Otto Fichtl on the holistic view of a business. Copyright by Alex Gretter Photography.

With certification processes to more sustainability

Under the title "The Austrian Ecolabel in Tourism - With Certification Processes to More Sustainability", the kick-off event of the new dialogue series "Sustainability in Tourism" of the Tourism Section at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Economic Affairs took place on Wednesday, 28 June 2023.

More than 70 visitors from all tourism regions of Austria took part in the top-class event at the Austrian Ecolabel and EU Ecolabel-certified Hotel Stadt Kufstein.

Implementation of the "Plan T"

In her welcoming speech, Section Head Ulrike Rauch-Keschmann, Head of the Tourism Section at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Economic Affairs, pointed out the numerous measures and initiatives and funding provided by the BMAW to promote sustainable tourism development. She emphasised that with the development of the Ecolabel Guideline for Tourism Destinations, one of the goals formulated in the Austrian Tourism Strategy Plan T was implemented and the first destinations could be awarded.

DI Andreas Tschulik, head of the department responsible for the Ecolabel at the Federal Ministry of Climate Action, pointed out the potential of the Ecolabel to tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis. Not only in the field of tourism but also in the other Ecolabel areas - from the numerous product certifications to educational institutions - future-oriented standards are set here.

Why go the certification route? Sustainability manager Nicole Nell explains. Copyright by Alex Gretter Photography.

Why certification systems are helpful

Prof. Dr. Christian Baumgartner (response & ability gmbh), Mag. Oliver Csendes (Österreich Werbung) and Dr. Michaela Hölz (HÖLZ Consulting) explained why certification systems such as the Austrian Eco-label are helpful and what added value they have for tourism businesses and destinations. DI Otto Fichtl (VKI-Umweltzeichen) briefly presented the contents and the path to certification.

Very impressive and authentic were the practical examples of certified accommodations by Reinhard Lojnik (Hotel Stadt Kufstein), Oswald Jäger (Hotel Jägeralpe) and Dietmar Nußbaumer (Hotel Gasthof Krone). They pointed out the savings potentials in the implementation of the Ecolabel and emphasised that a completed certification is an important, but not the last, building block on the way to sustainability of a company. Michel Brüggl, environmental officer of the Schmittenhöhebahn, reported on the experiences of one of the first certified ski huts (Sonnkogel Restaurant), and last but not least, sustainability manager Nicole Nell (Wagrain-Kleinarl) showed how the implementation of sustainability certification works at destination level.

Finally, there was a lively exchange with the speakers and with each other at the various theme tables.


Innovative concepts with VR

A new project of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce's professional associations for gastronomy and the hotel industry offers a virtual, interactive tour with VR glasses through sustainable, Ecolabel-certified model businesses. At, this insight into operational sustainability issues and cost-saving measures can also be followed up at any time via computer, tablet or mobile phone.

More information

Presentations and photos of this kick-off event of the dialogue series can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Economic Affairs.

Of course, the event was also certified as a „Green Meeting“ with the Austrian Ecolabel.