The importance of eco-labels certifications and ICT in the promotion of sustainable tourism
case study of a rural tourism unit
Introduction: In an era of increasing environmental problems, the sustainable conduct of tourism enterprises, particularly in rural tourism, is now of central importance. A good part of the market tends to look for an environmentally friendly and socially responsible enterprise. Hence, information and communication technologies (ICT) are fundamental for the transmission of these principles.
Indeed, not only promoters but also e-commerce companies in the field of travel are aware of this reality and need, trying to skillfully communicate their respective sustainable tourism offer.
A notable example that highlights the importance of environmental and social sustainability and the value of using information and communication technologies (ICT) is located in the Viseu Dão-Lafões Region (RVDL), more precisely in one of the most interior communities of the region.
Objetives: Taking as a unit of analysis a rural tourism enterprise in VDLR, the purpose of this study is to explore the importance of sustainability strategies and ICT for delivery and promotion of the touristic product.
Methods: In order to allow a deeper analysis, a case study methodology is used. In addition to a semi-structured interview with the entrepreneur of the unit, it was observed and analyzed the web page of the unit and other electronic documents.
Results: In the genesis and development of this enterprise there was always a concern with the environment and with the community. Hence, the enterprise is in a process of certification by Biosphere and Green Key. Whether it is in the development and updating of the web page, social networks, response to evaluations on TripAdvisor / Booking and updating channels of disclosure when reservations are made, the promotion / communication of the most sustainable tourism offer through ICT, occupies the majority of the time that the promoter dedicates to the enterprise.
Conclusions: The existence of an environmental conduct by the rural tourism enterprise, and the communication of this conduct, is assumed as a fundamental ingredient for the success of the tourist activity of the enterprise. Moreover, it is fundamental for the attraction of a new tourist more concerned with environmental issues.
Álvarez, L. S., Martín, A. M. D., & Casielles, R. V. (2007). Relationship Marketing and Information and Communication Technologies: Analysis of Retail Travel Agencies. Journal of Travel Research, 45(4), 453-463.
Angelkovaa, T., Koteskia, C., Jakovleva, Z., & Mitrevskaa, E. (2012). Sustainability and competitiveness of tourism. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2012, 221-227.
Biosphere (2019a). The definitive guide for sustainable tourism. Retrieved from https://www.biospheretourism.com/en/download-the-definitive-guide-for-sustainable-tourism/113
Biosphere (2019b). Help us change the world At Biosphere we bet on sustainable tourism. Retrieved from https://www.biospheretourism.com/en/help-us-change-the-world/79
Bowen, G. A. (2009). Document analysis as a qualitative research method. Qualitative Research Journal, 9(2), 27-40.
Erlingsson, C., & Brysiewicz, P. (2017). A hands-on guide to doing content analysis. African Journal of Emergency Medicine, 7, 93-99.
Evans, G., & Parravicini, P. (2005). Exploiation of ICT for Rural Tourism enterprise: the case of Aragon, Spain. In D. Hall, I. Kirkpatrick, & M. Mitchell (Eds.), Rural tourism and sustainable business (pp. 103-120).
Figueiredo, E. (2013). Mc Rural, No Rural or What Rural? Some refletions on rural reconfifuration processes based on the promotion of Schist Villages Network, Portugal. In L. Silva & E. Figueiredo (Eds.), Shaping Rural Areas in Europe - Perceptions and Outcomes on the Present and the Future (pp. 129-146). Dordrecht: Springer.
GreenKey. (2019a). Booking.com and Green Key start a collaboration. Retrieved from https://www.greenkey.global/stories-news-1/2018/2/23/bookingcom-and-green-key-start-a-collaboration
GreenKey. (2019b). Unlocking sustainability in the hospitality industry. Retrieved from https://www.greenkey.global/
Hojeghan, S. B., & Esfangareh, A. N. (2011). Digital economy and tourism impacts, influences and challenges. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 19 (2011) 308–316, 19, 308-316.
Kastenholz, E. (2004). "Management of demand" as a tool in sustainable tourist destination. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 12(5), 388-408.
Kastenholz, E. (2014). Turismo Rural - Reinventar para sustentar? In E. Kastenholz, C. Eusébio, E. Figueiredo, M. J. Carneiro, & J. Lima (Eds.), Reinventar o turismo rural em Portugal Cocriação de experiências turísticas sustentáveis (pp. 1-6). Aveiro: Universidade de Aveiro.
Kastenholz, E., Eusébio, C., & Carneiro, M. J. (2018). Segmenting the rural tourist market by sustainable travel behaviour: Insights from village visitors in Portugal. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 10, 132-142.
Keller, K. L. (2009). Building strong brands in a modern marketing communications environment. Journal of marketing communications, 15(2-3), 139-155.
Lane, B. (1994). Sustainable rural tourism strategies: A tool for development and conservation. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 2(1), 102-111.
Mathieson, A., & Wall, G. (1982). Tourism: economic, physical, and social impacts. Essex: Longman.
Mittiga, A., Silva, B., Wernet, F., Kow, N., & Kutschera, S. (2018). Travel Trends Report 2019. In. Retrieved from https://www.trekksoft.com/en/academy/ebooks/travel-trends-2019
Pato, L. (2012). Dinâmicas do turismo rural - impactos em termos de Desenvolvimento Rural. (PhD), University of Aveiro, Aveiro.
Pato, L. (2019a). Comunicação em turismo rural e línguas estrangeiras entre o desejado e a realidade. Millenium journal of Education, Technologies, and Health, 2(ed espec nº 4), 11-19.
Pato, L. (2019b). A relação umbilical entre turismo rural e línguas estrangeiras. Millenium journal of Education, Technologies, and Health, 2(ed espec nº 4), 21-29.
Pato, L., & Kastenholz, E. (2017). Marketing of rural tourism - a study based on rural tourism lodgings in Portugal. Journal of Place Management and Development, 10(2), 121-130.
Peña, A. I. P., & Jamilena, D. M. F. (2010). The relationship between business characteristics and ICT deployment in the rural tourism sector. The case of Spain. International Journal of Tourism Research, 12(1), 34-48.
Peña, A. I. P., Jamilena, D. M. F., Ángel, M., & Molina, R. (2013). Impact of Customer Orientation and ICT Use on the Perceived Performance of Rural Tourism Enterprises. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 30(3), 272-289.
Penz, E., Hofmann, E., & Hartl, B. (2017). Fostering Sustainable Travel Behavior: Role of Sustainability Labels and Goal-Directed Behavior Regarding Touristic Services. Sustainability, 9(6), 1056.
Pesonen, J., & Komppula, R. (2010). Rural wellbeing tourism: Motivations and expectations. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 17, 150-158.
Pulido-Fernández, J. I., & López-Sánchez, Y. (2016). Are Tourists Really Willing to Pay More for Sustainable Destinations? Sustainability, 8(12), 1240.
Romero, A. B., & Valiente, G. C. (2005). Las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación en el desarrollo del turismo rural. Documents d’Anàlisi Geogràfica, 46, 105-117.
Roque, V., Martins, J. A., & Lopes, R. (2013). Análise exploratória de sítios web: o caso dos hotéis Portugueses de 4 e 5 estrelas. In Instituto Politécnico Guarda (Ed.), Inovação e Tecnologia em Turismo & Hotelaria (pp. 121-142). Guarda: Instituto Politécnico da Guarda.
Sedmak, G., Planinc, T., Kociper, T., & Planinc, S. (2016). Managers' perceptions of the role of ICT in rural tourism firms efficiency: The case of Slovenia. Tourism, 64, 339-345.
UN (1987). Report of the world Commission on Environment and Development "Our Common Future": United Nations.
UNWTO. (2019). Sustainable Development of Tourism. Retrieved from http://sdt.unwto.org/content/about-us-5
Yin, R. (2014). Case Study Research: Design and Methods fith Editon. London: SAGE Publications.
Copyright (c) 2020 Millenium - Journal of Education, Technologies, and Health
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who submit proposals for this journal agree to the following terms:
a) Articles are published under the License Creative Commons, in full open-access, without any cost or fees of any kind to the author or the reader;
b) The authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication, allowing the free sharing of work, provided it is correctly attributed the authorship and initial publication in this journal;
c) The authors are permitted to take on additional contracts separately for non-exclusive distribution of the version of the work published in this journal (eg, post it to an institutional repository or as a book), with an acknowledgment of its initial publication in this journal;
d) Authors are permitted and encouraged to publish and distribute their work online (eg, in institutional repositories or on their website) as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as increase the impact and citation of published work
Documents required for submission