ECST is divided in three phases:
- PHASE 1: the protected area;
- PHASE II: local tourist businesses;
- PHASE III: tour operators, travel agencies and tourism boards
CETS sets itself the ambitious goal of certifying the entire tourism supply chain and offering the user a holiday destination.
To obtain the Charter (PHASE I), the protected area must:
- Present its candidacy to Europarc Federation.
- Train the staff of the protected area involved and organize meetings with businesses, local administrators, trade associations in the area involved in the tourism sector .
- Carry out an analysis of the tourist market in the protected area, of the strategies already in place, of the opportunities and of the environmental, economic and social impact.
- Draw a final Strategy and Action Plan document.
Europarc Federation evaluates the Action Plan and therefore grants the Diploma of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. Once the award is obtained, the protected area must put into practice the Action Plan.
The Charter is valid for five years and is renewable.
Protected areas that have obtained the Charter may decide to implement the subsequent PHASES II and III. Thus the tourism companies involved can be recognized as signatories of the Charter.