Natural resources we promote through tourism are in danger of degradation, unless we’re able to turn the tourism industry into a sustainable one.

In order to develop a sustainable tourism industry, some key areas to consider include:

  • Solid financial and business planning
  • Sensitivity to cultural and social dynamics
  • Efficient management, training and customer service
  • Long term vision
  • Marketing and communications programs to showcase the positive elements

For a better introduction to the topic, please take a look at the following video developed by The Travel Foundation: Why sustainable tourism?


Tourism sector enterprises play a crucial role for Sustainable Tourism promotion and development
Tourism sector enterprises play a crucial role for Sustainable Tourism promotion and development

Tourism sector enterprises play a crucial role for Sustainable Tourism promotion and development

Sustainable tourism is widely recognised as a business opportunity, since more and more tourists declare to take more responsible choices during their travels/holidays.

This has led to the creation of various forms of sustainable or alternative tourism such as: ‘nature-based tourism’, ‘ecotourism’ and ‘cultural tourism'. Sustainable tourism is becoming so popular that many argue that from 'alternative' it will become 'mainstream' in 10 years.

The following key points represent for you an important “toolkit for beginners”:

For you, as an aspiring Social Tourism Entrepreneur, Vision and Mission are both extremely relevant because they should embrace, mainstream and valorise the sustainable feature of your business initiative. 

  • Define your target group: the new “sustainable-informed” traveller
  • Define the exact type of product/service you want to offer: a new travel experience that take into full consideration environmental issues and sustainability.


  • Research on the Internet what is the economic impact of tourism in your region
  • Assess what are the tourism-related dynamics in your territorial context (for instance; what is the target and what is the average offer – i.e. adventure tourism for your people; what is trending and what is not, etc.)
  • Search on the internet “essentials ideas” on what is relevant for sustainable tourism (i.e., the average sustainable tourist, their preferences and what they expect from a “sustainable” tourism experience)
  • Match the internet sources with your preliminary analysis and try to design a concept note of your sustainable tourism initiative that is feasible for your territory
  • Get in touch on the internet with local associations / organisations dedicated to the valorisation and promotion of the territory – ask them what potential there is for a sustainable tourism initiative in your territory, submit them your draft for review and consultation
  • Seek for guidance and coaching from experienced operators within the sector; be humble and ask for relevant suggestions, hints, and recommendations. Gather as much information as you can.
  • Review your idea on the basis of previous feedbacks.



Entrepreneurship is vital for economic development, and tourism is one of the economic sectors that count more in Europe.

Climate change and changes in travellers mind-set, needs and expectations require innovative ways to address sustainability issues in the tourism sector.


Learning Outcomes

Competence Area 1: IDEAS & OPPORTUNITIES
  • 1.7) I can take part in group dynamics aimed at defining open-ended problems.
  • 1.12) My vision for creating value drives me to make the effort to turn ideas into action.
  • 1.14) I can tell the difference between types of licences that can be used to share ideas and protect rights.
Competence Area 2: RESOURCES
    Competence Area 3: INTO ACTION