The chosen approach was to analyze existing urban tourism policy frameworks in European cities and the role that environmental and social sustainability plays in it. All in all, the report intends to better understand how cities are managing current tourism negative externalities and the kind of sustainability strategies implemented to govern urban destinations.
Recently, the Nordic countries have experienced rapid increases in the influx of tourists. Unprecedented growth in the numbers of visitors to some nature attractions and destinations has resulted in crowding, environmental damage, costly rescue operations and overload on common goods such as public infrastructure. The immediate answer is the further development of infrastructures, such as improved transport solutions and extended onsite services. These kinds of measures are often designed within a short-term perspective and may prove to create further sustainability challenges in a long-term perspective. Achieving a sustainable development of tourism implies complex processes that require policy and planning to take environmental, social and economic dimensions into consideration within a long-term perspective.
Over time, Mediterranean destinations have developed a unique blend of tourism products covering leisure, health, sports, nature, business, as well as cruise and culture. However, the economic growth associated with the tourism sector has often been to the detriment of environmental integrity and social equity.