GNF - E-Learning Tool Tourism

Tourism - E-Learning Tool

in the Frame of the Project "Learning for Lakes"




Lakes in general are tourist destinations. Due to their beauty, various opportunities for sports, leisure, culture, and outdoor activities, and often a long tradition of tourism, valuable infrastructure and facilities, lakes provide a high recreational value. Tourism of course is also an economic factor. For many lakes, the tourist sector largely contributes the local, regional and even national economy. Often, lakes are situated in rural areas, thus tourism comprises the only appreciable source of income. Tourism still is a growth sector, and for economic development of many areas provides the only promising opportunity. Largely, the tourism industry seeks new opportunities for more tourism at lakes. Thus, this continues to by a mayor challenge and sometimes offence for sustainable development and conservation.

Some Figures related to environment, conservation and tourism

  • Two out of three UK travelers feel that a tour package should be “specifically designed to cause as little damage as possible to the environment.”
  • Over 80 % mentioned dirty beaches and a polluted sea “mattered a great deal” in choosing or recommending travel destinations
  • 50 % of Germans want to spend their holiday in unspoiled environments.
  • One third of Germans prefer public transport to their holiday destination and would prefer this also for transport within the destination area instead of having to use the car.
  • The majority of German visitors are alert to clean beaches and water and other environmental stresses such as rubbish, noise, and air pollution caused by traffic. A good nature protection policy is considered a must for a quality holiday with a future.
  • Approximately 40 % (25 million) Germans would like to find environmentally-friendly accommodation.

Main concerns regarding tourism and sustainable development


Tourism transport

Tourism transport, especially air transport and the use of private cars largely contributes to global warming and climate change and to the depletion of oil resources. Emissions, noise and congestion are further problems in tourism destinations and along the big tourist routes. 90% of energy used in the tourism sector is used for access and return travel. The trends towards air travel and short distance flights, towards traffic intensive event tourism, overseas travels and unsustainable vacation patterns such as several but shorter travels per year, increase the impact of tourism transport.


Land use, biodiversity

Tourism is a heavily contributes to land use and nature. Negative trends include increasing numbers of secondary residences or tourism activities with intensive use of nature (e.g. golf, skiing) or motorized activities in nature.


Use of energy

Tourism facilities need increasingly more energy for air conditioning, transport or indoor activities which draws more importance to the source of energy (renewable - non-renewable).


Use of water

Some destinations, such as islands or southern coastal destinations, increasingly face with the freshwater supply and there is even competition for water between local economy (for example, in agriculture and tourism). Waste water is also a challenge, not only for high seasonal mass tourism destinations.


Solid waste management

Waste is becoming a major problem for tourism destinations and rural societies that may become overwhelmed and who don not have sufficient capacity to cope with this particularly seasonal problem.


Social and cultural development

Severe working conditions, seasonal unemployment and high dependence on tourism industry have a unfavorable impact on the society, detrimental to the quality of the entire destination.


Economic development

High dependence on tourism and thus external economic changes, annual and seasonal variation of tourism or a high percentage of daily visitors also be harmful to the community and, in the long term, negatively influence the economic development of the area.

Key questions and indicators for sustainability and quality of a tourist Destination


Political implementation of sustainability concepts

Do we have an environmental management and monitoring tools for an integrated tourism strategy?

Do we have a concept for the involvement of stakeholders?

Do we have a reporting and monitoring system designed to improve or maintain the destination’s quality?


Key indicators

  • is there a local policy and strategy for enhancing sustainability in the Destination
  • Involvement of stakeholders
  • Existence of an inventory of sites of cultural interest and sites of natural interests
  • Number of eco-labelled tourism facilities or with EMAS or ISO 14.001

Tourism Transport


Key questions for sustainability and quality

Is the amount of transport pressure caused by tourism decreasing?

Are tourists arriving by more sustainable means of transport?

Is the length of stays decreasing or increasing?

More same-day visitors or longer staying tourists?

Type of transport tourists are using during their stay at the destination?

Impact of transport on noise and air quality, traffic jams?



  • Share of environmentally friendly modes of transport in all arrivals
  • Number of passengers transported by local public Transport
  • Extra means of transport especially set up for tourists

Carrying Capacity of Tourism Destination


Key questions for sustainability and quality

How much land is taken up by tourism accommodations?

What is the amount of area occupied by second homes?

Does the destination try to protect and preserve natural areas?

Impact of different tourism activities on biodiversity?

Degree of urban sprawl which reduces attractiveness of destinations?

Amount of natural areas which raise attractiveness of the site?



  • Size of protected natural areas (in % of total destination area)
  • Beds in secondary residences (in % of total lodging capacity)
  • Evolution of different leisure time activities with intensive use of resources

Carrying Capacity in areas of high ecological value


To determine roughly how many tourists or leisure activists are compatible for an ecologically valuable area, so called Carrying Capacity analyses are carried out. In general, ecological, physical, social and economical influences are evaluated.

Ecological Carrying Capacity

Number of Species / Bio-Indicators

Ratio of surface area covered with natural vegetation

Condensation/Sealing of surface area


Physical Carrying Capacity

Number of people per hectare or square kilometer

Number of camping grounds and pitches

Number of parking sites

Number of bath-towels fitting on a beach

Carrying Capacity in areas of high ecological value


Resources Carrying Capacity

Number of people per bus

Number of seats available in the room, where the Video is shown

Number of people which can be guided through the museum every day

Number of toilets/sanitary facilities

Number of nature or city guides

Reasonable waiting time

Social Carrying Capacity

Degree of contentment of visitors

Sensation of mass tourism (/rush)

Distance between different groups of excursions (guided climbing tours)

Number of people encountering on a nature trail

Use of Water


Key questions for sustainability and quality

What is the pressure on the local water resources?

Is there enough water available for tourists?

Is there an adequate waste water treatment?



  • Percentage of houses and facilities connected to waste water treatment plants
  • Average development of ground water table in the last 5 years (in +/- cm)

Solid Waste Management


Key questions for sustainability and quality

Is there a system of effective waste management?

Is waste illegally dumped in nature, are there negative effects of waste?

Treatment on health (e.g. by waste incineration)?



  • Percentage of solid waste separated for Recycling
  • Total of solid waste land-filled and/or incinerated (in tonnes)
  • Monthly table of waste production

Social and cultural Performance


Key questions for sustainability and quality

Development of living conditions for local population?

Are developments driven by external influences?

Do tourists feel accepted by residents?

General safety of tourists?



  • Number of jobs in the tourism sector
  • Average length of contracts of tourism personnel
  • Percentage of non-resident employees
  • Percentage of land owned by non-residents
  • Number of recorded thefts
  • Tourist / host population ratio

Economic Performance


Economic viability of tourism sector?

Dependence of economy on tourism sector?

Seasonal variation of tourism income?



  • Seasonal variation of tourism-related employment
  • Share of tourism in overall destination GDP
  • Average length of stay
  • Number of insolvent tourism companies