The certification offers a comprehensive assessment program that will:
Educate commercial tour operators and community stakeholders on certification and best management practices for the responsible use of natural and cultural resources.
Ensure credibility using third party assessment for tour providers whose operations positively affect the natural and cultural resources, contribute to conservation, and help sustain local communities.
Increase visibility of sustainable tourism operators and raise awareness amongst visitors.
CERTIFICATION PROGRAM FRAMEWORK
The HEA Sustainable Tourism Certification Program has two components:
A current member of the Hawaii Ecotourism Association.
In compliance with all Federal, State, and Local regulations for all products/services, and commits to abide by all necessary permit conditions.
Has a Sustainability Commitment Statement posted on the website that guides its operations and demonstrates commitment toHEA’s Sustainable Tourism principles.
Is a commercial endeavor primarily engaged in providing guided tours and/or activities.
Provides accurate information to guests that can be referenced.
Utilizes marketing that is accurate and demonstrates responsible travel practices.
Has a system to monitor and respond to guest and employee feedback.
Contributes to conservation outcomes annually.
Contributes to the communities in which they operate annually.
Be featured on HEA’s homepage as a new certified operator and receive permanent placement as a corporate sponsor.
Inclusion in HEA’s travel planner for Hawaii
Exclusive usage rights of HEA’s logo for marketing purposes
Eligible to participate in Hawaii Ecotourism Association’s committees and working groups
Publicity initiated by HEA, including: Hawaii Public Radio, Star Advertiser, Pacific Business News, Green Magazine, and many others.
Recognition at HEA’s Annual Luncheon
Koa Legacy tree planted on your company’s behalf, including certificate of sponsorship
Social media highlights of your company’s outreach/volunteer programs and your other important events / activities / accomplishments on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn
Access to HEA Ohana Only information and The Ecotraveler, HEA’s newsletter covering trends and issues influencing sustainable tourism
Eligible to serve on the HEA Board of Directors
Invitation to HEA Events, including the Annual Awards Luncheon
Profile on HEA’s website which includes your business description, company logo, contact details and a link to your company’s website: Also included on the profile are the certificaiton details, videos and images provided to the HEA to attain certification
Exclusive usage rights of HEA’s Certified Sustainable Tour Operator Seal for promotional materials
Access to HEA sponsored trainings
Concierge/Activity desk outreach to educate about certified tour operators
Also included on the profile are the certification details, videos and images provided to the HEA to attain certification