Indicators developed by the European VISIT initiative

A) Indicators for political implementation of sustainability concepts
Key questions for sustainability:

  • Existence and evaluation of the effectiveness of environmental management and monitoring tools for a more integrated tourism strategy?
  • Are different stakeholders involved in the process?

Key questions for the quality of the region:

  • Is there a continuous reporting and monitoring system designed to improve or maintain the destinationís quality?
No. Description of Indicator How to measure, further explanations
A-1 Existence of a local policy for enhancing sustainability in the destination Existence of a political strategy decision (Yes/No)
Existence of an action plan (Yes/No)
Number of the following issues covered by this action plan: transport, land use and biodiversity, energy, water, waste, social issues, economic issues
A-2 Involvement of stakeholders Are there stakeholders continuously involved in designing, revising and monitoring the sustainability strategy (Yes/No)
Are there extra staff employed for the implementation (number of staff)
A-3 Existence of an inventory of sites of cultural interest e.g. monuments, buildings, UNESCO heritage sites: (Yes/No)
A-4 Existence of an inventory of sites of natural interest e.g. protected areas, habitats, especially vulnerable areas, Natura 2000: (Yes/No)
A-5 Number of eco-labelled tourism facilities or facilities applying environmental management schemes (such as EMAS or ISO 14000) Including hotels, restaurants, campsites or other tourism services
A-6 Number of sites monitored with Blue-Flag-System and total number of bathing sites (if applicable)  

 

Environmental performance indicators
B1. Tourism transport (access to destination and return travel, local mobility)
Key questions for sustainability:

  • Is the amount of "transport pressure caused by tourism" decreasing?
  • Are tourists arriving by more sustainable means of transport? Current situation and evolution in time to see whether there is change towards improvement or not.
  • Are the length of stays increasing? More same-day visitors or longer staying tourists?
  • What are the main means transport tourists are using during their stay at the destination?

Key questions for the quality of the region:

  • Impact of transport on noise and air quality, traffic jams?
No. Description of Indicator How to measure, further explanations
B1-1 Share of environmentally friendly modes of transport in all arrivals How many tourists (staying at least for one night) used the following main means of transport: car, airplane, train, bus, ship or bicycle to come to destinations (total figures per year if available, percentage in case of guest surveys or estimates).How many day visitors used the following main means of transport: car, airplane, train, bus, ship or bicycle to come to destinations (total figures per year if available, percentage in case of guest surveys or estimates).
B1-2 Number of same-day visitors per km² Monthly table of same-day visitors (total figures, if no data available figures from previous visitor surveys or estimates).Monthly table of meals sold in all restaurants (if available).
B1-3 Local mobility Monthly table of the number of passengers transported by local public transport.Percentage of accommodations, tourism facilities and other tourist attractions accessible by public transport (less than 10 minutes walking distance to next station/stop).Extra means of transport especially set up for tourists (type of transport and number of passenger places available per month)

 

B2. Carrying capacity - land use, bio-diversity and tourism activities
Key questions for sustainability:

  • How much land is taken up by tourism accommodation?
  • What area is occupied by second homes?
  • Does the destination try to protect and preserve natural areas?
  • What is theimpact of different tourism activities on bio-diversity?

Key questions for the quality of the region:

  • Degree of urban sprawl, reducing the attractiveness of destinations?
  • Amount of natural areas, raising the attractiveness of the site?

Coastal destinations:
Key questions for sustainability:

  • What is the pressure on aquatic systems (coastal and lake destinations)?

Key questions for the quality of the region:

  • Are coasts in danger of becoming overcrowded?

Mountain destinations:
Key questions for sustainability:

Tourist pressure in mountain destinations?
Key questions for the quality of the region:

  • Are mountain destinations in danger of becoming overcrowded?
No. Description of Indicator How to measure, further explanations
B2-1 Maximum population density (peak season) per km² Table of number of total population (incl. tourists) per month
B2-2 Beds in secondary residences (in % of total lodging capacity) Lodging capacity (by means of accommodation)
B2-3 Ratio of built-up area to natural areas Types of area of destination (built-up, reserved for building, green land, forest, water, other) in km²
B2-4 Size of protected natural areas (in % of total destination area) Total size of protected natural areas (any kind of degree of protection) in km²
B2-5 Evolution of different leisure time activities with intensive use of resources
  • Total size of golf course(s) (in km²)
  • Number of guests at golf course(s) per year
  • Number of snow canons
  • Area covered with artificial snow
  • Capacity of lifts, cable cars and similar transport facilities (in persons-vertical meters/year)
  • Number of tourists transported by helicopters
  • Capacity of harbours and marinas (number of motor boats)
  • Number of hydro speeds or similar water sports equipment
B2-6 Percentage of natural coastline (if applicable) Percentage of length of natural coastline (not built-up within a zone of 1 km from the water) on total coastline

 

B3. Use of energy
Key questions for sustainability:

  • How effective is the use of energy in the destination (total amount of energy used for tourism and source of energy)?

Key questions for the quality of the region:

  • No direct quality issue - but necessary to reduce effects of climate change, which may have a long-term impact on the quality of the destination.
No. Description of Indicator How to measure, further explanations
B3-1 Percentage of renewable energy in total energy consumption (entire destination, locally produced or imported) Ratio of energy consumption per year covered by renewable resources.
B3-2 Energy use by type of tourism facility and per tourist Total consumption of energy per year per type of tourism facility (accommodation, facilities, sport, tourist transport means) divided by total number of persons using this type of facility.

 

B4. Use of water
Key questions for sustainability:

  • What is the pressure on the local water resources?

Key questions for the quality of the region:

  • Is there enough water available for tourists?
  • Are the water bodies (groundwater and surface water) of good quality?
No. Description of Indicator How to measure, further explanations
B4-1 Sustainable use of water resource Ratio of water imported (pipelines, ships etc.) or coming from processed sea water to total water sources Average development of ground water table in the last 5 years (in +/- cm)
B4-2 Percentage of houses and facilities connected to waste water treatment plants Percentage of houses and facilities connected to waste water treatment plants

 

B5. Solid waste management
Key questions for sustainability:

  • Is there a system of effective waste management?

Key questions for the quality of the region:

  • Is waste illegally dumped and are there negative effects of waste treatment on health (for example caused by waste incineration)?
No. Description of Indicator How to measure, further explanations
B5-1 Percentage of solid waste separated for recycling Percentage of households where solid waste is separated for recycling
Percentage of solid waste separated collected in comparison with the solid waste total)
B5-2 Total of solid waste land-filled and/or incinerated (in tonnes) Total of solid waste land-filled and/or incinerated (in tonnes)
B5-3 Monthly table of waste production Monthly table of waste production

 

C. Social and cultural performance indicators
Key questions for sustainability:

  • Development of living conditions for local population?
  • Are developments driven by external influences?

Key questions for the quality of the region:

  • Do tourists feel accepted by residents?
  • General safety of tourists?

No. Description of Indicator How to measure, further explanations
C-1 Percentage of non-resident employees in total number of tourism employees Seasonal percentage of non-resident employees in total number of tourism employees
C-2 Average length of contracts of tourism personnel  
C-3 Percentage of land owned by non-residents  
C-4 Number of recorded thefts  
C-5 Tourist/host population ratio  

 

D. Economic performance indicators
Key questions for sustainability:

  • Economic viability of tourism sector?

Key questions for the quality of the region:

  • Dependence of economy on tourism sector?
  • Seasonal variation of tourism income?
No. Description of Indicator How to measure, further explanations
D-1 Seasonal variation of tourism-related employment Tourism-related employment in peak season/low season in total employment in the destination
D-2 Share of tourism in overall destination GDP  
D-3 Seasonal variation of accommodation occupancy Monthly table of nights spent in the destination
D-4 Total accommodation capacity per capita of resident population  
D-5 Average length of stay