Policy measures and governance for sustainable tourism and recreation in the Netherlands – an evaluation

V. Dinica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

10 Citations (Scopus)


The paper discusses the policy approach for facilitating sustainable development of the tourism and recreation sector inside the Netherlands. Taking a national perspective, it reflects on the sustainability challenges facing the sector, and how the currently used governance and policy styles address them. It observes that a mismatch exists between the preferred governance policy-making style of the central government, and what numerous entrepreneurs and sub-national actors argue would be desirable. The central government prefers nationallevel, direct regulations and policies based on themes such as spatial planning, integrated water management, nature conservation, and environmental protection, for which the tourism recreation sector is just one of many target groups. Tourism businesses and many sub-national public actors and private stakeholders, on the other hand, consider new national level regulations targeted specifically at the tourism-recreation sector most desirable. The central government believes that policy measures of the 'new-modes-of-coordination' type are most appropriate to specifically target sustainable tourism. To underpin the possible contributions of such measures for sustainability, an analytical framework is proposed to evaluate the sustainability depth of instruments and initiatives. Two 'new-modes-of-coordination' instruments are then evaluated. The conclusion drawn is that these instruments had rather modest ambitions in design, insufficiently facilitating a shift towards sustainable patterns of tourism-recreation development. The paper argues that, under the general expectation of significant increase in demand for recreation and tourism in the Netherlands, there is a need to reconsider the administrative boundaries of the sector in terms of governance structure, policy-making styles, and policy instrument types that would adequately support sustainable development in the sector.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)245-258
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • IR-59016

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