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Die Ausrichtung dieser Politikrichtungen beeinflusst erheblich die Entwicklung des Tourismus und dessen Nachhaltigkeit, sowohl allgemein als auch vor Ort. Mit dieser Mitteilung sollen weitere Fortschritte auf dem Weg zur Nachhaltigkeit des Tourismus in Europa und weltweit erzielt werden. In bestimmten Regionen, z. Derzeit sind nur wenige Touristen an Nachhaltigkeit interessiert. Junge Leute sind hier eine ganz besonders wichtige Zielgruppe.

Book Regionales Unternehmertum Ein Interdisziplinärer Ansatz 2011

Dazu ist es erforderlich, dass die Unternehmen des Sektors das Konzept der sozialen Verantwortung der Unternehmen konsequent umsetzen. Viele Gruppen von Akteuren haben begonnen, sich den Herausforderungen zu stellen siehe Anhang 3. November aufgegriffen wurde. Die globale Verantwortung der Gemeinschaft erstreckt sich auch auf den nachhaltigen Dienstleistungsverkehr. Ein besondere Herausforderung ist die Nachhaltigkeit des Tourismus im Mittelmeerraum. Die Gemeinschaft wird ihre Politik fortsetzen, sowohl in Bezug auf nachhaltigen Dienstleistungsverkehr unter Einbeziehung von Umweltbelangen als auch in Bezug auf internationales umweltpolitisches Regieren und positive Synergien zwischen Handelsliberalisierung, Wirtschaftswachstum, Umweltschutz und sozialer Entwicklung.

November leiten lassen. Nachhaltiger Tourismus kann nur dann erfolgreich sein, wenn die Verbraucher entsprechende Produkte kaufen. Die anderen Sozialpartner, d. Den Anzeichen nach wird sich dieses Wachstum fortsetzen, und das auf einem globalen Markt, der sich durch scharfen Wettbewerb auszeichnet. In dem Bericht wird ferner die entscheidende Bedeutung starker Partnerschaften zwischen den verschiedenen Akteuren hervorgehoben.

Eine Reihe von Initiativen auf unterschiedlichen Ebenen konzentrieren sich auf das Thema Indikatoren. Dabei wird das Verursacherprinzip zur Anwendung gebracht und gleichzeitig jeglicher Konflikt mit dem Prinzip der Internalisierung der Kosten vermieden. Schutzgebiete und das Natur- und Kulturerbe.

Der Aktionsplan der Kommission eEurope It is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems'.

World Tourism Organisation definition. The Commission's Working group on environmental protection and sustainable development of tourism added:. The Extended Impact Assessment has been conducted on the basis of a consultation document on 'Basic orientations for the sustainability of European tourism' that largely corresponded to a first draft of the Communication. The document was the subject of an Internet public consultation from 25 April to 31 July and of a broad tourism multi-stakeholder dialogue, whose results, described under Section 7 of this report, have been included in the impact assessment.

This Communication spells out the approach and action required to improve the sustainability of European tourism and how the European Community, and particularly the European Commission, can contribute to the sustainability of European tourism and to provide stakeholders with basic orientations on the way to implementing sustainable tourism.

In defining this approach it was considered that it must be general enough to provide for sufficient flexibility at the appropriate implementation level. This approach recognises that there is no single model for implementing sustainable tourism management practices, as many different models for achieving sustainable tourism management exist.

Assessing the policy options in such a framework has proved to be a difficult task. The nature of the issues and of the options presented means that quantification of the impacts is not feasible. Techniques such as cost-benefit analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis cannot be used. Therefore, a qualitative assessment based on multi-criteria analysis was chosen as the most effective technique. The challenges to be met in order to ensure the sustainability of tourism alongside the current benefits that tourism can bring concern the risk of consuming its environmental, cultural and social quality assets, so that it would lose its privileged competitive position in the global tourism market, with its potential to create employment being severely damaged.

The major challenges mainly comprise unsustainable patterns of tourism consumption tourist behaviour and production practices of enterprises and destinations as tourism providers , in particular with regard to: These challenges need to be managed through a coherent and integrated partnership in dialogue with all tourism stakeholders to balance the different interests and objectives. The overall objective is to promote further progress towards the sustainability of tourism in Europe and world-wide, stimulating multi-stakeholder efforts to this end across all territorial and administrative levels, and to outline how the Community and the other stakeholders can contribute further.

The Communication builds upon the international and EU approach on sustainable development, the relevant policies and initiatives that impact tourism, and third party initiatives with a view to exploiting synergies through a partnership approach. This is expected to provide better integration and coherence between territorial levels and more effective action at the right level with adequate monitoring. Four policy options were identified for reaching the objective: A a comprehensive Community policy in the field of tourism; B a scenario of non-action by the EU; C relying on existing contributions inside and outside the Community; and D reinforcing the existing framework and improving it with suitable measures.

Generally speaking, these options differ with regard to the intensity in dealing with sustainability at Community level and correspond to different degrees of subsidiarity and proportionality. Options A and B either did not find sufficient Member State support or were considered contradictory to the Community approach to sustainability. The reliance on subsidiarity decreases from Option B to C to D to A , whereas proportionality and resources needed increase in the same order, but combined with strong political uncertainty for option A.

A no-action scenario or one which relies only on existing contributions Options B and C would fail to encourage sustainable tourism consumption and production, with no possibility of measuring and reporting on the impact of tourism in a transparent and reliable manner. Options A and D are the most likely to achieve progress. However, implementing Option A would require substantial resources, and several Member States and certain industry bodies, in particular most of those representing European private entrepreneurs in the tourism sector, strongly oppose it.

Option D is most effective and flexible in meeting the challenges whilst respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality and enabling individual solutions to be found for challenges in each type of destination. Option D has the potential to better fine-tune Community policies affecting tourism, so that they are more effectively used and enhanced, and better coordinated internally. It promises better synergies and close dialogue with relevant stakeholders, and makes it possible to assist SMEs in meeting both consumer demands for quality and local communities, peripheral regions and candidate countries with a flexible approach that recognises the diversity of the European tourism industry and destinations.

It provides for greater consideration of corporate social responsibility issues in tourism and results in greater benefits in the short term with multiplier effects increasing over time. It can serve as a sector-specific contribution to changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, to which the Community has been committed since the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. Implementation starting in will be based above all on the initiatives of responsible stakeholders and on tourism-related Community policies and programmes.

The Community role will be a catalytic one, stimulating further input in the areas of: The Commission involved all interested stakeholder groups and worked with a steering group to receive regular external feedback on its work and ideas. The input from this process served to draft a consultation document for the 3-month Internet consultation, and for this Extended Impact Assessment ExIA. The outcome of the open consultation, the feedback from the usual interlocutors in regular consultations, and the comments by other services in the internal steering group that accompanied the ExIA were integrated into the draft Communication.

A reinforcement of the existing framework, with the addition of suitable tourism-specific measures, provides a feasible and appropriate EU approach with regard to both the important challenges and the proportionality and subsidiarity principles. The objectives and challenges identified are dealt with through an integrated and cooperative approach with all stakeholders.

It is fully compatible with the existing Community policy framework regarding related Community competencies, and it requires a modest resource input that can be managed with the existing human resources of the Tourism Unit and the recently shown cooperative attitude of most Commission services on tourism-related issues. The tourism sector is facing a series of challenges that need to be tackled to ensure tourism sustainability alongside the current benefits that tourism can bring.

Tourism is affected by policies such as those relating to employment, regional development, environment, consumer protection, health, safety, transport, taxation and culture. Table 1 gives an overview of the main issues and related challenges to be addressed. Through its current patterns of consumption and production, tourism can have negative impacts on the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainability. The risk of consuming its environmental, cultural and social quality assets could drive European tourism to lose its privileged competitive position in the global tourism market.

During the past 50 years, European tourism has experienced a more or less steady, high growth. Over the same period it has been confronted with a wide range of changes in demand, regional increase and decrease of tourist flows, differences in tourists' motivations and expectations, and organisation of supply [1]. A major risk is that of incompatibility between safeguarding natural and cultural local resources as well as the community identity and their tourist use and the need to build a consensus among the different supply stakeholders and coordinate their actions.

The tourism sector is characterised by a fragmented approach and the insufficiently coordinated strategy at the decision-making level. The monthly distribution of tourism activity in Europe shows that the high peak of tourism in the summer months has continued without interruption alongside the overall increase of tourism throughout the year. The temporal concentration of tourism activity accompanied by a spatial concentration on specific destinations creates further impact on natural and cultural resources at the destination, as well as the quality of the experience for the tourist.

It results in high numbers of staff without continuous employment who may suffer poor conditions, with negative effects on qualification levels and service quality. Tourism has been identified as the main growth factor behind the increase in demand for passenger transport with predictions speaking of passenger air travel doubling by , compared to [3]. Innovations in technology have meant reduced journey times, improved capacity, and a decrease in real terms in transport prices, including the prices of cars and airfares.

The decrease in travel costs, mainly for air transport more acute because of low-cost carriers , has increased the attractiveness of intra-European travel and personal mobility with an even larger share of the population being able to travel and shorter and more frequent trips being encouraged. This, in turn, has placed significant demands on the transport systems in the resorts themselves.

Although the use of rail travel has been declining, the demand for this mode by both business and holiday travellers is starting to increase in some European countries. On the other hand, air travel has grown dramatically in the last 30 years, more than any other transport mode. Passenger-kilometres have increased by 7. Recent extreme weather events have attracted public attention to the challenge posed by the potential impacts of climate change for a number of holiday destinations.

Tourism, like many other economic sectors, has an inter-relationship with climate change that results in reciprocal effects the tourism and travel induced emission of greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change and climate change might inter alia affect tourism. The degree of the impact of climate change on tourism cannot yet be properly forecast.

But, there are some predictions and working hypotheses that speak of direct impacts on the choice of destinations regarding both the time and the location for taking holidays. Some might become less attractive as temperature and humidity increase above comfort levels, and others might turn more attractive as mild temperatures become more of a certainty.

Rainfall changes, floods and droughts are also reported to directly affect tourism choice. But there are also indirect impacts such as, for instance, the link between a rise in sea level and its effect on coastal erosion, and the decrease of snow cover and thence of skiing in mountain resorts [5]. The sustainable development of European tourism is a prerequisite for its future competitiveness and for using its potential to create employment.

This has been repeatedly confirmed in the various documents adopted by the Commission, the Council and the other Community Institutions. Secondly, as tourism is one of the most important sectors in the economy, its sustainability contributes significantly to the overall progress in sustainable development. Such progress will suffer if tourism is not managed and developed in a sustainable way, i. Tourism products and services are consumer driven. The role that tourists as consumers can play in reducing the impact of the problems through a more sustainability-oriented demand illustrates the potential of consumer awareness of sustainable tourism to trigger changes in the product offered.

Enterprises and destinations need to pay more attention to environmental issues in the future [6]. So far, environmental care is a major issue for the big players in the tourism market who also use the marketing potential of environmental care for their businesses. In addition to the price and quality offered, consumers have started considering the environmental effort of the company as a determinant of choice. There is still much to be done to increase sustainability awareness among tourists.

How far the willingness to pay more for sustainable products and services could go is still an issue subject to debate [7]. Changes in the demographic structure of Europe may have an influence on new tailor-made tourism products and services. The European population is getting older but staying active longer. Thus, older people will become more important to the tourism market, increasing the overall number of tourists and potentially demanding different types of tourism.

Currently, SMEs, because of low consumer awareness, mostly consider that these issues are unimportant, but a trend towards higher awareness is taking place. SMEs need to build further on these experiences. Industry representatives recognise that there is an increasing trend for developing new forms of tourism, especially those related to nature and wildlife, rural areas and culture, and that these are influencing traditional package tours [9].

This type of tourism is expected to grow faster than any other market segment. New Paths for International Tourism' Ethical issues are also gaining importance for tourism enterprises. Research suggests that, following the trend in other economic sectors, social responsibility and corporate citizenship are expected to increase in importance in the tourism industry [11].

This means implementation of adequate CSR practices for tourism value chain services and enterprises of all kinds and sizes, and looking at the sustainable methods and products available. However, a few large companies manage a significant proportion of the volume of trade, particularly at an international level.

Optimising the synergy between producers and travel organisers and between different modes within a sub-sector of the tourism industry is likely to remain very important to competitiveness. However, the uptake of IT has not yet achieved an optimal threshold [12]. Positive social impacts arise mainly through tourism's contribution to employment, worker training and the development of SMEs.

The sector employs a significant proportion of women, minorities and young people. In developed countries, unemployment levels are especially high for unskilled labour, thus additional demand for low-skilled labour is of high economic and social value. The seasonal concentration of demand results in high numbers of staff without continuous employment who may suffer poor conditions, with negative effects on qualification levels and service quality. This in turn has an impact on the competitiveness of the supply chain, as quality in the tourism product cannot be achieved without the skill and motivation of the workforce.

In addition, the industry has serious shortages of skilled workers [13]. Tourism can support economic development and is an important element of many countries' economies. The inflow of revenue to tourist destinations creates business turnover, household income, employment and government revenue. Tourism can be more effective than other industries in generating employment and income in less-developed, often peripheral, regions with limited alternative opportunities for development. Tourism affects the economy beyond the industry itself. A proportion of the sector's income is respent in the destination's wider economy, thereby creating further economic activity.

These indirect effects can exceed the initial direct effects tourism income not only creates jobs in the tourism industry itself but also in associated industries, such as agriculture, transport, manufacturing, etc. SMEs believe that inadequate public infrastructure hinders their growth, as recent analysis shows [14]. Infrastructure issues are becoming more acute with the continuing increase in passenger travel.

However, increased environmental concerns may affect infrastructure development; for example, proposals for airport expansions are often fiercely disputed.

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Tourism can also contribute to better infrastructure such as improved water supply or waste treatment, leading to greater environmental protection. Cultural assets are a basic resource of tourist destinations. However, tourism risks contributing to the homogenisation of global products and services that lack local identity. Local identity is at particular risk where the ratio between tourists and locals is high. The impact of terrorist attacks in the recent past has focused more attention on tourism safety and security issues.

As part of the image of destinations these are key issues in tourism and destination marketing which need to be addressed at decision-making level. The need for marketing organisations to demonstrate that destinations are safe for tourists has become increasingly important since consumer awareness is growing rapidly.

Similarly crisis and risk management in the tourism industry has become important for all tourism stakeholders. Natural resources are a basic resource of a tourist destination, and sustainable destination development requires the protection of both the environment and natural resources. Thus, environmental degradation can threaten the viability of the industry. Negative impacts from tourism see table 1 occur when the environmental carrying capacity of a destination is exceeded.

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Sound environmental destination management can reduce the environmental impact of tourism especially in fragile ecosystems. However, tourism can also raise awareness of the value of environmental assets and contribute financially to the creation and conservation of natural parks and protected areas. The relationship between tourism and the environment is complex and varies according to a range of factors including the number and seasonal variation of tourists, the concentration, the recreational activities they pursue, the type of environment affected and the infrastructure and management in place.

A no-policy change scenario would fail to reverse the unsustainable trends in European tourism and fail to cope with the issues and problems of tourism sustainability. Continuing growth of tourism would over-proportionally augment the risks inherent in the situation which are marked by its partially unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, and make them materialize.

More sustainable consumption and production patterns in the tourism sector would not be encouraged, and there would be no possibility of measuring and reporting on the impact of tourism in today's society in a transparent and reliable manner. This scenario would lack a strong and cooperative partnership between the public authorities, trade organisations and unions, the private sector and society, and which would allow responsibility for delivering and ensuring tourism sustainability to be shared. It would mean that governments neither integrate tourism concerns into the overall set of related policies, nor set up, in consultation with all stakeholders, a capacity-building framework with realistic objectives to facilitate an uptake of existing and future guidance for the implementation of sustainability management practice.

Without sustainable development, European tourism's quality and future competitiveness, and its potential to create employment, would be severely damaged. Overall progress in sustainable development would suffer as well. In Europe, certain tourist destinations would enter into a phase of decline that they could not overcome, with important negative effects on the entire local economy and social tissue linked to it.

In conclusion, although the potential for a sustainable growth of European tourism exists, it would be jeopardised if policy did not change. The overall policy objective of the Communication is to promote further progress towards the sustainability of tourism in Europe and world-wide, stimulating multi-stakeholder efforts to this end across all territorial and administrative levels and to outline how the Community and the other stakeholders can further contribute to them.

This overarching objective is expected to be achieved through the following three specific objectives:. The Communication takes into account relevant policies and documents at EU and global level that focus on sustainable development and sustainable tourism see Table 2. The approach developed builds upon existing Commission and third party initiatives and sets up new ones, in order to tackle the challenges and achieve the objectives without duplicating efforts, in a broad partnership with all tourism stakeholders.

The Communication addresses objectives such as sustainable consumption and production patterns, quality development and the competitiveness of the industry, the case for the production of new jobs and improvement of working conditions in existing employment, the protection and restoration of the environment and natural resources as well as respect for the carrying capacity, and corporate social responsibility.

The results of the consultation that the draft has undergone confirm the objectives set and support the fact that the horizontal objectives might be further broken down when dealing with implementation at the appropriate level. Through the chosen cooperative approach, sustainable tourism is expected to contribute to the overall EU sustainable development strategy by providing better integration and coherence between territorial levels and more effective action at management level with adequate monitoring.

In addition, through the link to the Sustainable Development Strategy, the Communication links to existing approaches in the Member States and to relevant EU milestones, such as the 'Lisbon Process', designed to make the EU the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, and the 'Cardiff Process' on integrating environmental issues into other areas of policy. The Sixth Environmental Action Programme will also play an important role, setting binding environmental objectives for the EU over the decade to Finally, the Communication also responds to the outcome of the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on sustainable development regarding tourism through the development of a transparent multi-stakeholder process.

It adds that good governance is essential to achieve sustainable development. European Tourism - New partnerships for employment: The basic approach for reaching the objective of further promoting progress towards sustainability of tourism in Europe and world-wide depends on the policy option chosen.

The following policy options were considered:. What are the trade-offs associated with the proposed option? What "designs" and "stringency levels" have been considered? This option means the strongest Community involvement in the development of a genuine Community policy in the field of tourism. It would include the formulation and implementation of tourism-specific actions, requiring a greater input of resources from the Commission.

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The Commission favoured this option until a few years ago, and many consultation respondents supported it. However, given the reality in the field of tourism and the position of some Member States on such an approach, this option cannot be considered feasible for achieving rapid progress towards sustainability in European tourism. Furthermore, any legislative approach would be opposed by the tourism industry. Bearing in mind that the European tourism industry involves many different public and private stakeholders with very decentralised competencies, often at regional and local levels, it can be considered that this option would not be compatible with the principle of subsidiarity.

Solutions to issues that can best be dealt with at the local level do not benefit from a generalised European framework. A 'top-down' approach cannot be expected to demonstrate identifiable or quantifiable added value. The concerns of SMEs which dominate the industry can be better addressed otherwise. A wide range of stakeholder initiatives and contributions address various aspects of sustainable tourism at different levels, although consideration of the current challenges faced by the European tourism sector suggests that the existing initiatives and contributions by the different stakeholders have not yet achieved a sustainable managed European tourism.

Under the 'non-action' scenario, the Commission would rely on these activities without taking any further action, either in terms of general policies that may affect tourism or specific tourism measures. This would represent a reduction in European-wide action compared to the current situation and to the measures provided for in the different Community policy fields. Consultation responses demonstrate that experience to date has shown that 'bottom-up' environmental initiatives can work effectively, and there is strong support for voluntary initiatives, particularly from industry representatives.

However, they also suggest that this is not sufficient. Given the importance of the tourism sector to the EU economy and the associated magnitude of both social and environmental impacts, it can be considered that certain Community-level action in this field is needed. In general, most stakeholders consider this option unacceptable. Some stress that although voluntary schemes are an important step towards more responsible tourism. However, owing to their proliferation, their benefits and effectiveness are not sufficiently clear, particularly to consumers.

In addition, even if voluntary measures were to gain acceptance, they would not be enough to prevent negative impacts from tourism. This option uses a two-fold approach based on both building on the activities of other stakeholders and the effect of established Community measures on the sustainability of tourism. The latter aspect distinguishes it from the 'non-action' scenario B , with a significant Community activity, but not one targeted on tourism.

It would not further stakeholder initiatives through specific Community support and involvement from the tourism point of view. The principle of subsidiarity would be respected: The tourism sector benefits from a number of EU-wide initiatives to promote sustainability in general. With regard to the Community contribution to the sustainability of European tourism, this option relies exclusively on these policies and measures, excluding any tourism-specific Community activities to improve sustainability.

It does not allow for any human or financial resources to be used by the Commission in the sphere of tourism. But this option fails to address the specific challenges faced by the tourism industry adequately. Some stakeholders emphasise the importance of ensuring that general Community measures take account of tourism sustainability, but few of them consider this to be sufficient. Building on the previous options, Option D strengthens the existing framework for action by reinforcing existing stakeholder initiatives, other than those of the Community, in this field, and further involves the Commission by:.

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This approach enables stakeholders to take action at the appropriate level and acknowledges the important role of the tourism industry in the move towards sustainable development. Thus, the principles of both subsidiarity and proportionality are potentially respected. It coincides with a repeated call for the Commission to strengthen the coordination between Community policies affecting tourism. A double approach was identified, which favours using the full potential of a range of Community policies and organising coordination and cooperation with all stakeholders on subjects of common interest.

This option has received strong support from stakeholders who advocate explicit guidance towards sustainable tourism rather than a reliance on other guidance affecting tourism practices by default. Stakeholders believe that the Commission should be more active when reinforcing the existing framework for action, in order to act in proportion to the magnitude of impacts. The main challenge this policy option has to address is the question of how coordination at a European level can make efforts at a local level more efficient or effective.

How are subsidiarity and proportionality taken into account? Options A and B could have been discarded at an early stage, owing to a lack of Member State support or to being politically incompatible with the general Community approach to sustainability. Nevertheless, to get the widest possible picture, all options were assessed in terms of the extent to which they address challenges and objectives.

The different policy options relate to several degrees of intensity in dealing with sustainability at Community level, and therefore take subsidiarity and proportionality into account differently, as indicated above for each of the options see table 3. The reliance on subsidiarity decreases from Option B to C to D to A , whereas proportionality increases in the same order, together with the level of resources needed to implement them, but is combined with a high degree of uncertainty for option A.

The latter option also risks going beyond the reality of the tourism sector, which often operates at regional and local levels. Its lower reliance on subsidiarity is not matched by a true perspective of significant additional benefits. There is greater confidence that Options D and A will meet the objectives of the proposal. Options B and C reflect either a general withdrawal from the sustainability policy or one sector, i.

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  • They have no potential of significant improvements in currently unsustainable trends and would be a step backwards compared to the current situation. Assessment of the policy proposals with regard to the subsidiarity and proportionality principles. What are the impacts - positive and negative - expected from the different options identified?

    Since the nature of the issues and of the options presented means that quantification of the impacts is not feasible, techniques such as cost-benefit analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis were not used. The assessment of the impacts was therefore carried out on the basis of a Multi-Criteria Analysis that made it possible to measure, at least in a qualitative sense, how well the options were expected to perform against each criterion.

    The selected criteria see Table 4 were deemed complete, operational and satisfactory for the assessment of the policy options in a manner that permitted the impacts to be assessed without creating difficulties in assessing input data and making communication of the analysis more complex. How large are the additional 'marginal' effects that can be attributed to the policy proposal, i.

    The Assessment Summary Table AST in Table 6 presents the impact information in a consistent and transparent manner that highlights the most important impacts of the selected options. No details exist as to how a comprehensive genuine Community policy on tourism would be adopted in practice. It can be assumed, however, that it may have the overall effect of integrating the currently dispersed direct and indirect Community actions. It could also be assumed that it would facilitate action towards addressing specific tourism-related challenges that may not be addressed elsewhere.

    Option A could improve performance against criteria, where other options are potentially less comprehensive, through the adoption of specific measures to address particular challenges. Areas where this might be necessary include ensuring provision of sufficient infrastructure, increasing access to tourism for all citizens, promoting sustainable inter- and intra-destination mobility, increasing the availability of skilled staff, and ensuring community well-being in destinations.

    In other areas, Option A may perform less well than other options. For example, although Option A could have an integrating effect on Community actions, it may potentially reduce coherence and integration between policies and approaches, as tourism aspects would be assumed to be addressed under the comprehensive policy and thus might be neglected under other policies.

    Areas of conflict, or 'grey areas', may arise where a comprehensive tourism policy required action beyond that specified by existing policies. Examples might include sustainable inter- and intra- destination mobility or environmental carrying capacity e. There might also be difficulties in defining tourist destinations and activities subject to a comprehensive policy, whilst recognising the diversity of the sector.

    Stakeholder action is essential for addressing challenges relating to environmental and social factors, for example ensuring community well-being, maintaining the cultural heritage and respecting the environmental carrying capacity of destinations, where local solutions are needed. However, the Bathing Water Directive provides an example where specific areas i. Similarly, Natura sites require local authorities to manage part of their area differently, and in accordance with stricter requirements, from the remaining area.

    Adopting a tourism policy may provide greater support to addressing the challenges for both destinations and enterprises. Option A bears a particular risk of additional administrative burden on local authorities and enterprises SMEs that is not matched by its added value. Moreover, the challenges facing tourism are acute, and it is unlikely that a comprehensive policy can be adopted and implemented within a sufficient timeframe to ensure action in the short to medium term.

    In the longer term, and assuming that issues concerning the definition of the tourism sector and potential overlaps with other policies are effectively dealt with, a comprehensive policy may provide greater stability and recognition for the European tourism sector. A non-action scenario relies exclusively on the existing initiatives and contributions that stakeholders other than the European Community undertake at various levels, ranging from international to local, and those that they might still develop.

    During the last decade, an increased stakeholder dialogue, in both the private and public sectors, has resulted in mainly voluntary initiatives to address and diminish social and environmental impacts, while enhancing the economic benefits of tourism activities. These initiatives have taken various forms and represent all sectors of the travel and tourism industry. Significant issues such as better governance, seasonal spread and sustainable transport are addressed only to a very limited degree by existing initiatives.

    They require a level of coordination and initiative that is difficult to achieve by many of these stakeholders, or they remain at too high level to have an effect on the ground. Initiatives undertaken by global organisations to encourage action by local stakeholders, for example the Tour Operators' Initiative and World Tourism Organisation guidance for tourism managers and local authorities, may be too far removed and general to encourage uptake by local stakeholders.

    While these initiatives deal to some extent with environmental and social issues, economic issues related to the quality of supply receive less consideration. This risks, in turn, prolonging the degradation of the environmental and cultural environment as the bulk of enterprises concentrate their efforts on attracting customers. Past stakeholder initiatives to develop consumer awareness and promote the use of environmental management tools illustrate the problem of lack of efficiency due to a lack of coordination.

    Tourists cannot know all of them, compare them, and assess their information value. When focusing on one aspect of sustainability, uncoordinated initiatives bear potential for conflicts with other objectives. For example, a one-sided local action that aims to limit tourist numbers so as to respect the local carrying capacity may not be compatible with the social objective of favouring tourism for all, i.

    It could also shift tourism to other destinations where it is not managed sustainably, increasing concentrations and thus exacerbating negative trends. Whilst the effect of the many individual initiatives launched and provided for by stakeholders other than the European Community cannot be assessed in detail, it can be assumed that the current unsustainable trends highlight areas where Option B would fail to address the objectives of the proposed Communication.

    Overall, relying on Option B to deliver progress on sustainable tourism at the European level could increase uncertainty that the objectives would be met, since the relatively uncoordinated nature of existing, largely voluntary, initiatives means that they could end at any time and with no alternative approach in place.

    Option C provides additional benefits to Option B in those areas where a higher level, coordinated approach to address the issues more effectively can be achieved under established Community policies and measures. For example, the Transport White Paper provides a more coherent approach by promoting the overall concept of sustainable mobility. Consideration is given to the provision of infrastructure, as part of trans-European networks and through structural funds, and environmental protection is promoted through a large number of Community measures and legislation.

    For example, the introduction of an EU eco-label for tourism accommodation in may in due course provide added value as consumer awareness is improved. However, many established Community measures appear too general to address the specific challenges of the tourism sector. Therefore, Option C is limited in the extent to which it will effectively meet all of the criteria, particularly in the medium-term.

    For example, broad policies integrate sustainability concerns across a range of sectors at a high level, but it is unlikely that this alone will facilitate the integration and coherence of policies and approaches at lower levels. Another key issue for the competitiveness of the tourism industry, and thus economic sustainability, is the availability of skilled and qualified staff. The effect of seasonal concentration or spread has a significant influence on this issue, in addition to the other factors affecting it.

    Thus measures to increase the skills of the European workforce in general are not sufficient in the tourism sector without addressing current seasonal concentration. Option C provides some additional economic, social and environmental benefits compared to Option B , but many of the existing initiatives and Community policies and measures are too broad for their impact on tourism to be assessed with any accuracy. Instead, they provide a coordinated approach to issues that would otherwise be addressed in isolation at the local level, for example transport.

    Option C corresponds more or less to the current situation regarding Community involvement in the issue of tourism sustainability. The fact that, nevertheless, unsustainable trends in tourism do not change would suggest that this existing framework is not sufficient to make adequate progress in this field. In reinforcing the existing framework Option C , Option D provides added value related to the majority of criteria.

    This results from a greater degree of coordination, increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of action and potentially achieving benefits faster and in a more targeted way by being adapted to the specific problems than might occur under the existing framework. A good example of this is consumer awareness. Despite some evidence of already increasing awareness and demand for responsible tourism, sustainable consumer behaviour is so vital to progress towards sustainable tourism that action taken under Option D could advance this trend and provide benefits sooner than may otherwise be expected.

    In this context, the promotion of sustainable tourism consumption and production patterns, and corresponding proactive best practice dissemination can be a core action of Community involvement for dealing with the major challenges affecting tourism. Option D makes it possible for the Commission to participate in specific measures for addressing these challenges, including that of seasonal spread.

    Such measures can provide considerable added value to efforts to reduce the unsustainable trend in tourism activity insofar as this trend is not driven by strong forces such as climate and lifestyle, which may be beyond the control of the Commission, irrespective of any policy option. It is, therefore, important that activities as those designed to address sustainable inter- and intra- destination mobility, are supported by measures to raise consumer awareness to ensure the best possible chance of improvements. A reinforcement that aims to specifically address the sustainable development of tourist destinations can be expected to provide a wide range of significant economic, social and environmental benefits by supporting industry, the local community and the environment.

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    It would assist the identification of specific local impacts which may be on air, water, land or local communities that may not be sufficiently or specifically addressed by stakeholder initiatives or existing Community policies under Options B or C. In this way, Option D provides the flexibility to address the regional diversity of the tourism sector and enables individual solutions to be found for destination challenges. It adds clear value, not only for sustainability in the tourism sector, but in general.

    The provision of sufficient infrastructure such as transport networks, waste management and water treatment facilities , the availability of skilled, qualified staff, respecting and maintaining the diversity of cultural heritage and increasing access to tourism for all citizens are the criteria least improved by Option D.

    This reflects an emphasis on operational aspects, such as better governance, and environmental aspects of sustainability rather than the socio-economic aspects. However, again, this option has the potential to better fine-tune non sector-specific Community policy measures in the above-mentioned fields, so that they become more effective for the tourism sector, and through this in general in the areas where sustainability problems are biggest.

    Given the significance of the current situation regarding the availability of skilled and qualified staff, further specific measures to address this shortage and improve working conditions can substantially improve the value of this option and its likelihood of achieving progress towards sustainable tourism. Better coordination and use of the different Community policies and measures affecting tourism, an enhancement of this effect, and stakeholder participation when assessing their impact, is particularly important potential of this option.