EU Guidebook on Sustainable Tourism for Development

The European Commission Directorate-General Development and Cooperation-EuropeAid- commissioned UNWTO to prepare a guidebook “Sustainable Tourism for Development” presenting tourism as an engine for development, trade in services, job creation and poverty reduction, within the framework of the 2012 EuropeAid  project Enhancing capacities for sustainable tourism for development in developing countries”.

The Guidebook’s goal is to enhance common understanding and commitment to Sustainable Tourism, by explaining how tourism relates to the EU Agenda for Change and how it can be a vehicle to foster economic and social growth, through the achievement of development imperatives, while minimizing negative social, cultural and environmental impacts. It can provide guidance to assess the tourism sector´s importance, identifying opportunities for sustainable tourism development, planning actions that both EU Services in Brussels and the EU Delegations in 180 countries can include in their programme cycles.

The Guidebook (you can find it in English and French) was tested in six-developing countries (Botswana, India, Kenya, Vietnam, Senegal and Timor-Leste) and was publicly launched on 27 June 2013 in Brussels.  

The Guidebook is also useful in informing the existing cooperation frameworks and common assessment and coordination processes in Official Development Assistance and Aid-for-Trade. Economic performance, investment and competitiveness in trade play an important role in the tourism sector. To successfully achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the eminent Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are being defined for the next decade and beyond, the success of tourism depends on the presence of policies and strategies for trade and investment that meet the needs of the sector and an overall business environment that is conducive to growth.

The methodology of the guidebook takes 5 pillars into consideration and it discusses in detail a number of themes, issues, opportunities and challenges, leading to a set of questions to assess whether and how they are being addressed.