Inderscience Publishers

Emergy analysis and indicators of sustainable development applied to tourism in central Italy

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The increasing importance of tourism for the Italian economy makes it necessary to consider if its development is sustainable in the long-term. Combined ecological-economic integrated sustainability indicators from emergy analysis are used to evaluate whether development based on tourism is economically and environmentally sound, since environmental integrity is in itself a basis for tourism. We analysed three different types of tourist structure (country, spa and urban) in Tuscany (central Italy). A total of six structures was studied, two representative of each type. The emergy-based sustainability indicators showed that all the systems have good long-term sustainability. The emergy approach turned out to be an excellent way of evaluating environmental performance of tourism and could be used to demonstrate conformity of environmental management to the new international regulations, such as ISO 14001 and EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme).

Keywords: emergy analysis, environmental performance, sustainability indicators, tourist industry

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