The tourism sector has a prominent role in the economy. In the EU, it contributes 7% of GDP, and France and Italy are two of the three most visited countries in the world.Tourism also has social and ecological impacts on tourist destinations. It involves many activities that may have negative impacts, and many of them deal with tourist accommodation services. In general, the concentration of tourism activities on specific, restricted periods of the year affects the carrying capacity of natural and cultural tourist destination sites.Today, even if many environmentally-friendly solutions are technologically ready for introduction into the hotel sector, their limited diffusion is mainly due to the lack of local awareness and skills, combined with the missing support structures and lack of targeted and practical information at various levels.Further, we are facing a problem of lack of credibility and generalised ignorance about these solutions and about certification schemes, like the EU eco-label, together with an absence of co-operation among the different actors.A low market pressure, also due to the lack of EU eco-label brand recognition, augments the problem.
The main objective is to support EU-wide, effective and sustainable promotion and implementation of the Eco-Label on Tourist Accommodation Services (ELTAS), through demonstration actions in the Mediterranean Islands and surrounding areas, and through EU-wide dissemination and utilization of final products.In line with the priorities of the Community Environment policy, the specific project objectives are to:- contribute globally to reducing the consumption of energy from fossil fuels and the use of chemically treated water and chemical substances related to tourism accommodation service activities- incorporate principles and techniques for more sustainable construction in this sector in professional training and in formal education, to help institutionalise these principles and techniques and promote their widespread adoption- integrate sustainable techniques for tourism accommodation services in the Mediterranean islands and surrounding areas, and embrace social vectors by promoting local awareness and know-how on sustainable issues related to the project, placing the environmental plan in a broad perspective