Sustainable Tourism

The Sustainable Tourism Charter Network exists to promote and contribute to the ongoing development of the EUROPARC Federation’s European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. It brings together those protected area authorities that have already gained Charter status, are working towards it or who simply wish to find out more. Networking is at the heart of the Charter concept and this group seeks to share experience and expertise amongst Charter protected areas.

The EAI Charter Network last met in Birmingham on Friday 10th May 2013, where the focus of the day was on green certification and the challenges involved for protected landscapes in working with certification programmes and partner businesses. We were joined by Professor Harold Goodwin of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University and Andrea Nicholas of the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS). The second part of the European Charter provided the context for the meeting.

A full report of the meeting can be viewed here. Further information can be found in the the presentations made by our distinguished speakers:

Harold Goodwin, What’s the role of certification?

Andrea Nicholas, Overview of the Green Tourism Business Scheme

Richard Tyler, Brecon Beacons National Park, on Green Tourism

Richard Hammond, greentraveller, on the work of greentraveller

Mike Pugh, Forest of Bowland AONB, provided thoughts on the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

Protected landscapes in the South East of England are working together with tourism businesses as part of the Our Land project. Our colleagues from EUROPARC Consulting carried out an evaluation of the project, which can be read here (on page 13) in the Times of Our Land.

The EAI working group group had met previously on 1 May 2012 during the Bowland Symposium and again on Thursday 11th October 2012 in Birmingham, where the focus of the meeting was the implementation of the second part of the Charter on working with tourism businesses. A full report is available here.

Thirteen UK protected areas are amongst the 107 European areas certified since the Charter was first awarded by the EUROPARC Federation in 2001. They are:

Mourne Heritage Trust, first awarded 2003, re-evaluated 2010

Forest of Bowland AONB, first awarded 2005, re-evaluated 2010

Cairngorms National Park, first awarded 2005, re-evaluated 2011

Broads Authority, first awarded 2006, re-evaluated 2011

Brecon Beacons National Park, awarded 2007, re-evaluated 2012

Exmoor National Park, awarded 2007

Yorkshire Dales National Park, together with Nidderdale AONB, awarded 2008

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, awarded 2008

Clwydian Range AONB, awarded 2009

Cornwall AONB, awarded 2009

Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust, awarded 2011

Cotswolds Conservation Board, awarded 2011

Shropshire Hills AONB, awarded 2012.


Body of expertise and experience

A significant body of experience has been acquired about the development of the Charter and its impact since its inception more than a decade ago. This knowledge – together with many interesting statistics – has been captured by the EUROPARC Federation in a report from its Sustainable Destinations project, which was sponsored by Germany’s Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. A number of UK Charter parks contributed to this project.

The report, entitled “European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas: The value of the Charter in identifying sustainable tourism destinations” is available for download, as is the “Analysis of Magic Numbers“.


Green economy

EAI has also been working on issues surrounding the Green Economy, which is very much linked to sustainable tourism. See the details of the seminar ‘Protect and Prosper‘ for further details.