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Sustainable tourism in developing countries

The European Commission, DG VIII, has recently adopted a communication outlining a strategy to support the development of sustainable tourism in developing countries. The communication is the culmination of a study conducted within the Commission, involving consultations with ...
The European Commission, DG VIII, has recently adopted a communication outlining a strategy to support the development of sustainable tourism in developing countries. The communication is the culmination of a study conducted within the Commission, involving consultations with international donors and discussions with the Member States' bilateral cooperation agencies.

The communication advocates the adoption of a comprehensive, targeted approach in adopting measures aimed at stimulating tourism in developing countries. The need for an overall approach to be adopted at the design stage of a policy, rather than tackling all problems at the same time within the same programme is also underlined. Support programmes which are specifically tailored to each country, and to each specific need, is another aspect discussed in the communication.

Support will be allocated by the Community to the private sector at two levels. This will aim to improve the partnership between firms and branches of activity connected with tourism, and through cross-disciplinary measures for SMEs in general. Support will also be given to governments to enable them to fulfil their planning, administrative and monitoring functions with a view to sustainable development. This should comprise the establishment of a legal and institutional framework, support for the development of human resources and public infrastructure, the protection and development of the natural cultural heritage and technical assistance for modernising the methods and instruments for marketing the destination country.

The communication contains a total of five sections dealing with the following:

- Section 1: the role of tourism as a factor in development and the challenge posed by the sustainable development of tourism in developing countries;
- Section 2: the lessons drawn from previous support programmes;
- Section 3: the Community and sustainable development of tourism in developing countries - possible future objectives and areas for action;
- Section 4: basic principles for implementing a sustainable tourism strategy in developing countries;
- Section 5: highlighting the importance of consistency, coordination and complementarity with other Community policies and strategies.
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