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Sustainable Tourism Management in Protected Areas

European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas

The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas is a practical management tool for ensuring that tourism contributes to a balanced economic, social and environmental development of protected areas in Europe. Please find below the main documents of this sustainable tourism programme, the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas, set up and coordinated by the EUROPARC Federation.

Since 2013, these documents are also available in French, Italian, Spanish and German thanks to the support ot TUI Touristik Union International. To obtain these documents and for more information about this programme please visit For queries, contact

The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism

Joining Forces

Practical profitable protected



Generating socio-economic effects by a sustainable management of protected areas for the benefit of their regions

The PARKS & BENEFITS project came to an end on 24th January 2012. It was a great success for the partners involved and in the results it produced. Many of these publications and reports produced within the project and experiences collected are useful for other protected areas across Europe and around the world. The project aimed to ensure the sustainable regional development in eight large protected areas in six countries around the Baltic Sea.

The project’s main instrument was the transfer of EUROPARC's “European Charter For Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas” to the Baltic Sea Region and its joint implementation in National, Regional and Nature Parks and a Biosphere Reserve. The project studied and highlighted the economic, ecological and social benefits of sustainable tourism for both the protected areas and the regional stakeholders. Among the results a network of protected areas around the Baltic Sea was developed, new nature tourism products were created and an increased commitment of citizens and tourism entrepreneurs to the Charter and their protected sites was achieved.

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STEPPA- Sustainble tourism in enterprises, parks and protected areas

Sustainable Tourism in Enterprises, Parks and Protected Areas (STEPPA) was a project funded through the European Commission DG Enterprise responding to the 2009 call: Knowledge Networks for the competitiveness and sustainability of European tourism. The STEPPA project came to an end in November 2011. Evidence from tourism businesses was gathered who work in protected areas certified under the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism.

The project promoted and strengthened the cooperation between different certification initiatives for small and micro tourism enterprises working with protected areas, through the sharing, levelling and enhancement of their sustainability practices and criteria. A focus was to strengthen their competitiveness through the development of working partnerships and specialized research and support centres for tourism sustainability.
The documents which previously were available on a separate STEPPA-online platform are now available from the EUROPARC Federation.

For more reports and if you have any queries, please contact us :



7th Charter Network Meeting 2011

From 28th June – 1st July 2011 over 200 protected area practitioners met from 21 countries to listen to speeches, attend workshops and network on the topic of sustainable tourism. The conference ‘Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. Building bridges - Seeking Solutions’ took place in Donji Milanovac in Djerdap National Park, Serbia. It was the celebration of the seventh Charter Network Meeting with an particular focus on EUROPARC’s European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas.

Please see the respective documents in the download section here.

The EUROPARC Federation website is supported by: European UnionAlfred Toepfer StiftungTourism_Tomorrow_2015

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