Activities in 2015-2017
CEEweb and the Sustainable Tourism Working Group will work on the project “Support for the Implementation of the Strategy for Sustainable Tourism Development in the Carpathians” funded by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety with funds from the Advisory Assistance Programme for environmental protection in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia and other counties neighboring the European Union (AAP).
We will work on country specificand common action plan toward the implementation of the Strategy and the establishment and support for the Carpathian Coordination Platform. Besides, we will also ensure adequate communication and information sharing through a platform that showcases available literature and financial resources as well as project examples. We will present the outcomes during the 5th Conference of the Parties in autumn 2017 in Budapest.


Assessing National Development Tourism Strategies in Central and Eastern Europe

The Central East European countries need complex strategies managing and respecting their natural and cultural resources as a part of competitive advantage. The monitoring of this work is necessary to improve the quality of tourist national destinations in the long term.

Therefore, in August, 2012 the STWG finalized upgraded version of the Assessment Criteria for National Tourism Development Strategies. This research tool measures how well a national strategy fulfills the criteria for sustainable development of tourism. Please find more about the implementation of the project and target here. Based on the discussion and on the methodology, the STWG assessed eight selected national tourism strategies:

The synthesis of the national assessments from 2012 can be found here, the 2013 summary here.

Tourism in the Carpathian Convention

The Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians was signed in 2003 by the Ministers of the Environment of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic and Ukraine. It provides the framework for cooperation and multi-sectoral policy coordination, a platform for joint strategies for sustainable development, and a forum for dialogue between all stakeholders involved, also in the field of tourism (see CEEweb’s  Comments on the Carpathian Convention with regards to tourism). Thus also a Working Group on sustainable tourism was established following a COP decision in 2006, which produced a draft protocol on tourism. Within the framework of the EU CADSES co-financed Carpathian Project, CEEweb, ETE and ad hoc CEEweb Carpathian Tourism Working Group developed a Background Document on Sustainable Tourism Opportunities in the Carpathians and developed and submitted to the Carpathian Convention a draft tourism protocol. In 2010, a Protocol on Sustainable Tourism was adopted, which provides a legally binding frame for the development of sustainable tourism in the Carpathians.

To assure the implementation of the protocol a strategy is needed. In response to that need, a project is implemented in 2013-2014 that seeks to elaborate sustainable tourism development strategy for the Carpathians in co-ordination with all relevant stakeholders. The strategy was adopted by the Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Carpathian Convention in September 2014. Fourteen case studies on Good Practices of Sustainable Tourism in the Carpathians were collected and presented to relevant stakeholders. Read more about the project >>

Case studies about invasive tourism activities

STWG has prepared a review of solutions for minimizing the invasive tourist and recreational activities in CEE countries. The first aim of the review is then to show the examples of successful management of tourism activities which lead to negative impact on the environment. Secondly the review shows the suggested potential solutions.

Read about invasive activities and download the case studies on invasive activities and landscape protection.

Channelling  biodiversity and sustainability considerations into policy processes

Tourism being a global industry with far reaching effects, CEEweb sees it important that global responses are given to these challenges. Thus the CEEweb Sustainable Tourism WG prepared a position the for Rio+20 Conference on the issue (Mountain Tourism Declaration). Beside, global policy, CEEweb STWG is advocating for sustainabel tourism also in the Carpathian region. Read here its statement on the Caprathian Tourism Strategy.

On EU level the European Commission “intends to encourage a coordinated approach for initiatives linked to tourism and define a new framework for action to increase its competitiveness and its capacity for sustainable growth”, and thus produced a Communication in 2010.  In line with the proposed actions, the EC proposed a draft Charter for sustainable and responsible tourism in 2012, which was also commented by the STWG  (read it here and the completed questionnaire).
CEEweb was also a member of the Tourism Sustainability Group of DG Enterprise for many years, where it represented CEE experiences and positions on sustainable tourism with a view to make EU level tourism policies more sustainable also taking into account biodiversity considerations among others. Read the Recommendations for EU DG Enterprise Tourism Sustainability Group from 2010.

Awareness raising and experience sharing on sustainable tourism

A brochure Visit a Better Place to Live! explaining the concept of sustainable tourism and presenting some real life examples was developed by CEEweb Sustainable Tourism Working Group in several national languages. Download the brochure in EnglishRomanianSerbianUkrainian or Polish.

The compiled database on tourism impacts includes theoretical remarks and case studies that illustrate economic, environmental and cultural impacts of tourism. In addition, it contains information on such areas where tourism development can create opportunities for sustainable development. The case studies are from Central and Eastern European countries.

CEEweb prepared an assessment of the sustainable tourism development model of Banská Stiavnica based on the CBD Guidelines on Biodiversity and Tourism Development in 2003. With the assessment CEEweb aimed to promote sustainable tourism in Central and Eastern Europe. In order to provide a general overview on sustainable tourism, it also prepared a publication Introduction to Sustainable Tourism.

Capacity building activities

The CEEweb STWG organised several trainings to build capacities of CEE NGOs sustainable tourism. In June 2006, near Babia Gora in Poland, the STWG had a training on tourism product development (read the handouts), while in April 2006 in Osijek, Croatia, it organised a training on tourism potential assessment and SWOT analysis as a tool for that (read the handouts).

The CEEweb Academy on Sustainable Tourism took place in Banja Vrujci, Serbia on 13 November 2005. More than 30 people attended the one-day training (see the presentations here). The Evaluation of the CEEweb Academy’s Training on Tourism shows that the participants gained significant amount of knowledge on the topics covered by the trainer, the Chair of the Working Group, Michael Meyer or ETE.

Development of methodology and tourism management plan in Serbia and Montenegro

The aim of the project was the development of a methodology and draft tourism management plan for Zasavica Special Nature Reserve, to serve as a model for all protected areas. The project site was selected in 2003 as a result of a tender process, where several project proposals for developing a tourism management plan in a protected area in Central and Eastern Europe were evaluated. After approval of the proposal, the project started in June 2004 with a workshop in Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia and Montenegro (see the report of the first workshop). Based on the experiences of the plan development process, recommendations were formulated to national nature conservation authorities on how to make full use of the methodology for other protected areas in Serbia and Montenegro.

The project was realised by CEEweb, Ecological Tourism in Europe (ETE) in cooperation with Centre for Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Development (CenORT)  and it was supported by the UNEP/ROE Biodiversity Service. Read more about the project>>

Twinning project on sustainable tourism and biodiversity conservation

The overall aim of the project was to build the capacity of the CEEweb network through a twinning program between Ecological Tourism in Europe and CEEweb. It was realised through a training exchange in Germany, a one-week field study and training session in Banska Stiavnica, Slovakia, and a five-day training at the headquarters of CEEweb in Budapest in 2004. The project was supported by the European Union, within the PHARE Multi-Country Programme “Environment and Enlargement”.

The activities of the Sustainable Tourism Working Group are realised with the financial support of the the European Commission.