Vacationers usually surprise if claims of ecotourism and sustainability are greenwashing. That’s why the World Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) developed the GSTC Standards. The group vets locations, lodges and tour operators for sustainable administration and socioeconomic, cultural and environmental influence. Türkiye, also called Turkey, turned the world’s first authorities to start out growing a nationwide plan with GSTC. The oldsters at Türkiye Tourism collectively answered some questions for Inhabitat about sustainable tourism in Türkiye.
Inhabitat: Türkiye’s authorities has turn into the primary on the planet to signal an settlement to develop a nationwide program with GSTC. What do you assume makes the nation so forward-thinking about sustainability?
Türkiye Tourism: We consider the influence of COVID-19 on tourism and journey offers us with a novel alternative to form a brand new future for our very important sector and guarantee we recuperate sustainably and inclusively in a means that empowers each trade stakeholders and communities internationally.
Having signed the Paris Settlement on the finish of 2021, Türkiye accelerated its sustainability efforts with the impact of the teachings discovered from the pandemic. Türkiye signed a cooperation settlement with GSTC, the world’s prime surroundings and sustainability platform, initially of 2022. Türkiye, which began working with GSTC to arrange a Nationwide Sustainable Tourism Program, is the primary nation on the planet to signal an settlement to develop a nationwide program within the discipline of sustainable and inexperienced tourism.
This program with the GSTC is deliberate to restructure the Turkish tourism trade with a three-year protocol. It’s anticipated to be accomplished in 2030 whereas additionally assembly the commitments of the Paris Settlement. The primary section of this system shall be carried out step by step in 2023 and the second section in 2025. As of April 2022, a sustainable transformation shall be initiated in lodging services in Turkey. The Nationwide Sustainable Tourism Program ready with GSTC units essentially the most widespread and highest requirements within the discipline of sustainable tourism. With this, Türkiye goals to make sure the sustainability of the nation’s wealthy pure and cultural assets.
Inhabitat: What are some steps that Türkiye has already taken to turn into a extra sustainable tourism vacation spot?
Türkiye Tourism: With the Secure Tourism Certification Program carried out within the first months of the pandemic, Türkiye instilled nice confidence in its guests. It has enforce the Secure Tourism Certification Program, which defines a collection of measures by all actors of the trade: from transportation to lodging and from facility staff to passengers’ personal well being standing for Turkish residents and overseas guests spending their holidays.
Because of this Secure Certification program, which is among the first of its type on the planet, and the great vaccination program carried out by Türkiye, the nation achieved a “V” formed restoration in 2021. Together with the teachings discovered about sustainable tourism throughout the pandemic, the Secure Tourism Certification Program will proceed to be carried out because the Secure and Inexperienced Tourism Certification Program. It would achieve a operate that additionally determines and oversees the sustainability circumstances in Türkiye as of 2023.
Türkiye has already carried out the Provincial Promotion and Improvement Program in 2021 with the aim of selling tourism all through the 4 seasons and gaining sustainable standards for the entire nation. Presently, the Secure and Inexperienced Tourism Certification Program is assessed by 4 ministries.
This program goals each to create a extra sustainable tourism mannequin by preserving the character of the areas that obtain intense visits and to carry Türkiye to the fore with all its richness within the worldwide enviornment. It would allow Türkiye’s provinces and sub-destinations to be promoted extra successfully within the nationwide and worldwide enviornment.
Inhabitat: What future sustainability initiatives do you anticipate for Türkiye?
Türkiye Tourism: Future initiatives embrace the creation of a Inexperienced Türkiye rubric on the GoTürkiye platform as a B2C technique of immediately informing the general public. The intention is to supply a one-stop for these in search of actions and lodging with a low carbon footprint.
The TOURISM2023 Grasp Plan of the Ministry of Tradition and Tourism has been formed throughout the framework of the sustainability imaginative and prescient to generate sustainable tourism insurance policies. According to the 17 Sustainable Improvement Objectives and sustainable tourism administration, [the plan] focuses on environmental, cultural and socioeconomic impacts. Our ministry has labored in tandem with the Surroundings Ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on numerous initiatives akin to the combination of native farmers into the tourism provide chain.
A nationwide map of eco-labeled services in Türkiye is presently being labored on. Amongst many out there nationwide and worldwide eco-labels, touristic services displaying sustainable initiatives are awarded a inexperienced star or ISO 14001 label.
Nationwide eco-labels have been carried out and can proceed [at] totally different ranges. Airports and organizations working at airports are granted a nationwide label encouraging the systematic discount of hurt they could trigger. In the identical method, cruise ports are awarded the Inexperienced Ports label geared toward lowering environmental dangers, particularly emissions, arising from port and ship operations.
Further villages are anticipated to affix the 18 “Cittaslow” cities acknowledged in seven areas. Sometimes, cities with historic character, settlements on excessive altitude plateaus and stone homes on slender streets close to the seacoast are awarded by the Sluggish Meals motion. An initiative developed because of the pandemic has been the promotion of touring Türkiye by practice.
Inhabitat: What’s Türkiye doing to fight overtourism?
Türkiye Tourism: Earlier than and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the primary initiatives have been carried out with the primary targets of lowering the strain from mass tourism in coastal areas and spreading the socioeconomic advantages of tourism to underdeveloped areas. These tasks developed earlier than the pandemic embrace the Blue Flag Mission for sustainable boating, … Botanical Tourism Mission and Silk Highway Mission.
Inhabitat: What else ought to readers learn about sustainable tourism in Türkiye?
Türkiye Tourism: Türkiye has been conscious of the significance of sustainable tourism throughout the scope of defending the surroundings and organic range earlier than and after the pandemic. Türkiye has carried out many pioneer tasks on this regard. Along with 3S [sun, sea and sand] tourism, Türkiye presently provides coastal tourism, tradition and historic tourism, winter sports activities, mountain and nature tourism, highland tourism … 44 nationwide parks, 247 nature parks, 30 nature safety areas and 116 nature monuments. Together with these merchandise, Türkiye has a uncommon richness in endemic species, wildlife.
And there’s heaps extra details about sustainability in Turkiye right here. As well as, the Antalya aquarium, the Atatürk Cultural Middle, the Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Ankara, the Odunpazarı Fashionable Museum and Galataport have been all constructed with a sustainable technique.
Photos courtesy of Türkiye Tourism