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Quality standards



​​​​​​​​​​​As part of the Portuguese Quality System, the mission of the Technical Commission for Standardisation in Tourism - TC 144, managed by Turismo de Portugal, is to define quality benchmarks for tourism activities in the field of facilities and services.

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has issued quality standards, which CT 144 helped to draw up.

// ISO Standard 21902 - Tourism and related services - Accessible tourism for all, was recently published on 13 July 2021, and was accompanied by Subcommittee 8 - Accessible tourism.

This international standard aims to provide information on the necessary accessibility requirements and guidelines to facilitate access to tourist enjoyment for people of all ages and abilities, including people who may face permanent or temporary accessibility problems (injured people, pregnant women, families with young children) or who need specific access requirements (physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities).

It is aimed at the entire tourism value chain, from national, regional, and local authorities, to catering services, tourist accommodation, travel agencies, tourist entertainment, transport, among others, making clear the need for all tourism service providers in the destination to be accessible in order to be able to offer a satisfactory travel experience for all people.

It also aims to clarify the key accessibility points that must be guaranteed in the management strategy, infrastructure, equipment, goods, and tourist services. Another objective of this international standard is to promote greater international consistency and clarity on how to make tourist facilities and services accessible.

In 2014, 2018 and 2022 standards were published for the following subcommittees:

_ SC 1 Diving (WG_1 Recreational Diving Services)
_ SC 2 Health and Wellness Tourism (WG_2 Health Tourism Services)
_ SC 3 Tourism Information (WG_3 Tourism Information)
_ SC 6 Nature and Outdoor Tourism (WG_7 Adventure Tourism)
_ SC 8 Accessible Tourism (WG 14 Accessible Tourism)
_ SC 10 Tourist Accommodation (WG_15 Accomodation)
_ SC 13 Industrial Tourism (WG_17 Tourist Visits)
_ SC 14 Sustainability (WG_13 Sustainable Tourism) 

// ISO Standard 24801:2014 - Recreational diving services - Requirements for practitioners and ISO Standard 24802:2014 - Recreational diving services - Requirements for instructors
These two standards aim to define normative benchmarks applicable to the different levels of diving and in particular to the training of recreational divers and diving instructors.

The ISO 24801:2014 standard, which deals with the requirements for the training of recreational divers, is divided into three documents covering the accompanied diver, the autonomous diver and the diving instructor.
In turn, the ISO 24802:2014 standard, divided into two documents referring to level 1 and 2, deals with the requirements for training diving instructors and their competency profile.

// ISO Standard 14785: 2014 - Tourist Information Offices - Requirements
It concerns tourist information offices as essential points of contact and support for tourists, with the quality of the service provided and the information supplied being decisive in shaping the visitor's experience. The main aim of this standard is to guarantee a consistent level of service at tourist information offices, regardless of their type or size and regardless of the tourist destination. In this document you can find guidelines on best practice in the provision of services (visitor reception, tourist information, commercial activities, communication, and promotion), resources (human, infrastructure, equipment, communication technologies), as well as information on consumer rights, environmental responsibility, accessibility, among others.

// ISO Standard 21103:2014 Adventure tourism - Information for participants
It covers adventure tourism activities that are challenging and bring satisfaction to participants, but at the same time involve a series of risks inherent to their practice. The main aim of this standard is to ensure that participants are informed about all the specifics of the activities in question, as well as the risks involved, before, during and after the service is provided. This standard also allows the organisers of adventure tourism activities to regulate the services provided according to high standards that will result in the improvement of that service.

// ISO Standard 20611:2018 Adventure tourism - Good practices for sustainability - Requirements and recommendations
This document provides requirements and recommendations for adventure tourism activity providers on good sustainability practices (environmental, social, and economic aspects) for adventure tourism activities. This document can be used by all types and sizes of adventure tourism activity providers, operating in different geographical, cultural, and social environments.

// ISO Standard 21401:2018 Tourism and related services - Sustainable management system for accommodation establishments - Requirements
This document specifies the environmental, social, and economic requirements for implementing a sustainability management system in accommodation establishments in the tourism sector. This document applies to those aspects that can be controlled by accommodation establishments and over which they can exert influence.
It is applicable to any accommodation establishment, regardless of its type, size, or location:
_ implement, maintain, and improve sustainable practices in its operations
_ ensure compliance with its defined sustainability policy 

// ISO Standard 21426:2018 - Thermal establishments - Service requirements
This standard specifies requirements for the provision of quality services in Thermal Establishments that use natural mineral waters with therapeutic properties (except salt water) and other natural resources with proven therapeutic and preventive health benefits.

// ISO Standard 21426: 2021 - Accessible tourism for all - Requirements and recommendations
This document establishes standards and provides guidelines for "accessible tourism for all", with the aim of ensuring fair access to and enjoyment of tourism for as many people as possible of all ages and abilities.

// ISO Standard 23405:2022 Tourism and related services - Sustainable tourism - Principles, vocabulary, and model
This document specifies the fundamental concepts and principles and a model for sustainable tourism. It is applicable to public and private organisations and destinations, regardless of their size or location, and is also aimed at other stakeholders committed to the sustainable development of tourism.

// ​ISO Standard 13810:2022 Tourism and related services - Visits to industrial, natural, cultural, and historical sites - Requirements and recommendations
This document establishes general requirements and recommendations for service providers offering guided or self-guided tours in order to inform visitors about the characteristics, cultural, historical, or natural value of a tourist site, or how a service, activity or product is developed now or was developed in the past (industrial tourism).

// ISO Standard 3163:2022 Adventure tourism - Vocabulary
This document establishes the terms commonly used in various types of adventure tourism activities, including terms related to safety and services.

The Portuguese Quality Institute (IPQ), the national standardisation body whose mission is to coordinate the Portuguese Quality System, has published several quality standards for tourism, which also involved Turismo de Portugal in their preparation.

_ NP 4494:2010 (Turismo de ​Habitação e Turismo em Espaço Rural) - ​(Manor Houses Tourism and Tourism in Rural Area)
_ NP 4507:2012 (Empreendimentos de Turismo de Natureza) - (Nature Tourism Enterprises)​
_ NP 4520:2013 (Atividades de Turismo de Natureza) - (Nature Tourism Activities)
NP 4556:2014 (Turismo Industrial)​​ - (Industrial Tourism)​
_ NP 4523:2018 (Turismo Acessível em Estabelecimentos Hoteleiros)​ - (Accessible Tourism in Hotel Establishments)

_ DNP CWA 5643-1:2021 - Requirements and guidelines to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the tourism industry (ISO/PAS 5643:2021)
_ DNP CWA 5643-2:2021 - Requirements and guidelines to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the tourism industry - European visual identity
_ NP ISO 21902:2022 (Accessible tourism for all - Requirements and recommendations)
_ NP ISO 21426 (Thermal establishments - Service requirements)

These national standards are purchased from the Instituto Português da Qualidade (IPQ), which also provides additional information on standardisation. 

Entities accredited for possible certification according to the standards in question are identified by the Portuguese Accreditation Institute (IPAC), ), which is responsible for accreditation activities and is responsible for assessing and recognising the technical competence of entities that carry out specific conformity assessment activities.

  • Quality
  • Standardisation
  • Certification
  • Accreditation
  • ISO standard
  • Portuguese standard
  • CT 144 – Serviços Turísticos
  • Adventure tourism
  • Tourist information
  • Diving
  • Turismo de habitação
  • Nature tourism
  • Accessible tourism
  • Animação turística
  • Hospitality
  • Turismo de Portugal
  • International Organization for Standardization
  • Portuguese Quality Institute
  • Instituto Português de Acreditação
  • Rural tourism
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