Tourism in Europe has already destroyed much of the environment or is threatening to do so. There is an overall picture of polluted stretches of coastline with inferior water quality, erosion in Alpine areas, excessive depletion of water resources and the cumulative destruction of cultural monuments. Equally damaging has been the accompanying dissolution of social ties. Mass tourism inevitably contains the seed of its own destruction; as revenues rise the special environmental beauty of a location almost inevitably declines. The 1980s saw the development of a theory of "soft" or "green" tourism in Europe which was only ever capable of limited application. Post-Rio, tourism is another economic activity facing the test of sustainability. Sustainable tourism must find a model which touches even the mass tourist.
What has been the effect of regulatory intervention in favour of sustainable tourism on a European, national and regional level, with particular regard to Italy? Is the law any use at all in this difficult area of social control of leisure time, and can we interfere with the right of the average Torino car worker to his August sun and sand holiday?European Energy and Environmental Law Review