Sustainable Tourism and Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe : ETIS4CR
Starting from the approval of the Charter on Sustainable Tourism of Lanzarote (1995), sustainability of tourism development has increasingly become a theme of primary importance in the strategies of the World Tourism Organization, in those of the European Union, in national and regional tourist policies.
In particular, the European Commission has developed a series of important instruments, eco-label for tourist services (European eco-label), Community system of eco-management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), in order to certify the sustainability of tourist facilities and destinations, however, it should be noted that the final balance in terms of practical experience has not been numerically significant.
The change of pace, at European level for implementation of an effective strategy for sustainable tourism development, took place in 2013 with the launch of ETIS, European Tourism Indicators System for sustainable destination management, subject of a test phase which has just ended.
ETIS is a comprehensive and easy instrument to help the tourist destinations to measure and monitor their current performance in terms of sustainability, in order to put in place the necessary improvement measures.
ETIS is a “two stage” system of indicators :
• Key indicators, limited to 27,
• Optional indicators, in number of 40
All indicators are grouped into four sections:
• Section A:main indicators on management of destination.
• Section B: main indicators on the economic value.
• Section C: main indicators on the social and cultural impact.
• Section D: main indicators on the environmental impact.
ETIS complements the definition of the indicator set with a roadmap to guide the process of implementation of the tourist destination in practice, identifying the key stages and making a Tool kit/tool box available in order to proceed step by step towards the final result, namely to establish and maintain the information system by the indicators of sustainable tourism.
The Road Map includes the following points:
• Step 1. Awareness
• Step 2. Creation of a profile of the destination
• Step 3. Formation of a working group of the interested parties
• Step 4. Definition of roles and responsibilities
• Step 5. Collection and recording of data
• Step 6. Analysis of results
• Step 7. Promotion of development and continuous improvement
ETIS4CR: an instrument for sustainability of Cultural Routes
ETIS has been developed for tourist destinations and was conceived as a process to be conducted locally in order to monitor, manage and improve the sustainability of the destination. Cultural routes, by their nature, do not coincide with a tourist destination, in some cases they are the collection of tourist destinations but very often they are a set of excellences (monuments, archaeological sites, religious buildings, etc.) rather than extended territories (Camino de Santiago in the first place), very large rural areas but very little developed in tourism.
The Phoenicians’ Route, above all the cultural routes of the ECo, has already started in 2012, a focus of sustainability in terms of tourism of the Cultural Routes and the reflection conducted among the members of the Phoenicians’ Route of the different countries in the Mediterranean basin, has been further enhanced with the provision of ETIS.
The challenge that we intend to take as Phoenicians’ Route, is to work together in order to develop an ETIS4CRs (ETIS for Cultural Routes), develop namely, through the coordination of the EICR and the creation of a specific Working Group made up of representatives of the CR, an outline proposal, to open a confrontation with the European Commission, and arrive quickly to the making available of a good instrument for the planning and management of tourism of the Cultural Routes.