As part of a cooperation between Green Key and Sustainable-Leaders, one Green Key ambassador will be featured on Sustainable-Leaders.com each month. Sustainability Leaders connects sustainable tourism thinkers, shakers and doers. It offers sustainability insights, case studies and examples of environmental leadership and best practice in travel and tourism. First Green ambassador to be represented is Erik Van Dijk, Green Key national operator in the Netherlands.
A few quotes from the interview with Erik Van Dijk
Why is sustainability in tourism so important?
“Sustainable development is very important for public spaces, but also for the sustainability of accommodation providers, for instance. As developer of tourism destinations, I know about the challenge to serve private and public sector interests, both of which constitute a destination. Apart from sustainability, public places within destinations – such as coastal areas with their parks, dunes, etc – must also fulfill quality criteria, such as parking space and accessibility.”
Which achievement(s) at Green Key are you most proud of?
“The fact that we have been able to help change the tourism supply chain by connecting our Green Key certified accommodations with suppliers of sustainable goods and services. That we can support entrepreneurs and small business owners and managers, thanks to our intermediary function in The Netherlands. And of course I’m very proud that we increased the number of Green Key certified accommodations: When I started in 2008 as national operator, we had 165 affiliated hotels. Now we are aiming for 600 certified hotels in 2016!”
Why should tourism professionals choose Green Key?
“Because it is a program by an independent NGO which collaborates with institutions such as WHO and UNEP. We don’t have commercial goals and Green Key is absolutely independent. And I think that our USP [unique selling proposition] is that we try to build a lasting, personal, and supportive relationship with the managers of certified accommodations and companies providing the right products and services.”
You can read the full article here