ECST Principles

Charter principles, key topics and key actions

Quality Sustainable Tourism will be good for Parks and good for People


Sustainable Tourism in European protected areas provides a meaningful quality experience, safeguards natural and cultural values, supports local livelihoods and quality of life and is economically viable.


Through awarding the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas, EUROPARC seeks to safeguard cultural and natural values by stimulating quality sustainable tourism, engendering partnerships to support local livelihoods, increase awareness of the need for sustainability, and promote international cooperation.

Richard Denman, Director of The Tourism Company and member of the Evaluation Committee of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas speaks about the benefits that sustainable tourism bring to the populations living around protected areas and their level of awareness.

Charter Principles

The following principles should govern how tourism is developed and managed in Protected Areas:

1. Giving priority to protection

A fundamental priority for the development and management of sustainable tourism should be to protect the area’s natural and cultural heritage and to enhance awareness, understanding and appreciation of it.

2. Contributing to sustainable development

Sustainable Tourism should follow the principles of sustainable development which means addressing all aspects of its environmental, social and economic impact in the short and long term.

3. Engaging all stakeholders

All those affected by sustainable tourism should be able to participate in decisions about its development and management, and partnership working should be encouraged.

4. Planning sustainable tourism effectively

Sustainable Tourism development and management should be guided by a well researched plan that sets out agreed objectives and actions.

5. Pursing continuous improvement

Tourism development and management should deliver ongoing improvement in sustainable environmental impacts, visitor satisfaction, economic performance, local prosperity and quality of life, requiring regular monitoring and reporting of progress and results.

For more information about the Charter please read the manual “Good for Parks, Good for People”.

sustainable tourism, protected areas, charter, europarc

Good for Parks, Good for People – ECST benefits, conditions and guidelines