At the core of ETC’s strategy are the stimulation of competitiveness and the promotion of sustainable growth of the European tourism sector.
Sustainable tourism incorporates policies, practices and programmes which consider expectations of tourists regarding responsible natural resource management as well as the needs of communities that support or are affected by tourism projects and the environment.
Tourism has significant potential as a driver of growth for the world economy, however the travel industry can also negatively impact the environment and the local communities.
Some marine and coastal environments, historic towns, cities and cultural heritage sites as well as fragile natural environments are particularly vulnerable to pressure.
In February 2016 the European Travel Commission, partnering with the Foundation for European Sustainable Tourism (FEST), awarded a scholarship funding research on the framework of sustainable tourism development in Europe. The study benchmarks sustainable tourism practices within the environment of the members of the European Travel Commission: 33 National Tourism Organisations in Europe.
Climate change is a significant risk for the tourism industry, and the report commissioned by the European Travel Commission provides a first global analysis of the risks to the tourism industry from climate change. While it draws on high-level climate change expertise, it also contains the views and experiences of 17 travel and tourism leaders, who acknowledge that the viability of some destinations is seriously threatened, and investigates ways in which tourism can become part of the global solution to tackle the risks of climate change.