Four leading tourism organisations and academic institutions – CELTH (the Center of Expertise Leisure, Tourism & Hospitality), ETC (the European Travel Commission), ETOA (European Tourism Association) and NECSTouR (the Network of European Regions for Sustainable and Competitive Tourism) have agreed to work together on sustainable tourism and best practice sharing to support policy development in destinations across Europe.
Representing academic experts, national tourism organisations, industry, local government and other stakeholders, the partnership models the creative collaboration needed between public and private sectors to develop better policy and tourism products. The goals of the partnership are to create actionable policy, to use smart data, analysis and actionable insights to make destinations attractive and viable places to live, work and visit in the long-term.
The visitor economy generates 12% of employment in Europe. Fuelled by technological advances and a growing global population who can afford to travel, this is a dynamic, fast-moving sector, which complements and competes with domestic demand. In several destinations, the sector’s dynamic nature has led to anti-tourism sentiment and short-term political fixes that fail to reconcile the fundamental interests of both community and industry.
The four organisations believe co-ordinated and imaginative management is required to optimise capacity and develop new products, as is honest debate about the necessary compromises needed.
Eduardo Santander, Executive Director, ETC said: “European destinations need to develop long-term sustainable management solutions to enable tourism to flourish, rather than just merely grow. This requires constant monitoring and an adequate analysis of the tourism impact on the economy, the environment and local communities in order to obtain actionable insights from all industry actors. ETC firmly believes that cooperation between public and private stakeholders at a European, national, and regional level is essential towards this end. Our partnership will bring together the necessary networks and their expertise to find viable solutions in the long-term interests of destinations, the tourism sector and the visitor economy.”