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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

European Tourism Indicators System for sustainable destination management

Tourist destinations are increasingly being called upon to tackle social, cultural, economic, and environmental challenges. To help them measure their performance in relation to sustainability, which is essential, the European Commission has developed a ‘European Tourism Indicators System’ (ETIS).

What is ETIS?

ETIS is a system of indicators suitable for all tourist destinations, encouraging them to adopt a more intelligent approach to tourism planning. It is

  • a management tool, supporting destinations that want to take a sustainable approach to destination management
  • a monitoring system, easy to use for collecting data and detailed information and to let destinations monitor their performance from one year to another
  • an information tool (not a certification scheme), useful for policymakers, tourism enterprises and other stakeholders.

The ETIS toolkit and supporting electronic documents

The ETIS toolkit provides the primary support (guidelines) and clear explanations about what the indicators (core and supplementary) are, and how to use them. It also shows how ETIS complements other existing tools and methodologies at international and European level. The toolkit is now available in English, French, Italian and Spanish.

The supporting electronic documents consist of the destination profile, datasheets, glossary, surveys and an invitation letter template. They are all available for download.

The Destination Dataset is an Excel document that can be used manually for collecting data gathered during the ETIS implementation.

The ETIS and Accessible Tourism Joint Conference 2016

The ETIS joint conference on 'Managing and promoting sustainable and accessible tourism destinations’ was organised by the European Commission and held in Brussels on 28 January 2016.

The conference highlighted the results of the ETIS implementation at the end of its 2-year pilot phase (2013-2015). Participants were given the opportunity to learn about the final assessment of the ETIS toolkit and indicators, including first-hand good practices shared by the destinations involved. The conference also gave special attention to accessible tourism.

The ETIS and Accessible Tourism Joint Awards 2016

As recognition of the efforts made by the destinations which participated in and completed the ETIS pilot phases, the European Commission organised the ETIS and Accessible Tourism Awards 2016.

The awards ceremony took place on 22 April 2016 in Brussels. The jury handed out 1 to 3-star rankings to 10 destinations for sustainability, accessibility, and social impact awards in three categories: overall winners, responsible destination management, and sustainable economic development. Two destinations received a special mention for sustainable and accessible destination management.

Case studies: Destination spotlights

ETIS has been implemented voluntarily and successfully in 2 pilot phases since 2013, by over 100 destinations (including non-EU destinations). Participating destinations have shown that sustainability and accessibility of tourism destinations are both financially and logistically feasible and can have a positive impact on the competitiveness of the entire tourism sector.

Destinations that use ETIS can improve their economic sustainability while helping to preserve the diverse natural landscapes that the European continent has to offer and enabling access for everyone.

Case studies

See also the Evaluation form (308 KB) and the Post-event message evaluation (424 KB).


ETIS was launched at a conference in February 2013 after a feasibility study had taken place. 2 pilot phases (2013-2014 and 2014-2015) were conducted, and with the help of an informal pool of experts, the system was assessed and improved through feedback collected from the destinations.