The main objective of this event was to raise awareness about sustainable tourism. It gave special attention to accessibility as an important component of sustainability.
Participants exchanged experiences, methodologies and initiatives on sustainable and accessible tourism at international and European level. Contributors included the European Commission, the UNWTO, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), the Council of Europe, The European Network of Accessible Tourism (ENAT), EUROPARC, and The Network of Competitive and Sustainable Tourism Regions (NeCSTouR).
The event also dealt with possible synergies with existing environmental initiatives, such as the Environmental Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) or the Tourism Environmental Reporting Mechanism (TOUERM) of the European Environment Agency (EEA).
During the conference, the 2016 edition of the ETIS toolkit was presented. This new edition takes into account feedback from over 100 destinations across Europe following the 2-year pilot phase. The ETIS toolkit is a guide to help destinations to measure their performance and improve their approach to sustainable tourism management.
The Commission will continue to maintain the ETIS system and look into further ways of development, with a particular view to hosting the data sheets online (possibly through the platform of the Virtual Tourism Observatory).
National and regional organisations are encouraged to give greater visibility to the system.
The Commission will continue to follow the efforts of other organisations, e.g. UNWTO, GSTC, the Council of Europe, EEA, European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT), EMAS, and EUROPARC, with regard to possible synergies and mutual cooperations.
The Commission will also monitor the performance of ETIS over time, in view of potential future policy actions in the area of sustainable tourism.
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