The way in which tourism should use natural and social resources to obtain economic benefits needs to be carefully analyzed. This has increasingly led to the recognition that public and private sector actors in the tourism sector must consider equal distribution of maximum economic benefits, minimize socio-cultural impacts on host communities and tourists, and protect and Improving the natural environment through tourism activities.
Today, sustainable development, responsibility and sustainability tend to be an integral part of our lives.
In Romania, the Green tourism ecological association for development has put sustainable, responsible, slow, sweet tourism on its agenda from the beginig. For almost 10 years, we have been constantly acting for the greening of Romanian tourism. Among our concerns is the green management of tourist destinations.
Policy instruments for Greentourism management are not different in essence from instruments in other fields of environmental public policy. They can be classified into economic (or market-based), regulatory (or command-and-control) and institutional instruments.
Tourist environmental tax
This tax is levied on tourists for environmental purposes. Debates on the consequences of levying a tax on tourism usually focus on the effects on the number of tourists due to higher prices. Whether or not a drop in tourism income will result depends mainly on the amount of tax being levied and the ability of a destination to compensate for higher prices with a higher quality of tourism products and services.
User fees charged to tourists can serve as a simple mechanism for capturing part of the benefits derived from the use of the resource. When access to a specific environmental resource can be controlled, the most common applications of this instrument in tourism are entrance fees to green areas.
There are many ways in which financial incentives for reducing negative tourism impacts might be applied. These can be designed to change behaviour either by increasing or reducing the prices of particular goods or services.
Over the last 15 years was a major growth in the number of eco-labels. Many of them are not known to the wider public and tourists can be confused.These can be applied to almost any product or service offered to tourists that satisfy certain environmental criteria (accommodation facilities, tour operators, beaches, restaurants, marinas or tourist destinations).
Some instruments prevent overcrowding and consequently natural resource degradation: Setting a limit on the number of visitors admitted to a destination during a fixed period may include closure of certain places, like environmentally fragile areas at certain times; establishing a maximum number of accommodation units; determining a maximum number of persons allowed at certain tourist attraction, particular area or a whole country.
This instrument allows for planned tourism development and is relatively inexpensive and easy to implement. The physical plan is the basic implementing document. Can be a very effective instrument for limiting construction activities, which is one of the biggest problems related to environmental degradation caused by tourism development. Ecological economic zoning has also been proposed in another context (climate change policy) to protect rainforests under the REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) initiative.
More information about policy instruments can be found here:
With the similar goal to implement proper environmental policy the Greentourism Association has developed and intent to implement in Carpathians a sustainable touristic complementary clasification: The Progressive Green Labeling System(PGL system). Among other important elements PGL includes the principal of Eco-label, splited in five levels of implementation. Here the focus lies on the removal of infrastructure, well-planned tourism access and strictly regulated and limited road access to the area, to ensure minimum tourist impact on the zones.
PGL System also provides expert recommendations on green management improvement for benefits of nature and human being.
More about the european tools to measure the tourist destinations performance in relation to sustainability, here!