3.4 More sustainable leisure activities

While there are many different leisure activities on the island, trying to make each one of them is very time and cost consuming. Mainly for this reason we will focus on larger branch of activities, the hospitality industry. Second reason for this focus is that businesses in this branch are open all year, while water sports, for example, is only available in high season. Focusing on hospitality industry will thus have the largest effect for the available time and effort of this course.

The third action will be to make current leisure activities like restaurants, bars, beach huts and the disco. This isn't the main reason why tourists visit the island, but they do make use of it quite extensively (78% of the tourists participates in this branch and it had a growth of 66% in ten years [1]). If the focus would lie on activities which attract most tourists, it would mean to change the beaches, nature and beach. This is a limited selection of all leisure activities on the island, since trying to change all (even a little) will cost considerably more time and effort. The hospitality industry also is a large selection, in contrast to the wide range of different other leisure activities like bike/boat rental, galleries, sports etc.

So the aim of this action is trying to make current businesses in the named branches think and change into more sustainable technologies and habits. Not only environmentally, but also economically since businesses will be businesses. And reaching an environmentally more sustainable change is easier achieved (and will last longer) with an economic incentive.



First let's address the actors in this specific branch. There are a couple of groups to take into account if this is to be successful.

Business owners

First is the business owners. These people run their restaurants/bars etc. for a living and changes should ideally not result in a negative result for their income, otherwise they'll probably won't cooperate. In 2013 there were 88 businesses in the tourism services, a growth of 44% in 7 years. In the beginning of this chapter it was stated that the growth in this branch is huge (66%). So businesses are growing and starting, which is an ideal moment for a more sustainable continuation of these businesses. Also if Texel becomes a sustainable island, this will be a unique selling point, having a positive effect on tourism.


Next is the government, where the legislation comes from. This includes the municipality, the province (Noord-Holland), the state (the Netherlands) and the European Union. All these agencies have some sort of regulations and laws which have to be taken into account.


One other group is the touristic group. Since the businesses are mainly profitable due to their visit, their wishes should also be taken into account. Earlier this chapter was seen that the hospitality industry is a strong growing industry on Texel, so the current policy should be taken into account as much as possible.


Finally there are the inhabitants of Texel, in specific people working in the hospitality industry. In 2013 there were about 1856 people employed in this branch [1].



New technologies for the branch can be split up in structural changes (for the buildings and inventory), changes in products and ingredients and behavior (like waste management). There are not really ne groundbreaking technologies at the moment, so changes should come from elsewhere.

Structural changes

Obviously pretty much all businesses are based indoors and use water and energy. In most businesses improvements in water and energy consumption will most probably be possible. This can consist of small changes, like multiple layer windows and improved air tightness, but also more profound changes like better insulation, solar cells (pv cells) and improved use of greywater/sullage (water from wash hand/kitchen basins and showers). Together this will improve the energy neutrality of the building, while also lowering the long-term costs for the business owner.

Specific for De Toekomst (disco) the use of energy generating dance floor panels [2] is an interesting possibility. While being quite a star-up investment, this will probably pay off in the long term in costs and definitely in energy consumption.

Products and ingredients

Besides the structural changes, there is also some improvement to gain in the use of products and ingredients. Using local products not only lowers used energy for transportation, it also increases the incentive for tourists ("local specialties") and decreases delivery complications. While probably not all used ingredients are available on the island, using the available products on the island is a great way to improve on quality of the food and promotional possibilities.

While the idea is clear, the current situation is not, however. It is highly likely local restaurants are currently already using local products, not in the least because of the added "Texel experience" of the food and drinks.

One specific product is the use of so called 'buggy burgers'. These are burgers made out of insects. Currently these products are not specifically allowed by law, but in the current transition period they are allowed and in the future they will probably be completely allowed.


Next is a change in behavior. This is mainly how to deal with the waste produced by cooking and leftovers from restaurants and is quite recyclable.  All organic waste can be used in compost or biomass [3]. Other products require a more management-like solution, for example oil [4].



Applying (all) these improvements might be a challenge. Keeping in mind the style of Texel and the stubbornness of it's inhabitants, a solid plan of action is required. For this a couple of "tools" are available. Since the rules can't simply be changed local entrepreneurs should be convinced to change their businesses. 

Beside the persuasion there should also be a (direct) available consultancy for people wanting to change their businesses into more sustainable enterprises. 

Entrepreneur organisation

On Texel there are some entrepreneur organisations, which also have sustainability in their agenda. These include TOP, Recron and Duurzaam Texel. This will be the first contact when contacting restaurants and bars.

logo Horeca en Recreatiebeurs Texel

Also there is a yearly hospitality fair/convention [5]. This is like the HoReCaVa, but specified on Texel. This will be a great place to get new technologies, products or other changes for the hospitality industry to the business owners.

In this way we can spread the idea and initiatives in a already established way. These organisations will likely help convincing local businesses of the importance of structural changes, since the results are also in their policy. And while the result will be an increasingly sustainable Texel, the savings on energy and water will be a great incentive for business owners to actually make the changes.


As stated from different government agencies there are some rules and regulations. However, they can also be used for subsidies. More sustainable changes in local businesses are likely to be suggestible for extra support. With this extra support could an extra 'mark' be introduced to test whether the benefited businesses are actually sustainable enough to some requirements.



With the stated changes the rather large branch of hospitality industry will become a more sustainable industry. The impact of this will not go unnoticed, since this industry can be rather wasteful and both tourists as inhabitants use them all year long. So a rather large part of the tourist industry of Texel will become more energy neutral and produces less waste and pollution while not decreasing its attraction of its consumers and visitors. This will have a major impact on a more sustainable leisure system.



[1] https://www.texel.net/getfile;1043

[2] http://www.sustainabledanceclub.com/products/sustainable_dance_floor/

[3] http://www.viridianuk.co.uk/#!biomass/ci21

[4] http://www.rti-inc.com/oil-management/index.php

[5] http://www.horecaenrecreatiebeurstexel.nl/index.html


Dennis , Thalia , Stefan H

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