Zürich Tourism – pioneer of sustainable urban tourism
Zürich Tourism is responsible for the destination marketing and brand profiling of the city and region of Zürich as a diverse tourism destination. The organisation has already set itself ambitious goals for sustainable development. In 2009, the Swiss Tourism Sustainability Charter was signed. As part of this, Zürich Tourism implemented quality and environmental management in line with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 across its operations. A year later, Zürich Tourism chose to enter into a partnership with myclimate. It was the first tourism organisation in Switzerland to calculate and offset its operational CO2 emissions. The unavoidable emissions it generates are offset through a myclimate carbon offset project in Madagascar. Since 2015, a comprehensive sustainability strategy has defined ecological, social and economic targets for the organisation. An internal sustainability circle ensures that concerns about sustainability are rooted in the entire organisation. In addition, the circle develops logical measures to help achieve sustainability goals.
As a destination, Zürich regularly places at the top of international sustainability rankings, such as 1st place in the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index 2016 or 2nd place in the Mercer Quality of Living Ranking 2019. As a conference destination too, Zürich is among the most sustainable in the world and ranks third in the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS). Zürich tourism incorporates the strengths of the city – clean water, high quality of life and diversity, to name but a few – into its destination marketing and in so doing helps to ensure that leisure and business travellers enjoy their trip sustainably – from the planning phase to the stay itself.
For example, all flights booked through Zürich Tourism can be made climate neutral. Zürich Tourism offer guests environmentally-friendly walking tours, while trips taken by train, bus or plane can be offset using an external partner. Alternatively, visitors can offset their own emissions when booking online thanks to myclimate's «Cause We Care» initiative. As a thank you, Zürich Tourism matches these contributions, thereby supporting additional climate protection measures in Zürich.
In addition to operational measures and the involvement of visitors, raising awareness among tourist target groups and educating them plays a significant role. For example, Zürich Tourism regularly informs its members about new initiatives or training offers and hosts guest lectures for students. In addition, as a member of the Specialist Sustainable Tourism Group of the Swiss Tourism Association (STV) and the Sustainability Knowledge Group of the European Cities Marketing association (ECM), Zürich Tourism actively participates in a regular exchange of knowledge and insights with other tourist destinations.
With its broad range of measures and commitments, Zürich Tourism demonstrates how cities and regions can contribute to sustainable tourism.
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