STEPPA - Sustainable Tourism in Enterprises, Parks and Protected Areas

STEPPA project’s main aim is to promote and strengthen the cooperation between the different experiences and certification initiatives for small and micro tourism enterprises working with (Charter) protected areas, through the sharing, levelling and enhancement of their sustainability practices and criteria, and strengthen their competitiveness through the development of working partnerships between these initiatives and specialized research and support centres for tourism sustainability.

The project involves ten partners from seven countries:

  • University of Eastern Finland (Finland)
  • Leeds Metropolitan University (UK)
  • EUROPARC Federation (Germany)
  • Consejeria de Medio Ambiente (Andalucia, Spain)
  • Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime (Italy)
  • Parco Naturale Adamello Brenta (Italy)
  • State Nature Conservancy of Slovak Republic (Slovak Republic)
  • Latvian Country Holidays (Latvia)
  • Nationalparkverwaltung Harz (Germany)
  • CoaST (UK)


a) promote and strengthen the cooperation between the different partnership initiatives aimed at small and micro tourism enterprises working with (Charter) protected areas;

b) benchmark the different sustainability certification schemes and business/park working partnerships against best practices at European level and work on their harmonization;

c) strengthen businesses’ competitiveness through the support of tourism research centres and access to tailored sustainability research and market tools;

d) demonstrate links between implementation of sustainable management systems, increased competitiveness, growth in conservation awareness and support, and businesses and destination value leading to better customer value;

e) promote capacity-building of business owners and protected areas’ managers on sustainable tourism approaches and evaluation;

f) disseminate best practices at a European level through the creation of online networking platform for sharing of resources and tools for protected areas, businesses, and other interested parties.


  1. comparison of different methodologies, and group discussions concerning sustainability standards and practices
  2. customer research
  3. business research

Please find the project outcomes and material: