EU Tourism Sustainability Policy
In 2006 Tourism Company director Richard Denman was appointed by the European Commission as facilitator of their Tourism Sustainability Group (TSG) – a gathering of experts from around Europe. In 2007 he authored their final report Action for More Sustainable European Tourism, which was then used by the Commission as the basis for a formal policy communication later in the same year.
This report has proved to be very influential in setting a framework for governments and others to follow. In the UK, for example, it has been used as the basis for the sustainability chapter of the national tourism strategy up to 2012.
The report highlighted 8 challenges for tourism sustainability in Europe, including seasonality, the impact of tourism transport, and employment quality amongst others. It set out how policy should be directed to achieve:
- Sustainable destinations – with stakeholders working together locally on agreed action
- Sustainable businesses – through incentives, recognition and capacity building
- Responsible tourists – through effective communication of information and choices.
The report identified responsibilities at a local and Member State level, as well as specific actions to strengthen reporting, knowledge sharing, and coordination of instruments across Europe.
Richard continues to serve on the TSG.