How to receive the standard

What does it mean to hold the Biosphere Barcelona standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism?

Barcelona has held a Biosphere certificate since 2011, as an urban destination committed to sustainability. Thanks to this label, companies located in the Barcelona area can benefit from the Biosphere Barcelona standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism, the first step to receiving recognition for improvements in sustainability made by a tourism organisation or company.

How can I start the process to join?

First, please enter your personal and company details on this form. Once received, we will contact you and send you the documentation to fill in to start the procedure to join us.

How much time should organizations devote to it?

In addition to the two training sessions (two mornings or afternoons) and the advising (an approximate annual total of 5 h), organizations should consider the time they must spend on compliance with the requirements through the computer platform. Some organizations complete the entire process in a few months, while others can take nearly a year.

What is the external review?

Every company that joins will be matched with a consultancy, which will offer individual and personalised advice throughout the process. During the review session, they will go over the sustainability requirements to be met by each company. At the end of the session, the consultancy will draft a report outlining any requirements that have not yet been met and any other applicable recommendations.

What is the Improvement Plan?

The Improvement Plan is a record of the requirements that each company must meet in order to ensure it still adheres to the standard. Further improvements should be added to the plan on an annual basis in order to ensure continuous improvement towards sustainability.

When does the process of adhering to the standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism come to an end?

The consultancy will check that each company has made the suggested improvements to adhere to the standard and will prepare the subsequent verification report to be presented to the Sustainable Tourism Committee. The final step involves verification from the Institute of Responsible Tourism. Companies that have passed the entire process will receive the Biosphere Sustainable Lifestyle certification showing their commitment to sustainability.

What is the Sustainable Tourism Committee and who are its members?

The process of applying for the Biosphere Barcelona standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism will be overseen by the Sustainable Tourism Committee, which is periodically convened by Barcelona City Council.

The Committee will supervise the certifications awarded to companies and services, according to their compliance with the criteria for commitment.

Requirements

What are the requirements to be awarded the Biosphere Barcelona standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism?

When being formally awarded the standard, the company will sign this declaration of responsibility.
Requirements vary according to the type of company and tourist profile of each organisation. On the one hand, there are mandatory requirements for obtaining the certification. On the other hand, there are recommended requirements that are not necessary to obtain the Biosphere Sustainable Lifestyle certification, although they are advisable for improving how sustainability is managed in each organisation or company.
The fields that work with the varied requisites are:

  • Environmental climatic
  • Social ambient
  • Medium
  • Economics
  • Culture

How do I know if my organisation is ready to apply for the standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism?

Being awarded the standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism should not be seen as an end in itself, but as a path towards sustainable tourism.
Therefore, provided that the mandatory requirements are met, what is sought is continuous improvement through the implementation of an annual action plan, conditioned by the type of company, resources and unique characteristics of each organisation.

When do I have to renew the standard?

The standard is renewed annually. That is to say, the companies must complete the stages and present the corresponding documentation within one year in order to keep holding the certification. After that year, they will have to attend new training and review sessions in order to renew the standard as well as to comply with a new improvement plan with new actions to be carried out throughout the year. This procedure will repeat on an annual basis, so as to achieve the continuous improvement that is the goal of the process.

Cost

How much does it cost?

In the case of companies based in the city of Barcelona, the price of joining the Biosphere Barcelona standard for Commitment to Sustainable Tourism is subsidised by Barcelona City Council. In the case of companies located outside the city but that belong to Barcelona Turisme, the cost is included in their fee.

 

Safe Travels Stamp

Can organizations that want the WTTC Safe Travels Stamp get it through the Commitment to Sustainable Tourism?

With the Safe Travels Stamp, travellers in any country around the world can identify the companies, organizations and public services that have adopted approved protocols of COVID-19 safety and prevention measures.

Any company, organization and public service of the tourism sector and visitor economy that can present documentation to accredit compliance with any of the following conditions can apply for the stamp:

  • Having the certification or stamp for COVID-19 prevention measures, granted by an official certification entity.
  • Being recognized as a Commitment to Sustainable Tourism – Barcelona Biosphere Destination after September 2020, or having the seal renewed at any time after this date.

The stamp is important for sector professionals and other stakeholders, as it is an internationally recognized credential confirming the implementation of safety and prevention measures for protection from the pandemic.

Who is the Safe Travels Stamp meant fo, and how much does it cost?

It is meant for any tourism company or organization of the Barcelona destination, and any related with visitors. The cost for processing the stamp is 25 € plus VAT. However, in the case of Turisme de Barcelona member companies, the price is subsidized and covered by the Consortium, and the Provincial Government of Barcelona, which covers the cost of the companies from the counties of Barcelona that hold the Commitment to Sustainability seal.

Where are the companies with Safe Travels Stamp listed?

The list of companies with the Safe Travels Stamp, classified according to activity type, can be viewed here.