Ecoaccreditation: win-win for the environment and small business?

Shelley Burgin, Nigel Hardiman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The ongoing importance of the tourism and hospitality small business sector to the economic wellbeing of a country has been widely acknowledged internationally. Such businesses are important contributors to the environmental, social and cultural sustainability of their regions. There is growing pressure for such businesses to pursue sustainable development principles, commonly perceived by the owners to elevate costs and reduce competitiveness. In this review paper we consider the benefits for small businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry to gain ecoaccreditation. We conclude that, despite a large number of such schemes, market awareness is typically low but has potential to provide a competitive edge. Small business operators who choose to lead in ecoaccreditation would, however, be wise to ensure that they clearly articulate their scheme to potential customers, and target consumers from countries where interest in such schemes is highest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-38
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Business Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • tourism sector
  • hospitability
  • ecotourism
  • environmental performance
  • consumer behaviour


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