In the period of 14.05.2012 to 06.08.2012, the European Commission launched a public consultation to gather views and additional information on the multiple challenges for coastal and maritime tourism.

The European Commission has been developing elements for a strategy for coastal and maritime tourism based on the implementation of the Communication “Europe, the world’s No. 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe” (2010) and as part of its strategy on Integrated Maritime Policy (Communication “An Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union”, 2007). In the context of the Europe 2020 Strategy, and in particular the Blue Growth concept (sustainable growth from oceans, seas and coasts), coastal and maritime tourism will have an important role to play, requiring a thorough analysis and involvement of all interested parties.

MIO-ECSDE welcomed the participatory approach followed by the European Commission and submitted its main views, concerns, and considerations through the online questionnaire.

One of the main concerns of MIO-ECSDE is, at least in some cases, that the expansion of the tourist period – what seems to be one of the most common recommendations- is favored uncritically. However, the “low season” is an interval where both nature and local society recover.

In this respect, the necessary “regeneration”, “restoration” or “renewal” periods of a tourist destination should be taken into account, as well as its carrying capacity when developing sustainable tourism plans and strategies.

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