On 22 February, the European Commission presented a Tourism Indicator System Toolkit for the promotion of sustainable tourism.
According to the Commission, the toolkit provides an easy and useful way for tourism destinations to measure and monitor the sustainability of their activities, in order to promote sustainable tourism.
Antonio Tajani, European Commissioner responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship commented, “one of our biggest challenges is to reinforce and improve sustainable tourism development in order to ensure the long-term competitiveness of the industry. By managing tourism in a sustainable way we aim to ensure that we recognise the limits and capacity of our tourism resources and encourage tourism development that balances optimising the immediate economic, environmental and socio-cultural benefits, whilst also ensuring the long-term future for our European tourism industry.”
The Toolkit consists of four parts: (i) the first part introduces the idea of sustainable destination management; (ii) the second part, is a step-by-step guide to the implementation of the management system; (iii) the third part is a synopsis of the Core and Optional indicators; (iv) and the fourth part, contains an overview for using the Destination Dataset, which is a tool to capture the data collected by stakeholders.
According to the Commission, tourism destinations are the focal point of tourism activity and that is why the EU needs to protect these destinations, by measuring tourists’ impact regarding waste and the use of water and energy on the specific communities.
Overall, Europe is the world's top tourist destination, with 370 million international arrivals in 2008.