The idea and the association

Only a holistic hiking experience can ensure the magic of hiking. Therefore, the Association for Quality Assurance for Hiking in Europe E.V takes into consideration the experience of hiking in its entirety and subjects hiking regions, villages, trails, and businesses to a meticulous certification process. It is a program for the evaluation of perfect hiking destinations and hiking areas, coordinated from the first review on through the awarding of the Seal of Approval, to ongoing quality assurance. The Hiking Village candidate is subjected to a strength and weakness analysis yielding specific guidelines for the improvement of the hiking infrastructure and the hiking program.

Hiking standards

The Hiking Seal is awarded based on clearly defined standards for hiking
The four certification categories; Hiking Region, Hiking Village, Hiking Trail, and Hiking Business are placed in the following performance categories in the order listed:

  • Areal services: landscape type, trail surfaces, use of the trails
  • Activity services: natural, cultural, tourist attractions, coordination
  • Orientation services: orientation system and security
  • Information services: information system, infrastructure, gastronomy


  • Hiking Village: The Hiking Village is the entry gate into a world of hiking experiences, forming coherency in the experience.
  • Hiking Trail: The trail leads the hikers through the region.
  • Hiking Business: The Hiking Business is the base camp for hikers. Here he can rest, gather his strength and prepare for new adventures.
  • Hiking Region: The Hiking Region combines several certified Hiking Villages into a coherent overall experience.

Certification and Assessment

  • Desk research: The journey to successful certification begins with a pre-check – a questionnaire that helps you make a few early choices on your way to certification and a desk research for your advertising campaign.
  • Client dialogue: The final certification objects are then defined in a joint dialogue. Factors such as market efficiency, experience relevance and content guiding principles are included in the decision.
  • Survey: Now it’s time to go in medias res. A hiking expert personally collects, photographs and evaluates the local conditions according to the criteria of the Austrian Hiking Seal of Approval.
  • Protocol (optional reporting): The survey results are then processed in a protocol, so that the results are comprehensible and clear. You receive individualized and specific measures that must be implemented to fulfill the minimum standards.
  • Certification order: Now the Seal of Approval is almost done! For the final certification all mandatory criteria and minimum standards must be met. For the final acceptance, photographs of the implemented measures must be provided.

Our partners

Austrian Hiking Villages

A project that has accompanied us since founding the company. From the Village Holiday in Austria to the Magic of Hiking. 44 Austrian tourist regions already offer the perfect hiking experiences.
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Tao Consulting and Management GmbH

We create spaces of experience, tell landscape stories and develop innovative concepts and products for the tourism and leisure industry.
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Tao Software

Since 2007 TAO software has been developing virtual worlds of experience and the entire ecosystem for the implementation of experiences.
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Alpine Hiking Management

Comprehensive advice covering all facets of hiking and nature experience, quality standards for hiking infrastructure, modern technologies in tourism, and marketing.
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