ECOLNET – The European Ecotourism Knowledge Network


  • Create an Ecotourism knowledge network as a “community of interest” that brings together the stakeholders of ecotourism and sustainable tourism to facilitate learning and skills upgrading, with a focus to certification of quality standards of SME services in the field, expanding the Eco-Destinet Network with the inclusion of leading European ecotourism and sustainable tourism quality schemes, networks of tourism providers, education and training institutions, and rural development NGOs.
  • Create a “holistic evaluation” methodology that establishes “learning interaction” between all the main stakeholders of quality standards certification, i.e. the awarding agencies, the expert evaluators that perform the assessment of tourism businesses, and the staff and managers of these businesses.
  • Create a set of practical online tools for assessing compliance with certification standards, using the European Ecotourism Labelling Standard as the basis. These tools will introduce a cost-effective way to assess compliance with the set quality standards prior to certification, by using innovative ICT multi-media methods to perform an online evaluation of services and installations.
  • Vest the evaluation procedure with learning opportunities, addressing all stakeholders, with a view to creating career opportunities for tourism professionals and employment prospects/stability for SME staff in the ecotourism/sustainable tourism field.
  • Enrich the curricula of higher education and vocational training institutions in tourism departments with innovative content and learning tools; and enhance the adult education provision in rural areas, to fight the social and economic exclusion of rural residents in remote areas who seek a career in sustainable tourism.
  • Disseminate the project products as widely as possible so that the highest possible number of organizations and individuals receive the benefit.


Duration: November 2010 – November 2013
Budget: 45.100,5 Euro (11.275 Euro AER contribution)
Funding source: Leonardo da Vinci – Lifelong Learning Program
Coordinator: Andrei Blumer


The European Ecotourism Labelling Standard