European Charter for Sustainable Tourism
The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism is a practical management tool which helps protected areas to continuously improve the sustainable development and the management of tourism taking account of the needs of the environment, the local population and the local tourism businesses.
The Charter is not a typical quality or eco-label but a process-oriented methodology that can be used and applied by all kinds of protected areas. The Charters focus is on initiating and assisting a process of sustainable tourism planning which will lead to sustainable development step by step. The Charter assists this process by providing a 'strategy development kit' which contains principles, a methodology and check-lists for the protected areas to work with. The implementation of the Charter methodology increases the awareness of and support for European protected areas.
Please visit the Charter website or contact us to find out more about the European Charter and how your protected area can join the Charter nework and make it's tourism more sustainable
The European Charter Network: Working in partnership
Since the first seven protected areas signed the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Area in 2001, the European Charter Network has grown significantly. The European Charter Network now counts with some 119 protected areas from thirteen European countries involving a growing number of local tourism businesses as Charter partners, local and regional government authorities, NGOs and many more. Recognizing the value of the charter-process for sustainable regional development, an increasing number of Charter Candidate protected areas is engaging in the Charter process. Every months new parks are submitting their application documents and start the process.
The documents "The Charter", "How to join the journey" and the application form are now not only available in English but also in Italian, Spanish, French and German. The translation and design was made possible due to the generous support of TUI - Touristik Union International.
Networking, sharing experience and knowledge is one of the main aims of the Charter. This includes regular Charter network meetings, exchange and study visits.
Taking the European Charter forward
As well as the EUROPARC Federation there are currently a wealth of people and several projects working to keep the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism current and to develop it further...
EUROPARC Consulting are responsible for the administrative side of the Charter.
EUROPARC Sustainable Tourism working group are providing expertise on projects and Charter activities.
Evaluation Committee and verifiers are responsible for the process of awarding Charter areas.
EUROPARC Sections all work to take the Charter forward in their countries or regions.
In 2011-12 EUROPARC coordinated three projects involving the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism: STEPPA, Parks & Benefits and Sustainable Tourism Destinations. STEPPA and Parks & Benefits have now come to an end.
For inquiries and information, please write to info(at)european-charter.org or visit the website www.european-charter.org.