sustainable tourism

Sustainable tourism


In 1993, the term "sustainable tourism" appeared for the first time in a guide published by the WTO (World Tourism Organization) and UNEP: Handbook for local government - Sustainable Tourism Development

Sustainable tourism is an implementation of the concept of sustainable development, applied to tourism.

Therefore, sustainable tourism or responsible tourism is a way of thinking and acting dynamically for the various stakeholders and which is contrary to mass tourism.




  • To be respectful of the environment and the host region : the environment is the basis of the natural and cultural resources that attract tourists. Therefore, protecting the environment is essential for the long-term success of tourism.
  • To be respectful of the local people of the host region : for the development of individuals who live, work and stay in the region. The objective is to ensure that the local identity of the region is not lost and avoid a possible clash of cultures.
  • To develop tourist facilities or activities that contribute positively and fairly to the economic development of the host region.


1/ Creation of a World Charter for Sustainable Tourism

To develop sustainable tourism worldwide and to disseminate its implementation, in 1995, the WTO met in Lanzarote (Canary Islands) with Unesco, UNEP and the European Commission

The outcome of this meeting was the publication of a Sustainable Tourism Charter.


2/ Mise en place d’un Agenda 21 du Tourisme Européen :

In order to implement sustainable tourism, the European Commission set up a program entitled : European Agenda 21 for Tourism.

This program was created in June 1999, prepared by a task group called : "The promotion of Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development in Tourism".

The general principles of the European Agenda 21 for Tourism, which resulted in many recommendations, are:
  • Adapting tourism to the concept of Sustainable Development
  • Strengthening the role of the Union in respect to the principle of subsidiarity
  • Implementing Agenda 21 in a way that is adapted to each member country
  • Agreeing to the idea of contracts rather than giving way to coercion
  • Recognizing the contribution of tourism to sustainability

This program has been circulated on a local, national and regional level in the European Union thanks to a European network of pilot regions in Sustainable Development that integrate the sustainability of tourism in its entirety, promoting a partnership between regions which are part of this network.

The objective is that the pilot regions meet the criteria in Agenda 21, namely the four strategic objectives :
  • To prevent et reduce the regional environmental impacts of tourism in the host destinations
  • To control the growth of tourism- related transport and its negative effects on the environment
  • To encourage a tourism that supports sustainable local development and is controlled by the sector's stakeholders
  • To promote responsible tourism, as a factor in social and cultural development

3/ Creating LABELS

The trademark "Regional Park"

THE TRADEMARK "REGIONAL PARK" is a registered collective trademark. It can be applied to products and services.

The trademark reflects the commitments of its beneficiaries: their attachment to the region, the offering of products and services which enhance local cultural heritage with its history, buildings...

Panda Holidays

Holiday accommodation in France (self-catering cottages, bed and breakfast, group cottages, and children’s cottages) mostly located in a National or Regional Park, to which the WWF grants its label.

Three conditions are necessary:

  • Being located in a quality natural environment
  • Having equipment for observing nature and specific applicable literature
  • Being managed by owners (or managers) who are concerned about respecting these criteria

The Green Key :

A Label of Environmental Management of tourist accommodation run by the Foundation for Environmental Education since 1998. It rewards campsites, hotels, and country cottages for their dynamism and enthusiasm about the environment. The criteria for certification :

  • General environmental management
  • Waste management
  • Water management
  • Energy management

Indoor and Outdoor areas: organizing non-smoking areas, using environmentally-friendly products, composting

  • Educating employees and clients about the environment

European Eco-Label

Awarded by the European Commission to many products where tourist accommodation guarantees that the lodging or campsite :

  • Limits energy consumption
  • Limits water consumption
  • Reduces waste
  • Promotes the use of renewable resources and substances which are less hazardous for the environment
  • Promotes education and communication about the environment