Organised by European Travel Commission in partnership with the city of Kraków and European Cities Marketing, the conference on Managing Sustainable Tourism Growth in Europe was held in Kraków on 6 February 2019. Polish Tourism Organisation hosted the event connected with the fourth annual meeting of European Travel Commission operation groups.
The tourist industry is among the fastest developing branches of economy in the world. For this reason, it must assume responsibility for sustainable growth that, in a long term, would take into account an appropriate balance between economic growth, environmental impact and consequences for local communities.
Nevertheless, sustainable growth in tourism and resulting challenges belong to a group of highly complex issues that call for efficient and effective cooperation of all stakeholders. By staging the conference in question, the European Travel Commission is joining a discussion about sustainable growth that has already been launched in, i.a. Poland. In addition, the conference had the objective of developing a forum for the exchange of knowledge, information and good practices, which would make it possible to work out strategies and solutions for the sake of sustainable tourism growth.
Key topics of the conference:
- The impact and consequences of unsustainable tourism growth
- Destination marketing in times of overtourism
- Tourism sector solutions that guarantee sustainable growth
The list of speakers included, i.a. representatives of World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Airbnb, CLIA Europe (Cruise Lines International Association), research companies, universities, as well as the industry.
Members of European national tourist organisations associated in European Travel Commission spent the two days working on a plan of research projects for 2019 and successive implementation stages of the Strategy Horizon 2022 document. Moreover, the subject matter of sustainable growth was brought up in the context of tourist traffic from non-European destinations. As always, arranged workshop meetings provided a valuable opportunity to share knowledge and experiences between particular countries.
The city of Kraków and Małopolska Tourist Organisation acted as seminal partners of the two discussed events and supported their arrangement. Thanks to the dedication of both partners, the conference and workshop participants had a chance to understand why Kraków and Małopolska each year draw millions of tourists.