After publishing and presenting our proposals for a social and sustainable tourism in Europe to the European Parliament in November 2020, we plan to go even further in 2021 and contribute actively to a collective effort to support a more resilient, responsible, harmonious and social tourism after covid19, adapted to the new reality provoked by this pandemic crises (list of the travel agencies). A new travel sector more committed to a stronger territory cohesion, cultural and natural engagement and supporter of a local based economy
In 2020, to face the actual crisis, Portugal launched a comprehensive action plan for the development of sustainable tourism in 2021. This seems to be a step in the right direction since this action plan foresees the involvement of hotel accommodations in reducing energy consumption, a training policy for sustainable tourism actors and the creation of a network of stakeholders contributing to a greener tourism in the next years.
This is the most important sustainable tourism initiative in the Mediterranean area and we are grateful about it. We wish to take advantage of the Portuguese Presidency in Europe from the 1st of January 2021, to promote sustainable tourism and a relaunch based on the European ecological pact through:
1/ Implementing a operational network of sustainable tourism actors in Europe to build capacities and strengthen the cooperation, to give visibility to our actions and offers, coproduce offers notably through the promotion of rail transport on the occasion of the European Year of Rail,
2/ Enhancing the local impact of sustainable tourism by amplifying the logic of territorial compensation, of circular economy and using a «travel label» based on the ecological and social impact of a stay to inform travellers.
We are already actively involved in these two areas in Germany, France and Italy, Spain and Portugal.
We propose to organize a meeting in Portugal to debate and exchange on our European proposals and advances. We will have the opportunity to invite European deputies, the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the EESC, with whom we have engaged in the dialogue, the 20 travel agencies in Europe that have joined our propositions and our Portuguese friends and colleagues who are promoting a sustainable tourism.
A second event will be organize in Sardinia, Italy, in settember 2021 to continue this dialogue: the ITACA festival about sustainable tourism
A – Proposals for a social and sustainable tourism in Europe
Presentation of the two proposals for a more sustainable and social tourism in Europe, not focusing only on airplaines ban or mass tourism. Two propositions for an active cooperation between european travel agencies and national and international institutions:
1/ Implementing a network of sustainable tourism actors in Europe to give visibility to our actions and offers, notably through the promotion of rail transport on the occasion of the European Year of Rail. Potential participants: University (the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development); exemples of a rail stay in Europe from Germany to Sardegna and in France.
2/ Enhancing the local impact of sustainable tourism by amplifying the logic of territorial compensation, of circular economy and using a «travel label» based on the ecological and social impact of a stay to inform travellers. Potential participants: University (local carbon compensation); exemple in Portugal, Germany and Spain.
B – Acting in the framework of public action
How can the national and international strategies help us to create a European network and enhance our local impact? How can we contribute actively to each strategies?
1 – The national action plan of Portugal on sustainable tourism. Potentiel participants: Portugal Tourism Institut, european deputee of the TRAN commission of the European Parlement
2 – The European year of Rail. Potentiel participants: EU Commission, european deputee of the TRAN commission of the European Parlement
3 – The value of culture for sustainable tourism. Potentiel participants: Council of Europe, ministry of Culture of Portugal and university.