environmental, social and economic requirements for developing a sustainability management system in accommodation establishments in the tourism sector, which includes the best internationally accepted practices in matters such as respect for regional cultural heritage, environmental protection and the development of the local economy.

9 October 2019. The Spanish Association for Standardisation, UNE, has added the standard to the Spanish catalogue of UNE standards UNE-ISO 21401 Tourism and related services. Sustainability management system for accommodation. Requirements. The standard was drawn up by the ISO/TC 228 WG 13 Sustainable Tourism Working Group, and monitored by the Technical Committee Standardization CTN 182 Hotels and holiday apartments of UNE, the secretariat of which is headed by Institute for Spanish Tourism Quality (ICTE).

This standard establishes the environmental, social and economic requirements for developing a sustainability management system in accommodation establishments in the tourism sector, which includes the best internationally accepted practices. UNE-ISO 21401 is the first international standard for sustainability in tourist accommodation and has been developed by the ISO Standardization Committee (International Organization for Standardization) ISO/TC 228 on tourism and related services, the secretariat of which is managed by UNE, the Spanish standardization body, together with the Tunisian INNORPI.

UNE-ISO 21401 addresses employee health and safety, quality and customer satisfaction, water and energy consumption, waste generation and interaction with the local community. The standard can be applied to any accommodation establishment, regardless of its type, size or location, and as a management system, it allows establishments to flexibly and progressively establish their own objectives.

The UNE-ISO 21401 aims to promote the sustainability of this type of establishment. The tourism industry is an economic sector with a huge environmental impact, but it is also one of the world's fastest growing sectors, with billions of people travelling every year, and where figures are expected to grow by 3.3% annually until 2030, according to the World Tourism Organization (WTO). Tourist accommodation is a major player, and its potential impact on the sustainable development of tourist destinations is enormous.