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Tourism and film minister Tom Clarke yesterday launched the widest ever consultation exercise on the role of touris...
Tourism and film minister Tom Clarke yesterday launched the widest ever consultation exercise on the role of tourism in helping to bring about sustainable development.

The consultation paper, 'Tourism - towards Sustainability', looks at ways in which everyone can share in the benefits that tourism can bring whilst ensuring that future generations can enjoy the same experience. It asks tourism organisations, local communities and tourists to come up with practical ideas on how this should be done.

Welcoming the start of the consultation process Mr Clarke said:

'This is a radically different approach from what has been done before. The UK Government has never consulted people on such a scale about the role of tourism in helping to bring about sustainable development. We want to hear the views of anyone involved in tourism.

'The Government is committed to supporting tourism growth which is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.

'There are already examples of good practice and many marvellous projects all over the country - the bicycle hire scheme in Norfolk or

the visitor managment schemes of the Yorkshire Dales and Stratford-upon-Avon. I had the good fortune to visit an excellent integrated transport initiative in the New Forest only a few weeks ago. But there is not, however, a national strategy which pulls all this together and sets out what all of us can do.

'This is not something the Government can do alone. It requires everyone involved in tourism to play their part and take the action necessary to ensure tourism in the UK generates wealth and jobs whilst protecting the very resource which attracts people to Britian.'

The document asks for suggestions, not just on what Government can do, but also welcomes ideas for action that could be taken by public tourism bodies, local authorities, businesses and the individual as well. It identifies and asks for views on seven key issues:

- how to implement and measure progress toward sustainability;

- incentives to encourage the uptake of sustainable policies;

- tools and techniques for managing visitor flows;

- how to encourage people to use more environmentally friendly transport going to and at their destinations;

- planning imperatives;

- how can sustainability help increase access; and

- public and private partnerships.

The results of the consultation will be used to update the tourism section of the UK Sustainable Development Strategy and to inform the new strategy for tourism which will be published later this year.


1. Available are a number of examples of innovative sustainability schemes and initiatives already in place.

2. The document was written with the help of Geoffrey Lipman, President of the World Travel and Tourism Council and leader of the

Tourism Forum's sub-group on sustainable tourism.

3. Anyone wanting a copy of the document should write to E Christian and Co Ltd, Swallowfirld Way, off Dawley Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 1DQ. It is also available on the main DCMS web site.

4. Copies of the document will be sent to national tourism, leisure

and recreation bodies, local authorities and other organisations with

an interest in sustainability including local Agenda 21 groups, and

regional contacts established through regional tourist boards.

5. This consultation is a part of the wider Government consultation

initiative 'Opportunities for Change' to review the DETR sustainable

development strategy.

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