The study found that 83 percent of all businesses within the tourism industry implement to some extent practices of sustainability.
This figure makes Portugal one of the Mediterranean countries that have the most companies with sustainable practices in the tourism sector.
According to the study, only 17 percent of tourism-geared companies said they do not implement any type of sustainable practices in their business operations.
Conducted within the framework of the ShapeTourism project, ‘New shapes and drivers for the tourism sector: supporting decisions, integrating plans and ensuring sustainability’, the ESGHT’s study concluded the countries where companies implement the fewest sustainable practices are Cyprus, Croatia, Italy and France.
This study involved a transnational survey of nearly 500 public and private tourism stakeholders from a population of more than 9,000 stakeholders from nine countries across the Mediterranean region.
It further established that the three practices incorporated most by Portuguese tourism companies are to recruit and hire local people (68 percent), preserving cultural and historical identity (63 percent) and promoting energy efficiency (59 percent).
On the other hand, the three practices that are not implemented as frequently as they could be are: limiting the access of visitors to highly-sensitive cultural and historical resources (41 percent); donating funds or services and goods to green initiatives (39 percent); as well as limiting the access of visitors to highly sensitive natural resources (34 percent).
This study also found that one in four companies in the Mediterranean regions of Portugal stated that there are no barriers to the implementation of sustainability practices in their operations.
In fact, it was concluded that Portugal is the country where companies least perceive obstacles, followed by Spain and France.
Tourism companies in Malta, Croatia and Slovenia were the most likely to experience barriers in implementing sustainability practices.