|SusTEn Mechanism Project|
"Tourism is not only the goose that lays the golden eggs...it also fouls its own nest", a Himalayan scientist remarked. And indeed, today's worls economy is growingly dependent on tourism. But the today's tourist attractions are also characterized by fragility: fragility of their natural, historical and social balance that needs to be protected while valorising the attractions.
Integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and cultural heritage stands at the centre of the SusTEn project ("Sustainable Tourism Entrepreneurship" project).
The main objective is to design and practice a framework that will provide a systemic and systematic approach of rational planning and implementation of strategies, policies and measures for effective management of natural and cultural resources at the local/regional level, based upon the development of sustainable entrepreneurship in the Tourism and its "neighbouring" sectors.
The axes around which the project action will be deployed are:
* Focus on Sustainable Tourism Businesses, taken by the partners as main factor for sustainable, regional socio-economic development since: a) They provide a high potential for leveraging the developmental process and for substantially contributing to polycentric regional development (“sharing” of sustainable economic activity and relevant knowledge between urban and rural areas), and for “pulling ahead” other, relative sectors’ products (food, culture, handicraft, etc.). b) They–by definition–act as “Guardians” of the natural and cultural resources of each respective territory.
* Elaboration and practice of an integrated Model for Organizing and Operating Sustainable Tourism Enterprises, specific for and responding to the needs of different cathegories of tourism and tourism-related activity.
* Development of a Sustainable Tourism Enterprise Standard and a corresponding Experimental Certification System (using the approach of the “Voluntary Standards for Sustainable Development”, whilst reviewing and integrating relevant standards and codes -e.g. ISO 14000 and 26000, EFQM Model, World Tourism Organization Global Code of Ethics, EMAS, UNEP Principles for Implementation of Sustainable Tourism, CBD Guidelines for Sustainable Tourism, etc.).
* Animation and support of local enterprises to adopt “sustainable entrepreneurship” concepts and to consciously integrate into their organism Corporate Social Responsibility principles and practices.
* Involvement of significant territorial Actors in establishing and managing integrated initiatives aimed to sustainable socio-economic development and preservation of natural and cultural resources; in fact, this joint contribution (and the leading role) of such Actors -constituting a bottom up approach to sustainability- rank amongst the major elements of the project’s concept.
* Development of transterritorial/transnational cooperations in the frame of viable Networks, providing extensive know–how and expertise, as well as potential for effective joint business/marketing action at international level.
* Amelioration of competitiveness, marketability and development prospects of local tourism enterprises and products, through:
- Raising their capacity to act effectively and rationally within the international market.
- Improvement of the quality of their management and their products, and compliance with respective international Standards, as well as with the "Sustainable Tourism Standardization System" that will be developed in the frame of the project.
Copyright © 2009 Project Susten Mechanism. All rights reserved.