Written by Areti Alexopoulou
The Guide on European Best Practices in Sustainable Tourism has recently been concluded (download here), with the intention to show by example concrete ways within the European Union territory that support the implementation of sustainable consumption and production patterns in the operation and delivery of the services of enterprises in the tourism sector in Central Asia.
The scope of the study is to identify good and best practices in the EU in the field of sustainable tourism and to transfer the acquired knowledge to countries of Central Asia, and more specifically to our partners in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.
The Guide of EU Best Practices in Sustainable Tourism was prepared by Educational-Development Company PLOIGOS on behalf of the leading partner Heraklion Development Agency (AnHer) for the purposes of Task 2.7 “Transfer of EU best/good practices in Sustainable Tourism” under Work Package 2: Support the implementation of SCP for the Project “A MODEL FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN CENTRAL ASIA: BUILDING CAPACITIES, CREATING AWARENESS, INTRODUCING TECHNOLOGY” under the SWITCH-Asia and Central Asia II – Promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production Programme.
Focus on Raising Awareness and Sustainable Case-Studies
The Guide focuses on two central themes. The first is to assemble experiences of ways in which local and regional authorities in the European Union assist tourism enterprises in developing the sustainable nature of tourism. The second is to gather information on actions and incentives undertaken by European Member-States that are related to the raising of consumer awareness in the field of sustainable consumption and production within the leisure industry. The final deliverable has been product of an extensive online research conducted throughout the months of April to August 2021 and the examples that have been selected are amongst those that deserve to be studied in further detail and depth by all interested stakeholders. Each case study presented gives greater insight to one or more aspects of sustainable tourism, showcasing significant issues that have been addressed and resolved by the parties involved.
Methodologically, the strategy chosen to be followed in this study serves the purpose of presenting the subject of sustainable tourism in its historical progression first, with the intention of creating a timeline awareness to the reader. Hence, the first section presents the basic facts about the MOST Project, the second unfolds the series of events that led to the current need for considering and implementing policies and actions on all levels – global, national and local – that are sustainable and responsible towards our natural environment and society. The third section is devoted to the notion of consumer awareness and how this is communicated to reach wider audiences and raised to a greater degree. The fourth and last section encompasses good and best practices of sustainable tourism cases throughout Europe. Having undergone extensive online research, examples of numerous business entities that have attempted to incorporate sustainability principles into their entrepreneurial environment have been located and presented.
Diverse Portfolio of Best Practices
In the Guide, there is a wide range of best practices that help develop the sustainable nature of tourism, including cases of hotels and accommodation, tourist destinations, natural and cultural heritage sites, big cities, communities and villages, more sustainable means of travel and transport, all the way through to waste management and green procurement applications, amongst others. The aim has been to create a diverse portfolio of best European practices in sustainable tourism that will lead the reader to delve further into the subject.
The goal of the authors of this Guide was to inform our partners regarding responsible tourism by highlighting good and best examples taking place in Europe and which, in turn, will lead them to the application of this knowledge, ultimately creating a more fertile ground for sustainable consumption and production patterns in the tourism sector in Central Asia. We hope you enjoy the reading!
“This publication was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union, under SWITCH-Asia Programme. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Heraklion Development Agency and MOST project partners and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union”.