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Tourism, Transport and Sustainability

Tourism in the Mediterranean Sea

ISBN: 978-1-80043-901-6, eISBN: 978-1-80043-900-9

Publication date: 1 March 2021


The development of the tourism industry is closely linked to its sustainability. The need to reconcile economic growth and sustainable development is imperative and cannot be delayed.

Long-term sustainability requires a balance between three different dimensions: economic, socio-cultural and environmental sustainability. The competitiveness and sustainability of the tourism industry is, in turn, extensively dependent on the proper and efficient functioning of the transport system. There is no tourism without travel and transport or mobility. The tourism industry benefits when public transport is widely used by tourists.

The need of a well-functioning sustainable transport system rises in the maritime transport sector before the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment (1972) that for the first time has paid attention on the durable long-term preservation of the ecological balance, taking account of the interests of future generations. In fact, at international level, the Civil Liability Convention was adopted in 1969 to ensure an adequate compensation for oil pollution damage (including loss profit of the seaside tourism), resulting from maritime casualties involving oil carriers.

The European Commission works on a number of legislative initiatives in this area for a long time, before the Single European Act of 1986 recognised the European Community competence in the field of environment. In the same year, the ‘official’ definition of sustainable development was developed for the first time in the Brundtland Report in 1987. According to this definition, sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In spite of the quick evolution in this field, the Brundtland definition remains still valid, but it has been supplemented by an integration with the aim to make it less anthropocentric and more ecocentric. According to the Lisbon Treaty, in force today, one of the main objectives of EU is to operate and co-operate to ensure sustainable development in Europe, maintaining a high level of environment protection. This Treaty considers sustainable development, regarded as economic prosperity, security and social justice, an objective pursued both in Europe and in external relations with third States. It demands that environmental protection requirements are integrated into the definition and implementation of the community policies and activities, with a view to promoting sustainable development. Therefore, one of the fundamental objectives of the EU is to promote sustainable tourism development in Europe.



Pellegrino, F. (2021), "Tourism, Transport and Sustainability", Grasso, F. and Sergi, B.S. (Ed.) Tourism in the Mediterranean Sea, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 279-289.



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