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Tourism

Throughout 2011: several of the initiatives announced in the 2010 Tourism Communication have been carried out with success.

Several workshops were organised in 2011 with a view to prepare the ground for the setting up of a European Tourism Quality Label.

Major events were organised with participation of high-level representatives from the tourism industry as well as from Member States and the European Institutions such as:

  • 12-13.05.2011, High-level conference on “Sustainable and responsible tourism as a contributor to quality of life” organised by Commission in cooperation with the Hungarian Presidency.
  • 27.09.2011, European Tourism Day on “Industrial heritage: differentiating the European tourism offer”.
  • 5-7.10.2011: European Tourism Forum 2011 on “Stimulating Competitiveness in the European Tourism sector” organised by Commission in cooperation with the Polish Presidency.

Follow-up of the 2010 Communication on Tourism – selected actions mirroring some of the Vice-President’s commitments (list not exhaustive):

20.05.2011: call for tender on a Feasibility Study for a “Virtual Tourism Observatory” to contribute to the consolidation of the socio-economic knowledge in tourism; work is currently in progress;

09.11.2011: ICT – Tourism initiative aimed at better integration of tourism SMEs in the digital supply chains was launched.

01.06.2011: Pilot initiative "50.000 tourists" to increase low season travel. In the framework of this initiative:

  • 01.06.2011: Signature of a Memorandum of Understanding on the “50.000 tourists” pilot experience to strengthen tourism flows between South America and Europe
  • 09.06.2011: A Letter of intent with Chile signed by Vice President Tajani and Mr Andrés Fontaine Talavera, Minister of the Economy, Development & Tourism.
  • 04.10.2011: A Joint Declaration with Brazil signed by Vice-President Tajani and the Federative Republic of Brazil, represented by Minister Patriota during the Fifth European Union-Brazil Summit in Brussels.
  • 24.11.2011: A Joint Declaration with the Argentine Republic  signed by Vice President Tajani and Mr Meyer, Minister of Tourism.
  • 19.12.2011: A Joint Declaration with Uruguay signed by Vice President Tajani and Mr Lescano, Minister of Tourism and sports.

17.01.2012: A Joint Declaration the United Mexican States signed by Vice-President Tajani and Mrs Guevara Manzo Secretary of Tourism.

During 2011, various communication activities have been carried out with regard to the European Destinations of Excellence, as well as with regard the diversity of the thematic transnational tourism products (cultural, eno-gastronomical, etc.) The EDEN Award ceremony took place in Brussels on 27th September 2011.

The edition 2011 of the European Tourism Day took place on the 27th September on “Industrial heritage: differentiating the European tourism offer”.

In 2011, 2 calls for proposals aiming at supporting transnational thematic and sustainable tourism products (e.g. networking or promotional activities, ICT applications development, joint initiatives, vertical integration of SMEs along the routes, etc) were published for an amount of EUR 1.2 million together. 10 projects will be awarded early 2012

In 2011, a study on "the impact of European Cultural Routes on small and medium size enterprises’ (SMEs) innovation and competitiveness" was published. The study was jointly carried out by the Commission and Council of Europe. The results were officially presented on 28.06.2011 in a seminar in the European Parliament gathering around 200 participants.

06.10.2011: Joint Declaration signed by Vice-President Tajani and the European Travel Commission (ETC) to cooperate in the field of tourism and the promotion of “Destinations Europe” in international markets.

01.12.2011: Joint event with ETC in Beijing to launch ''Travel destination Europe' and the 'visit.europe.com' portal in China.

The Commission keeps sustainability (including environmental sustainability) as a major request for the projects it co-finances in the tourism sector. The condition/requirement of projects impact on sustainability is always included in the Commission's calls for proposals in the tourism field.

As a matter of example, several of the projects on tourism under the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme clearly recognise sustainability in their work programme, such as the projects: “EOS CODE- Code of Practice on Environment Oriented Sustainability for Tour Operators and Travel Agencies”; “STEPPA – Sustainable Tourism in Enterprises, Parks and Protected Areas”; projects awarded under the calls for proposals for the selection of EDEN destinations; the calls for proposals on the promotion of transnational thematic tourism products in the EU as means of sustainable tourism development etc.

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