Croatia has been receiving a lot of press lately as the “new” and relatively untouched area of Europe for wanderlusts to discover. The country offers pristine beaches, hiking trails and vineyards for adventures and culinary enthusiasts alike.
In addition, since 1993, Croatia has also instituted the Environmental Label, so that consumers could understand the “environmental friendliness of a product…and an indication of continuous efforts (toward) environmental protection”.
Based on Germany’s eco-labeling scheme as well as ISO 9000 and ISO 19011, the Environmental Label of the Republic of Croatia was not specifically geared toward ecotourism until 2011 when it evolved to include accommodation providers and campsites.
The process for obtaining the Environmental Label includes an assessment of how a company’s specific eco-activity or accommodation consumes water, manages waste, uses energy, manages natural resources, uses detergents and disinfectants, and preserves biodiversity. Croatia is presently revising the eco-label criteria in consultation with sustainable tourism professionals as well as relevant stakeholders in order to tackle challenges such as physical planning (e.g. zoning to discourage mass tourism resorts), energy efficiency, use of solar energy, and capacity planning for seasonal tourism.
Presently, applicants submit an application that details and provides evidence about how its company’s product fulfills the criteria of the eco label. The application must also include information about the company’s sustainable tourism business plan for continuous improvement, resource management, and guest interpretation. The application is then assessed and verified by a commission from the Ministry of Tourism.
Below is a listing of the first 15 hotels and campsites that have been awarded the Environmentally Friendly eco-label:
- Valamar Riviera Hotel & Residence (Poreč)
- Sol Garden Istra (Umag)
- Istra (Rovinj)
- Villa Dvor (Omiš)
- Hotel Vicko (Starigrad Paklenica)
- Amfora (Hvar)
- Valamar Lacroma (Dubrovnik)
- Maestral (Novigrad)
- Borovnik (Tisno)
- Villa Andrea (Tučepi)
- Polari (Novigrad)
- Mareda (Novigrad)
- Park Umag (Umag)
- Solaris (Poreč )
- Vira (Hvar)