The European Travel Commission (ETC), which represents 33 national tourism organizations in Europe, has published the new Handbook on Encouraging Sustainable Tourism Practices.
The guide explains how national and local tourism organizations can encourage tourism stakeholders to build sustainable tourism practices into their everyday operations.
With a renewed focus on adopting practices that reduce the negative impacts of tourism as a result of COVID-19, the handbook contains valuable case studies from worldwide entities and destinations that have successfully forged more economically, socially, and environmentally-viable tourism practices over the past years.
Twenty case studies are featured in the guidance to highlight the ways in which European and other worldwide destinations are embedding sustainable approaches into their travel and tourism sector, together with key takeaways for National Tourism Organizations (NTOs) and Destination Management Organizations (DMOs).
The handbook also recognizes that travel and tourism organizations, in particular small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), that want to take action, often find it difficult to navigate the complex range of accreditation schemes, monitoring systems, funding mechanisms, campaigns and even equipment that exist in the sustainability ‘space.’
Examples of responsible practices, together with a range of practical recommendations are presented.
“Destinations have a crucial role to play in strengthening Europe’s position and leading the transformation to a post-pandemic world. To this end, ETC expects this handbook will foster knowledge sharing and act as a vehicle for NTOs and DMOs to make their destinations more sustainable and resilient in the long-term,” said Luís Araújo, ETC’s president. “This handbook will provide a platform for sharing evidence-based case studies and actions that could potentially be implemented by destinations to encourage both the tourism supply and demand sides to act responsibly.”
“We believe that this handbook will support European destinations in their efforts to build a tourism sector that is more respectful of the environment and that will equally benefit local economies and communities in the years to come.”
COVID-19 forces businesses, public to think differently
The pandemic has provided a catalyst for major change.
A substantial number of supply and demand trends show that sustainability is a major driver of travellers’ purchase decisions and a key point of competitiveness among Europe’s tourism businesses, the ETC said.
“The pandemic has forced those involved in the tourism sector to try and capitalize on these trends and embed sustainable principles in destinations of all sizes,” the commission said.
Click here to download the booklet free of charge from ETC’s website.