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European Network of the Heads of Environment Protection Agencies (EPA Network) – Interest Group on Environment and Tourism (IGET), “Position Paper: Environment and Tourism 2030-2050” (European Environment Agency, 2022).

The Network of Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA Network) comprises EPA Executives from across Europe and serves as a strategic platform for discussions on shared environmental concerns. It functions as a forum for addressing emerging issues, particularly those with global implications, necessitating collaborative knowledge and expertise. Representing 37 countries, the EPA Network’s Secretariat is hosted by the European Environment Agency (EEA) ( Through the exchange of experiences, members strive to enhance their environmental efforts, sharing insights, best practices, and viewpoints through reports, guidelines, position papers, and similar mediums. In essence, the EPA Network represents the collective voice of European environmental protection institutions. Operationalizing its goals, the EPA Network employs ‘interest groups’ comprised of experts who collaboratively address specific pressing or emerging international environmental topics. Notably, the Interest Group on Environment and Tourism (IGET) was established in 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the pandemic’s significant impact on the tourism industry, IGET aims to reevaluate the sector from a sustainability perspective. It brings together experts from national environmental protection agencies and tourism authorities to emphasize the environmental dimensions of tourism, promoting the development of a sustainable European tourism policy. The central mission of IGET is to prioritize environmental protection in all aspects of tourism policies, programs, and projects while also fostering the growth of the sector. On May 27, 2021, the Council of the European Union adopted conclusions on “Tourism in Europe for the next decade: sustainable, resilient, digital, global, and social.” These conclusions urge Member States to contribute their perspectives, ideas, and potential initiatives on how the tourism ecosystem can contribute to the objectives of the European Green Deal. Furthermore, the Council calls upon the Commission and Member States, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, to formulate a European Agenda for Tourism 2030/2050. This agenda should be built upon shared priorities and action plans, aiming to drive the green and digital transformations of the tourism ecosystem while bolstering its competitiveness, resilience, and sustainability. Responding to this recommendation, the European Commission released a report in January 2022 titled “Transition Pathway for Tourism.” This report emerged from a co-creation process initiated in June 2021, aimed at facilitating the transformation of the tourism ecosystem. The co-creation process aims to identify necessary measures and outcomes to accelerate the green and digital transitions within the tourism sector and enhance its resilience.