Over 100 destinations to trial ETIS sustainability tool in running for new EU tourism Award. Joint European Tourism Indicator System (ETIS) and Accessible Tourism Awards to take place in Brussels on 22 April 2016. Eight prizes in three categories to be awarded for most sustainable and accessible destinations following two-year ETIS pilot. European tourist destinations are to be recognised for their standout performance in tracking and enhancing sustainability and accessibility at the Joint ETIS and Accessible Tourism Awards hosted by the European Commission.
Eligible destinations all successfully completed a two-year ETIS pilot testing phase (2013 – 2015), employing standardised European indicators to measure and monitor performance and work towards a more sustainable tourism management approach.
Destinations in Croatia, France, Italy, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain have made it into the final round, thanks to the accuracy and quality of their data, the involvement of different community groups and businesses, and follow up action taken to enhance sustainability and accessibility. The final winners will receive a 1* to 3*** rating in sustainability, accessibility and social and economic impact awards across three categories – overall winners, responsible destination management, and sustainable economic development.
Ivor Ambrose, Managing Director of the European Network for Accessible Tourism and Member of the Jury, says: “These awards not only recognise the effort on the part of destinations in the ETIS pilot to improve accessibility, they also showcase the social and economic benefits of having a more inclusive tourism offer to destinations throughout Europe.”
Winning destinations not only gain visibility at the European level, they also have the opportunity to share their experiences and ideas with other pioneering sustainable tourism destinations from across Europe.
Cristina Nuñez, Coordinator of the European Network of Regions for a Sustainable and Competitive Tourism (NECSTouR) and Jury Member, says: “ETIS is a practical tool which can help communities raise awareness and communicate on sustainability, as well as boosting environmental standards throughout a destination. It’s also sparked a great deal of interest in researching and adopting sustainable tourism practices in destinations across Europe and beyond.”
The 2016 ETIS toolkit will be presented at the award ceremony as a tangible contribution from the European Commission towards the UNWTO Year of Sustainable Tourism development in 2017. The toolkit will be freely available for destinations to use, adapt and integrate into their everyday work.
European Tourism Indicators System (ETIS): ETIS is a simple yet comprehensive tool from the European Commission to help European destinations measure and monitor tourism management performance and enhance sustainability. ETIS has been designed so that destinations can easily pick it up and start using it without any training. ETIS was tested in a two-year pilot project (2013 – 2015) involving over 100 destinations from across Europe. A final 2016 ETIS toolkit was developed following the testing phase, which will be presented at the Joint ETIS and Accessible Tourism Awards on 22 April 2016. To find out more about ETIS visit: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/tourism/offer/sustainable/indicators/index_en.htm
EU tourism policy: EU tourism policy aims to maintain Europe’s standing as the world’s leading tourist destination while maximising the industry’s contribution to growth and employment. It supports EU countries in achieving their tourism objectives and promotes cooperation and the exchange of good practice between member states. EU tourism policy works to stimulate competitiveness in the European tourism sector; promote the development of sustainable, responsible and high-quality tourism; consolidate Europe’s image as a collection of sustainable, high-quality destinations; and maximise the potential of EU financial policies for developing tourism.