Sustainability of the future development of European Tourism

Essay, 2011

18 Pages, Grade: merit


Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. European Union

3. Sustainability

4. Background of sustainable development in the EU context

5. Case studies
5.1. Calypso
5.2. EDEN
5.3. EU
5.4. European cycle route network EuroVelo
5.5. Horizon
5.7. Tourism Sustainability Group

6. Conclusion

7. References

Critically review the philosophy and application of sustainability by the European Commission to the future development of European Tourism. Your review should make reference to a range of examples of EU supported Tourism initiatives to support your review.


This essay makes a critically review of the philosophy and the application of the term sustainability by the European Commission to the future development of the European Tourism. The European Commission is an institution of the European Union and it is in charge of checking if the legislation is implemented in all the Member States of the Union. One of the latest legislation is the Treaty of Lisbon and there is mentioned by the first time the word Tourism. The European Commission is also in charge of the sustainable development in all the sectors, but in this case we have to highlight the Tourism industry. It is also explained briefly the concept of European Union and their characteristics. Finally, it will be explained the different case studies like EU 2020, EDEN and JESSICA. In order to criticize the application of sustainability.

1. Introduction

Tourism is one of the most important sectors of the European economy and it is an activity that can have a big impact on sustainable tourism. It consists of a wide variety of destinations and products with public and private stakeholders who act at a national, regional and local level, and it is also important to mention that Europe is the number one destination in the world (European Commission, 2010). This sector can “contribute to achieve the aims of maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment, social progress, the environmental protection and prudent use of natural resources” (European Commission communication, 2003). All of these points have to be globally sustained.

According to the official website of the European Union called Europa (2011), the European Commission is an institution that consists of commissioners and employees of the European Union. Its aims are suggesting and checking if the European legislation (for example: Treaty of Lisbon) is applied correctly in all the Union, because this organization works for the interests of the whole Union. In this organization decisions are made and its president is José Manuel Barroso (Renta 4, 2011).

On December the first of 2009 the Treaty of Lisbon, mentioned above, came into force and help the European Union to modernize and improve their institutions and working methods (Europa, 2011). This treaty includes for the first time a reference to tourism and its importance in the EU. According to the European Commission, this industry generates more than 5% of EU Gross Domestic Product, with 1,8 million enterprises employing 5,2% of the total workforce. (Ministro de Industria, Turismo y Comercio, 2010). Otherwise, this industry generates indirectly 11% of the GDP of the EU and represents approximately 12% of the total workforce.

However, this sector is facing great challenges due to the world global recession and the financial crisis of the last years, and needs urgently changes in its model of environmental sustainability, need innovation, modernization, reduce the seasonality, create an European socially responsible tourism model; and has to fight against the climate change, the high energy consumption in the transport sector, the loss of biodiversity and natural resources, etc. (Radermacher, 2009).

This essay will review critically the philosophy and application of sustainability by the European Commission to the future development of European Tourism. To support this review, it will make reference to a range of examples of EU supported Tourism initiatives.

(3500 words)

2. European Union

Firstly, it is important to explain briefly what the European Union is. The European Union is an international organization composed by twenty seven different countries that means 500 millions of persons. Robert Schuman was a French politician who proposed in 1950 the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community which began to link European countries economically and politically to reach the peace after the Second World War. The first six creators were Germany Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. In this period took place the cold war between the east and the west. In 1957, the Soviet Union took the lead in space area and launched the first satellite called Sputnik 1. In the same year it is signed the Treaty of Rome which creates the European Economic Community (EEC) or called also “common market”. The European Union, or more popular with his acronym EU, has its own blue flag with a circle of twelve gold stars which represents solidarity and harmony among the peoples of Europe. It also has its own currency called “Euro”, his Central Bank The actual member states or countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom. There are four candidate countries like Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland and Turkey. There are also five potential candidate countries such Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia (Europa, 2011).

3. Sustainability

Sustainability is a relative new concept, it comes from the verb sustain (Latin root sustinere) which means keep something firmly, to support or maintain something. A lot of civilizations had the need to preserve resources for future generations (Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura, 2010). This issue has become popularity due to the overdevelopment of the mankind, which means that we have reached the limits of the Earth (Sustain wellbeing, 1997). The rapidly growing society along several years has used the natural resources without thinking in “tomorrow” and due to the huge advances in technology has increased the power of the population on Earth and their actions contribute to the whole world (ibid).

But nowadays, it is very important to maintain our environment because for Tourism, which is one of the biggest phenomenon and largest industries in the world, it is an essential part for carrying out this industry. The tourism sector receive lots of complaints from tourist destinations concerning about the massive negative impacts (environment, culture, ways of life of residents) and demand a more sustainable development.

4. Background of sustainable development in the EU context

The aim of sustainable development are improving the needs, the quality of life and well- being on Earth, for present and future generations (Radermacher, 2009), that is, and it is divided into three different aspects economic, social and environmental, which are “inseparable and interdependent components of human progress” (European Commission, 2010). The environmental issue one has a strategy which was adopted in 2001 and revised in 2005 (Europa, 2011).

The European Commission adopted the 2009 Review of EU Sustainable Development Strategy, in July of the same year. It highlights that the European Union has worked intensively to fight against the climate change (principal reason that affects to the tourism sector); promote low-carbon, resource-efficient and knowledge-based economies; and has launched reflections on the future of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy and its relation to the Treaty of Lisbon (European Commission, 2010). In future reviews, governance (including implementation, monitoring and follow-up mechanisms) should be reinforced like announcing clearer links to the future priority action of EU 2020 (ibid).

Other institutions have defined their opinion regard to the Review of EU SDS like the European Council and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). The last mentioned has set up in 2006 the Sustainable Development Observatory (SDO) in order to respond to the EU Sustainable Development Strategy. According to this Committee (2010) this observatory is a “cross-cutting body within the EESC”, which built links like a mediator between civil society and EU institutions such the European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament (ibid).

In 2010, this strategy established general objectives and concrete actions for seven key priority challenges, which are mainly environmental (European Commission, 2010):

- Climate change and clean energy
- Conservation and management of natural resources
- Global poverty and sustainable development challenges
- Public Health
- Social inclusion, demography and migration
- Sustainable consumption & production
- Sustainable transport


Excerpt out of 18 pages


Sustainability of the future development of European Tourism
Bournemouth University
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ISBN (Book)
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sustainability, european, tourism
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Dilara Torun (Author), 2011, Sustainability of the future development of European Tourism, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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