Sustain IT - Sustainable Tourism Innovative Training

EU Policies and Tools for Sustainable Tourism


EU Policies and Tools for Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable Tourism, European Commission, Guidebook for sustainable tourism, Agenda for sustainable tourism



● Use the EU awareness-raising documents on the topic of sustainable tourism to to understand which direction to conduct your business

● Use the ETIS platform to raise a more intelligent approach to tourism planning

● Use QUALITEST to check and improve the quality performance on tourist destination and services

 Contents in bullet points
1. Module name: EU Policies and Tools for Sustainable Tourism
1.1. Unit name: EU Agenda for sustainable and competitive European tourism
● Topic 1: What is it?
● Topic 2: Main objectives
● Topic 3: Challenges
● Topic 4: Principles

1.2. Unit name: EU Guidebook on Sustainable Tourism for Development
● Topic 1: What is it?
● Topic 2: Main objective
● Topic 3: How
● Topic 4: Structure

1.3. Unit name: EU tools and support systems for sustainable tourism
● Topic 1: Which are they?
● Topic 2: ETIS: what is it?
● Topic 3: ETIS: main objective
● Topic 4: ETIS: Indicators
● Topic 5: QUALITEST: what is it?
● Topic 6: QUALITEST: main objectives
● Topic 7: QUALITEST: Indicators



EU Agenda for sustainable and competitive European tourism


The EU agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism is a Commission Communication which proposes solutions to the challenges of sustainable tourism. This Communication is the official endorsement and launching of a medium-long term Agenda in which all stakeholders should undertake the necessary steps to strengthen the contribution of sustainable practices to facilitate the competitiveness of Europe as the most attractive tourism destination.


The main objectives the Agenda wants to achieve are:

โœ” deliver economic prosperity
โœ” deliver social equity and cohesion
โœ” deliver environmental protection
โœ” deliver cultural protection


The Agenda sets out the major challenges the tourism sector will have to deal with:

โœ” preserving natural and cultural resources
โœ” limiting negative impacts at tourist destinations, including the use of natural resources and waste production
โœ” promoting the wellbeing of the local community
โœ” reducing the seasonality of demand
โœ” limiting the environmental impact of tourism-related transport
โœ” making tourism accessible to all
โœ” improving the quality of tourism jobs


To address the challenges of the Agenda these principles must be followed:

โœ” taking a holistic, integrated approach
โœ” planning for the long term
โœ” adopting an appropriate pace of development
โœ” involving all stakeholders
โœ”using the best available knowledge
โœ” minimising and managing risk
โœ” reflecting impacts in costs
โœ” setting and respecting limits
โœ” practising continuous monitoring



EU Guidebook on Sustainable Tourism for Development


The EU Guidebook on Sustainable Tourism for Development is a tool developed by the European Commission which enhances the understanding of tourism and describes how the sector relates to the EU Agenda for Change. The Guidebook takes a comprehensive approach to tourism, covering a wide range of topics relating to its planning, development, management and impact.


The main objective the Guidebook wants to achieve is to mainstream tourism across European Countries


To reach that goal the Guidebook wants to:

โœ” provide guidance to assess the tourism sector’s importance 
โœ” identify opportunities for sustainable tourism development
โœ” plan actions that both EU Services in Brussels and the EU Delegations in 180 countries can include in their programme cycles


The Guidebook is organised in 3 parts:



It summarises key aspects of tourism in developing countries and presents the essential principles of sustainable tourism.

This part explains how the EU’s policy framework, such as the Consensus for Development, can relate to the various aspects of tourism.



The methodology of the guidebook takes 5 pillars into consideration and it discusses in detail a number of issues, themes, challenges and opportunities, leading to a set of questions to assess whether and how they are being addressed.



The situation analysis provides data and evidence (statistics, trends, exports, etc.) on tourism and its relationship to development, while also defining challenges related to measuring the socioeconomic impacts. It covers issues pertaining to financing tourism for development.

EU tools and support systems for sustainable tourism


The EU tools and support systems for sustainable tourism are two:

1.ETIS : a toolkit regarding the European Tourism Indicator System for Sustainable Destinations.
2.QUALITEST : a manual for Evaluating the Quality Performance of Tourist Destinations and Services.

  ETIS: what is it?

ETIS is a toolkit regarding the European tourism indicator system for sustainable destinations, it is a management, monitoring and information tool specifically aimed at tourist destinations, encouraging them to adopt a more intelligent approach to tourism planning.

  ETIS: main objective

Its main objective is to contribute to improvements in the sustainable management of tourist destinations: it wants to help people who are interested to measure their processes for sustainable management in order to monitor results and progress over time.

  ETIS: Indicators

There are two types of indicators:

a)Core indicators: these cover the fundamental aspects of sustainability monitoring and provide the basis for effective destination management.
b)Supplementary indicators: these add to the basic information provided and allow destinations to tailor the system to their own particular needs or destination category (e.g. mountain, city, rural, etc.)

  QUALITEST: what is it?

QUALITEST is a manual for evaluating the quality performance of tourist destinations and services. The Manual supports to understand exactly where the destinations are positioned, regarding the quality performance and it can help improve the quality performance, if actions are taken in the right fields.

  QUALITEST: main objectives

The main objectives of the QUALITEST Manual are to offer a tourist destination the chance:

โœ” to measure, benchmark and monitor its own quality performance
โœ” to increase the level of satisfaction of tourists
โœ” to increase the level of satisfaction of local tourism industry
โœ” to increase the local people’s quality of life
โœ” to increase the environmental quality

  QUALITEST: Indicators

The QUALITEST tool is divided into 16 core indicators, grouped into two categories:

a)quality of destination

b)quality of tourist product

Each core indicator consists of three sub-indicators based on the:

i.perceived quality

ii.quality management

iii.quality performance


โ— Understanding the role of the European Commission in sustainable tourism policies โ— Knowing the European Commission's awareness-raising documents on the topic of sustainable tourism: Agenda and Guidebook โ— Knowing the EU tools and support systems for sustainable tourism: EITS and QUALITEST

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site and its contents reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.