The Urban Agenda for the EU Partnership on Culture & Cultural Heritage has issued recommendations for an in-depth analysis of tourism flows as part of Action 7 from the Action Plan. The action itself focused on data collection and smart use applied to the management of tourist flows. The Partnership concluded that a common understanding at European level would be beneficial to help local governments to identify and be aware of the challenges for a sustainable tourist circulation.
Cities affected by over-tourism deal with problems, such as traffic and blockage of public services, loss of mixed-use (proliferation of both accommodations and markets for tourists in residential neighbourhoods), and increased pressure on the environment. Issues related to over-tourism constitute one of the key dimensions of sustainable tourism: the carrying capacity. This must be considered with respect to both the environmental quality and the damage of residents’ quality of life. Finally, this process can strip a city of its vibrancy and attractiveness.
In this light, cities need to plan their strategies based on real data to adequately define their local priorities and actions. To have a real representation of the presences in the city, a common method of calculation is needed. With existing technologies, real-time data collection is possible and readily available. The difficulty lies in gaining the access by public authorities to data collected by private companies (e.g., telephone operators). It remains problematic as private companies often enough deny access due to privacy protection.
Taking the opportunity of the Commission’s proposal on the Digital Service Act and the B2G data sharing workshops, an external expert developed a Recommendation Report targeted for the EU institutions. The Report contains various recommendations aimed at facilitating access for public authorities to data, for public interest to allow better planning, as well as predictive analysis to manage the phenomena more efficiently. Furthermore, the Report focuses on suggestions related to the creation of a common European calculation framework. Such framework will allow comparison and benchmarking of sustainable tourism and management on European level.
Please refer to the document section to read the recommendations and proposals in full.