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New Kitemark for Environmental Travellers


What is claimed to be the world’s first dedicated measurement tool, for wellness tourism, travel and hospitality businesses was launched this week by Harmony TLC.

The Harmony Golden Ratio is the work of academics and consultants working at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) to develop a unique measurement tool developed specifically for travel, tourism and hospitality businesses looking to reduce their harmful environmental impact and to positively embrace a more sustainable way of business for the future.

Developed in line with the established concept of Harmony as a blueprint, The Harmony Golden Ratio is the brain child of Leo Downer and Nicki Page who have over 30 years experience working in global wellness tourism and hospitality, and Nick Campion of UWTSD.

Following on from The Harmony Debates virtual book launch in October, which gathered panellists from across the business, government and academia who have written on their support for the philosophy of Harmony as a blueprint for a better more sustainable world, there have been calls for urgent change from governments, with businesses and industries around the world adding their voices to the growing chorus globally for a RESET.

For the last year, Professor Nick Campion, Nicki Page and Leo Downer, have been developing ‘The Harmony Golden Ratio’. This is the newest and most scientifically sound approach to measuring the impact of tourism on the environment and communities. The first of its kind, this new quality kitemark in sustainable wellness tourism is based on the guiding principles of Harmony.

Current estimates from the Global Wellness Institute, indicate that the wellness tourism market was worth $639 billion market in 2017, projected (pre-pandemic) to reach $919 billion by 2022. Wellness tourism and sustainability as a principle of business, now form key requirements for destinations to attract and maintain visitor loyalty; and a quality kite mark that demonstrates authenticity, trust, and integrity in these areas is essential for international tourism.

The Harmony Golden Ratio was developed by TLC in consultation with professionals in sustainability, global hotel brands, health, community safety, education, transport, and government. It identifies a trusted destination for Wellness that has an authentic commitment to sustainability and the planet.

Leo Downer founder of TLC says, “Tourism and Wellness tourism is about having lovely experiences and improving your sense of personal wellbeing, whether that is going for a beach holiday, spa destination or yoga retreat. But it felt inauthentic and wrong that this personal improvement was happening to the detriment of our climate and the biodiversity of our planet. Our enjoyment was harming the wonderfully places we were visiting and ruining the opportunities for future generations to enjoy them. So, we have come up with an approach for individuals, resorts, and destinations to say this trip is not just great for you, but also good for people, the location, and the planet.”

The Golden Ratio is awarded to wellness destinations and organisations that undergo an active process of review and improvement towards addressing the socio-environmental impacts of their operational delivery and/or development. To achieve the highest level a destination would need to demonstrate that they have a positive impact for people, planet, and place. Sustainability is of paramount importance to an exponentially growing market: wellness travellers. They demand to know and see that you’re doing more. Globally, they’re already outspending regular tourists by 53%.

It is different from other sustainable tourism accreditation approaches in that it requires more from the destination in terms of the socio-environmental impact assessment. It goes beyond carbon offsetting and recycling programmes. The Harmony Golden Ratio uses internationally verified financial modelling approaches, identifying the environmental impact, while taking into consideration the socio-economic value of the destination, to create a clear cost figure that can be used to offset any negative impacts which may have been imposed, and helps destinations to become impact negative. It’s quantifiable, verifiable and raises those tough questions the travel industry has avoided.

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Travel Begins at 40

Travel Begins at 40 Editor

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