Green Meetings: Ecocertification Of Sustainable Events In Conference And Business Tourism
Free (open access)
L. Ranacher & U. Pröbstl-Haider
Conference and business tourism is increasing in economic importance, and negative environmental impacts of associated events can be significant. One method of making such events more sustainable is the ecocertification of green meetings. Ecocertification is a common tool for the advancement of sustainability in the tourism industry, and some empirical research has already been dedicated to the perception of ecolabels, as well as to incentives for and inhibitors against joining ecocertification schemes. For the special segment of green meetings, however, such research is pending. This study, therefore, is dedicated to the perception of ecocertified green meetings and to the certification process involved. Qualitative and quantitative research methods are employed to investigate the perception of the congress facility manager, an event manager and the attendees of an ecocertified conference at the Congress Centre Alpbach in Tyrol, Austria. The congress facility manager and the event manager are interviewed via expert interviews. For the conference attendees, a standardised questionnaire is used. The results reveal the level of awareness concerning the existence of the Austrian Green Meetings Certificate and the perception of an ecocertified green meeting including its associated benefits. Furthermore, the perception of the certification process itself, the event manager’s reasons for pursuing certification, the congress facility’s role in the certification process, as well as limitations to encouraging environmentally friendly travel are reported. The paper is concluded with a discussion of preconditions and requirements necessary to increase the number of green meetings in Austria.
Green meetings, ecocertification, sustainable event, sustainable tourism.