1,300 participants at SF2016 discussed their 2030 vision of the Baltic Sea region – PA Tourism workshop aimed at reactivating process on more sustainable tourism development

Nr.43  | 10.11.2016  | PA Tourism  | EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Tourism

This year’s Strategy Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region was held in Stockholm, Sweden. On 08-09 November 2016 over 1,300 participants gathered to discuss the various perspectives on a vision 2030 for the Baltic Sea Region. A strong focus was on a more sustainable development of the region, in particular related to the Baltic Sea, which unites us and on which we depend in so many ways. At the same time, many examples showed that sustainable business ideas are very well marketable.

Against the background of the Global Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the renewed commitment of the Council of the Baltic Sea States’ member countries towards a more sustainable development of the region, Policy Area Tourism (PA Tourism) held a workshop devoted to the role tourism should and can play in fostering sustainable destinations, enterprises and products thereby contributing actively to the ongoing processes at the level of the macro-region.

The workshop was co-organized by PA Tourism and the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Tourist Board, which acts as the main organizer of the Baltic Sea Tourism Forum. Key questions tackled were: 


Moreover, the organizers presented three propositions which might be next practical and realistic steps in the process: 

  • Reinvigorate AGORA Strategy against background of SDGs and Baltic 2030
           - e.g. directly associate tourism with sustainable development Goals
  • Better link sustainable tourism best-practices, trends and policy with BSTF
  • Create a flagship devoted to sustainable tourism
          - clustered best-practice collection | status quo (accommodations,
             destinations etc.)
          - sustainable destination pilots

Please, find the presentation "TOURISM.SUSTAINABLE.2030 - PATOUWorkshop.SF2016" under Attachment.

Three keynote speakers were invited to present their visions on the questions and potential contributions from three different perspectives, which – according to the organizers – each represent key elements of the potential action to be taken: 

GLOBAL CONTEXT                             Christopher IMBSEN                     UNWTO |– DEPUTY REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR EUROPE 

Christopher presented the work of the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the stakeholder opportunities related to the UNWTO’s 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. He stressed the association between increasing tourism flows to the Baltic Sea region and potential pressures on the region which might be alleviated if managed well. Sustainable management considerations might be a key here, maximizing benefits while reducing potential costs. However, such action requires increased awareness also among tourism stakeholders, in particular businesses. The roadmap for the IY 2017 provides a good frame for supporting corresponding actions at the macro-regional level as well as more disaggregated levels of activity.

Please, find the presentation "IMBSEN - PATOU.SF2016" under Attachment

STRATEGIC UMBRELLA                     Bente GRIMM                                                             NIT | GER – PROJECT MANAGER

Bente provided an overview of the Strategy “Sustainable Tourism Development in the Baltic Sea Region” which was published in 2011 and since had somehow disappeared into a drawer. This Strategy was originally established in the frame of a flagship called “Develop strategies for a sustainable tourism” and was then supported even by the Council of the Baltic Sea States. Since the Strategy is still valid, its reinvigoration could a provide a strategic umbrella for the process of (re)fostering sustainable tourism development, initiatives and projects in the frame of the implementation of the Action Plan of PA Tourism, thereby contributing also to the Baltic 2030 process.

Please, find the presentation "GRIMM - PATOU.SF2016" and the Strategy Paper under Attachment

IMPLEMENTATION                             Hartmut REIN                                                            BTE | GER – DIRECTOR

What’s a strategy without implementation? Just another piece of paper making no actual difference. Therefore, concrete implementation tools are necessary to turn from strategic thinking to actual achievements. Hartmut presented a comprehensive criteria set for the sustainable management of destinations developed by his consultancy primarily for German destinations. Based on a very comprehensive analysis of criteria | indicators systems including international as well as European systems, this toolkit might be a reference not only for German destinations, but also for other interested destinations in the Baltic Sea region.

Please, find the presentation "REIN - PATOU.SF2016" and an English summary of the study under Attachment