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New partnership to focus on sustainable tourism in Europe

Four leading tourism organisations and academic institutions – CELTH (the Center of Expertise Leisure, Tourism & Hospitality), ETC (the European Travel Commission), ETOA (European Tourism Association) and NECSTouR (the Network of European Regions for Sustainable and Competitive Tourism) have agreed to work together on sustainable tourism and best practice sharing to support policy development in destinations across Europe.

Representing academic experts, national tourism organisations, industry, local government and other stakeholders, the partnership models the creative collaboration needed between public and private sectors to develop better policy and tourism products. The goals of the partnership are to create actionable policy, to use smart data, analysis and actionable insights to make destinations attractive and viable places to live, work and visit in the long-term.

The visitor economy generates 12% of employment in Europe. Fuelled by technological advances and a growing global population who can afford to travel, this is a dynamic, fast-moving sector, which complements and competes with domestic demand. In several destinations, the sector’s dynamic nature has led to anti-tourism sentiment and short-term political fixes that fail to reconcile the fundamental interests of both community and industry.

The four organisations believe co-ordinated and imaginative management is required to optimise capacity and develop new products, as is honest debate about the necessary compromises needed.

CELTH, the Center of Expertise Leisure, Tourism & Hospitality is a co-operation of experts and expertise from universities across the Netherlands. These include Breda University of Applied Sciences, NHL Stenden University and its European Tourism Futures Institute, HZ University of Applied Sciences and its Knowledge Center on Coastal Tourism as well as the Universities of Groningen, Wageningen and Tilburg.

Menno Stokman, Director, CELTH said “The urgent issues of the sector require a more scientific approach, data and expertise. We need networks of partners working on sustainable destination management and a sustainable sector. A sector that has social, ecological and economic goals. The new partnership joins relevant stakeholders to develop vision and strategy, to enable destinations and the industry to take responsibility for choices that lead to sustainable development and resilient destinations.”


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