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It is clear that we need to strive towards sustainable coastal tourism, and the main question is how to put sustainable development into practice in all tourism activities - from mass tourism to nature-based and specialist tourism.

To reach sustainable tourism:

  • it must make a contribution to the preservation, protection and revival of the ecosystem in coastal regions.
  • it must be embedded in a cross-sectoral, regionally specific, economy and make the maximum contribution to regional added value.
  • it must enable self-determined cultural development in regions and contribute to social satisfaction. Tourists are visitors to the regions, regions are not museums. Regions are first and foremost areas for living in and not mainly service providers for tourism. Positive contributions to the working and living conditions in the region are rightly expected (e.g. job structures, infrastructure).

(see also "A Sustainability Strategy for Tourism"


Different measures on national and local levels should be taken to achieve sustainable tourism in coastal area. (It is difficult to give a list of measures that are suitable for all regions. The actions always have to be specified for regional circumstances.)

Possible measures:

  1. Integrate activities, longer-term planning and partnership development, promotion of co-operation between sectors and of integrated development models across sectors
  2. Economy:
    • support and diversification of local economy,
    • promote local purchasing,
    • set up networks of local producers,
    • involve local people in marketing, etc.
  3. Environment:
    • strict implementation of environmental standards on noise, drinking water, bathing water, waste-water treatment, etc.
    • identification and protection of endangered areas,
    • creation of buffer zones around sensitive areas,
    • prohibition of environmentally harmful sports in jeopardised regions, etc.
  4. Social:
    • Involve local people in shaping tourism policy and decisions,
    • encourage and support forums/groups,
    • support community-based initiatives,
    • involve locally elected representatives
    • provide environmental advice and training,
    • raise environmental awareness,
    • influence visitor behaviour, increase contact between visitors + locals, etc.



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