Since 2003 the EU ecolabel for tourist accommodation has been the official emblem of the European Union for environment-friendly tourist accommodation facilities. It was designed as a recognition for accommodation facilities that respect the environment. In 2004 the European Commission also formulated criteria for camp grounds, which have been able to apply for an EU ecolabel since 2005. In the eyes of the user, the EU ecolabel for tourist accommodation should be a guarantee of environment-friendly operation, and thereby an added value (quality) of the product or service, which should influence the decision of tourists regarding their choice of product or destination.
The EU ecolabel for tourist accommodation can be requested by all types of accommodation facilities, including hotels, guest houses, mountain lodges, private room providers, tourist farms and camp grounds.
Companies that have acquired the EU ecolabel for tourist accommodation strive for:
• reduced air pollution (caused by paints and cleaning agents containing synthetic solvents); • more sparing use of energy and other natural resources; • less pollution of the environment and surroundings (no use of pesticides, fertilisers etc.); • the use of organic food in their catering.
The EU ecolabel for accommodation facilities is officially recognised throughout the European Union, so the marketing effects are Europe-wide.
Since it started in 1992, the number of label holders has grown from year to year. By 2009 the ecolabel had been acquired by more than 750 companies, or 840 by April 2009. In 2008 there were 230 new recipients of the label (representing 45% more than in 2007).