Call for Destinations to Test European Tourism Indicators System (ETIS) for Sustainable Management

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The European Commission seeks destinations to test and report back on ETIS, a system to manage and improve the sustainability of tourism destinations. Apply before 1st July 2013.

Photo: Östersund, Sweden.Photo of Östersund, Sweden

The European Commission seeks destinations to test and report back on ETIS, a system to manage and improve the sustainability of tourism destinations.

Call for Expression of Interest for the participation in the testing of the European Tourism System of Indicators for Sustainable Management at destination level (ETIS) Pilot Phase 1 (15 July 2013 – 15 April 2014).

The European Tourism System of Indicators for Sustainable Management at Destination Level (ETIS) was launched by the Tourism Policy Unit of the European Commission on 22 February 2013 as a tool to help local authorities in measuring and monitoring the sustainable tourism performances of their destinations. It is one of seven initiatives set out in the tourism strategy launched in 2010 for the development of sustainable, responsible and high-quality tourism in Europe.

ETIS is designed to be simple and flexible, so to be usable by all kind of destinations, without the need of technical expertise.
Its launch was very welcomed by public and private stakeholders involved in tourism management and related activities and a number of destinations have already signalled that they are ready to start using it.

European Commission logoIn a long term perspective, the Tourism Policy Unit aims at achieving a wide uptake of ETIS by a significant number of destinations across Europe, in order to encourage and support the adoption of a sustainable tourism management approach.

The system by its very nature is a lively and dynamic tool and will need to be fine-tuned periodically. For this purpose, as the implementation of the ETIS begins, the Tourism Policy Unit’s intention is to monitor the operability of the system. This will be done with the help of the destinations which would like to try out the ETIS during one of the three pilot phases of 9 months each to be organised.

All destinations are invited to start using the ETIS as they find suitable.

However, destinations that would like to cooperate with the Tourism Policy Unit in this pilot period in a structured way and provide feedback on the implementation of ETIS are invited to reply to this call for expression of interest.

Download this Call Text and the Application Form in WORD format from the right-hand panel.

The relevant documentation is also at free disposal on the Europa website:

The timing of the testing period

The first pilot phase will begin on 15 July 2013, so those destinations that are ready to start implementing the ETIS can take advantage of the already on-going tourism season.

The second pilot phase will begin on 1 December 2013 for other volunteer destinations.

Therefore the first two phases will overlap in time. This means that the destinations participating in the first phase cannot participate in the second one as well. Based on the assessment of findings of the first two pilot phases, the Tourism Policy Unit will consider making a first revision and introducing  improvements to the ETIS in the 4rd quarter of 2014.

The third pilot phase will be a testing of the improved ETIS and will begin on 1 February 2014. Destinations participating in the first two phases will be welcome to re-test the system. New destinations will also be welcome to participate in the third phase.

How will the testing period work in practice?

All destinations participating in the pilot phases will commit to contribute actively to the testing of the ETIS.
The implementation will be done based on a guide book called the "Toolkit", which explains step-by-step how to implement the ETIS.

This Toolkit, which will be also translated in all EU languages, is already available in English on the European Commission's website:

At the end of each 9-month pilot phase, the participating destinations will be requested to fill out a questionnaire – which will be distributed at the beginning of the pilot period - and send it back to the Tourism Policy Unit.

The feedback collected from the destinations through the questionnaires will be analysed and assessed. This analysis will provide information on the daily workability, positive and negative experiences and achievements and difficulties encountered during the pilot phases, and will help for the possible improvement of the indicators and decision making on the operational tools and procedures (toolkit, IT tool, communication, dissemination etc.).

At the end of each pilot phase, the Tourism Policy Unit will publish the list of participating destinations on the Europa website providing them with recognition for their efforts towards excellence in the sustainable management at destination level.

How can a destination apply to take part in the first pilot phase?

This call for expression of interest is published for the first pilot phase, to be held between 15 July 2013 and 15 April 2014.

Applications are open to destinations only. For the purpose of this call for expression of interest, destinations are those complying with the definition given at page 10 of the Toolkit. Applications must be submitted by an individual on behalf of the destination who commits to act as Local Destination Co-ordinator as described at page 11 of the Toolkit.

Umbrella organisations representing several destinations (e.g. networks, associations, etc.) may act as intermediaries and support the testing phase by facilitating the distribution and collection of information / questionnaires among /from their members. Nevertheless, each participating destination will be requested to send in their individual questionnaires at the end of the pilot phase.
Destinations from all EU Member States and Candidates Countries can apply.

Destinations interested in the testing of the ETIS are invited to send their applications, using the attached forms, by e-mail, for the attention of DG Enterprise and Industry, Tourism Policy Unit, to:
Please send your applications the latest by 1 July 2013.

We will not be able to process and take into account applications that do not use the attached forms or arrive after the above date.
Destinations will receive a confirmation of their participation, additional information and the draft Questionnaire the latest by 10 July 2013 by e-mail. For more information and to learn about the importance of using the ETIS, please visit our website and read attentively the Toolkit:

Important information

  • For practical reasons, all communication related to the implementation of this testing phase will be done exclusively in English.
  • All communications to the Tourism Policy Unit shall be done via the email contact:
  • The European Commission cannot provide any financial support for destinations for their participation in the pilot phase of the ETIS.

EENAT small logoNAT welcomes the ETIS initiative and encourages destinations to apply for the pilot testing of this new mangement tool. Some indicators for measuring the accessibility of the destination's offer are included in the system. But beyond this there are many more actions to take to develop your accessible destination.

If you are considering using ETIS and would like to improve the quality of accessible services at your destination, please contact us at ENAT.

We will put you in touch with an ENAT Member in your country or region who, with ENAT's support, can advise on accessible tourism strategy and help you to implement appropriate access measures in your destination.