The main objectives of the Symposium are to:
- Create the core and the leadership network of the future Sustainable Mountain Tourism Alliance (SMTA) to enable long-term and consistant work on mainstreaming and simplifying the reporting of sustainability in Alpine tourism.
- Present and broadly discuss the findings of a recent comparative study on existing sustainability labels in mountain tourism, and their classification.
- Engage in an in-depth technical discussion on advances in measuring approaches and indicators of labels and communication specific to ski areas and hotels in alpine tourism destinations.
- Integrate top-down (ISO/EU labels, politics, larger destinations, tour operators, major organizations such as CIPRA,…) with bottom-up stakeholders (labels of smaller NGOs, various tourism businesses, smaller destinations, entrepreneurs, smaller customer driven intiatives, consultants,…), universities and media in finding a common reporting standard.
- Begin the discussion on an destination level by integrating hotels and ski area labels, with the prospect to reach out to the transportation sector as well.
- Provide plenty of time and space to meet, network, talk and share ideas and knowledge.
- Agree on the following steps to take and a next SMTA symposium.
The existing sustainability labels will present their goals and current state of measuring, labeling and communicating sustainability. Stakeholders from different regions and cultures who have been engaged in regional development, politics and tourism are invited to share their own experiences, interests and needs regarding the implementation, the measurement and the communication of sustainable development.
The Symposium and the founding meeting of the SMTA will be the official start to create a new global network for measuring, labeling and communicating sustainability in alpine regions. The introduction of SMTA is intended as a signal not only to tourism destinations in mountain regions across Europe and worldwide, but also to the snow sport and outdoor industry, public authorities, travel operators, tourists and even the general public. The transformation to sustainable tourism practices while responding to global environmental change needs to be taken serious.