Tourism, having so much to offer potentially in the region, continues to be a flash sector in the BSEC process. The majority of the countries of the region were largely closed to international tourists in the decades of the cold war, therefore they have not been overexploited from this point of view, and as a consequence have the potential to become very attractive and popular destinations, provided that proper strategies and policies are developed and implemented. Taking this into account, the PABSEC adopted a report and a recommendation on the Development of Tourism in the Black Sea Region (rec. 32/1999), examining problems faced by the tourist sector in the BSEC region, and containing a number of concrete recommendations in the fields of policy making, legislation harmonization, employment and training, which were taken into consideration for drafting the BSEC Tourism Action Plan, adopted by BSEC in 2002.
Promoting the sustainable development of the tourism industry in the region was also one of the priorities of the Assembly (rec. 75/2004). There is a need for regional policies which encourage the development of sustainable tourism. These policies must include establishing the necessary legal and institutional framework, supporting the development of human resources, preserving the public heritage, improving infrastructures and improving the information and commercial organization of the sector.
Culture is closely linked with tourism because of the diversity of traditions, art forms and historical sites have always been major attractions for travelers around the world. Thus the Assembly adopted a Recommendation on ‘Cooperation in the sphere of cultural tourism in the Black Sea Region (rec. 83/2005), which recognizes the potential role of tourism as a vehicle for development, a platform for peace and stability, contributing to mutual understanding and close relations among people.