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Support Tourism And Reduction Strategy (+20) : STARS (+20) (LIFE STARS (+20))
Start date: Oct 1, 2013, End date: Sep 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background Based on Eurostat and World Trade Organisation (WTO) statistics, the tourism sector in the EU accounts for 9.7 million jobs (12% of the EU workforce) and more than 10% of the EU’s total GPD. It supports around 1.8 million enterprises, most of which are SMEs and micro-enterprises. The EU is the world’s no.1 tourist destination, with more than 500 million international tourist arrivals every year (40% of the global figure). Moreover, sustained growth of over 5% per year is forecast by the WTO for the rest of the decade. However, the tourism sector generates about 5% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions. Transport, accommodation and tourism activities are the largest contributing factors. Unplanned and unlimited development of tourism has a harmful impact on the environment. Objectives The project aims to reduce the impact of the tourism sector on climate change. It aims to develop an innovative approach, which will act as a model for the rural tourism sector in Europe and support the European strategy for combating climate change. Specific objectives are to: Implement a model based on the example of the ‘Way of St James’ (Camino de Santiago), a ‘Pan-European tourist resource’ with a high transfer potential at international level; Demonstrate the potential for reducing GHG emissions by more than 20% in SMEs active in the European tourism sector by means of a pilot action carried out in five lodging houses located in five Spanish regions; Validate the model through the results obtained in the pilot actions and carry out an additional verification of transferability to another EU country (Austria); Establish a permanent network and secure commitments to carry out concrete measures to combat climate change using the example of the Way of St James. Expected results: A 20% reduction in energy consumption and GHG emissions in each of the five pilot areas; A reduction in CO2 emissions of around 5000 tonnes and in water consumption of 10 000 m3, as a result of measures aimed to encourage walkers (or pilgrims) to limit their consumption of water to 1 m3 and production of CO2 to 0.5 tonnes (10 000 commitments would result in savings of 5000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and 10 000 m3 of water); Participation of more than 10 000 pilgrims from more than 10 EU countries in the pilot actions; Five ‘info-points’ in five Spanish regions that inform visitors about the project objectives and actions; A platform comprising more than 100 tourism-related entities and SMEs committed to reducing their GHG emissions by 20% by 2020. Such commitments will be reinforced by the introduction of an Eco-label (Regulation EC66/2010).
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