The positive impact of the tourism industry on economic growth, revenues, infrastructure, employment, social inclusion and poverty reduction, although widely recognised, has been lately weighted against the appearance and exacerbation of several problems, such as: environmental footprint, increase of income inequality, cost increases related to solid waste collection, energy consumption, increased global CO2 emissions. On the other hand, the tourism sector is not just an active economic, societal, or environmental change agent; in turn, the tourism sector supports or is highly influenced by various factors, such as climate change, economic, political, or social factors. More recently, this industry has been highly impacted by the pandemic, technological developments and cultural trends. In this article we examined both the short and long-run relationship between tourism development and economic growth, CO2 emissions and energy consumption in European Union member states (EU27), by using the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) technique and autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model for panel data. The findings suggest that economic growth and energy consumption have a statistically significant impact on the tourism index both in the short and long-run, whereas CO2 emissions only have a significant impact upon the tourism index on the long run.