Industry and Entrepreneurship
2012 activities actively contributed to promoting EU tourism in line with the Commission 2010 Tourism Communication [75 KB], COM(2010)352 final.
The Commission continued its indefatigable efforts in (co-)organising high-level tourism events:
- 06/10.06.2012: Organisation of the first event "Carrefours d’Europe / Crossroads of Europe", mini-fair at the crossroads of cultural routes focusing on cultural tourism, in Pavia, Italy.
- 27.09.2012: The European Tourism Day 2012 was dedicated to two important topics, namely, tourism seasonality and coastal and maritime tourism.
- 25/26.10.2012: The European Tourism Forum 2012, organised with the Cyprus Presidency was dedicated amongst others to the promotion of Europe as a destination.
- 06.12.2012: The Commission organised with the Committee of the Regions a first awareness raising conference on accessibility in the tourism sector in Italy.
17.01.2012: Signature of a Joint Declaration on Tourism with the United Mexican States by Vice-President Tajani and Mrs Guevara Manzo Secretary of Tourism.
The Commission continued ensuring the implementation of the "50.000 tourists" initiative to increase low season travel between the EU and Brazil, Argentina and Chile. At present, the initiative benefits of the participation of several UE Member States (IT, FR, ES, LT, PL, RO, GR, SK, MT, PT) and the 3 Latin American countries as well as of major industry stakeholders (e.g. major European airlines, European Associations of travel agents and tour operators associations and hotel accommodation, global travel distribution systems, and private partners).
The Commission deployed efforts in developing EU initiatives focussing in particular on off-season tourism by senior citizens in 2012.
Throughout 2012, the Commission has worked, with an external contractor, on a European system of indicators for sustainable management of destinations which will be launched in the context of an open conference on 22.02.2013 in Brussels.
The Commission services carried an important work, in close cooperation with the Tourism Sustainability Group (TSG), on a European Charter for sustainable and responsible tourism which should propose a set of principles and objectives for sustainable and responsible tourism.
Directorate-General Enterprise and Industry intensified cooperation with the OECD, especially for its "Tourism Trends & Policies" 2012 and 2014 studies. These will feed the future EU "Virtual Tourism Observatory”.
31.12.2012: Signature of the contract for the analysis and creation of an ICT (Information & Communication Technologies) and Tourism business support portal. The aim is to improve the competitiveness and efficiency of the tourism industry through the use of new information and communication technologies by creating a portal for businesses, especially SMEs. This portal should be operational in 2013.
EURES (European Employment Services), the European Job Mobility Portal, is beeing upgraded with a dedicated section for the hospitality sector. This section will allow job matching on the basis of skills rather that official qualifications. This will allow for better matching of demand and supply and enhance mobility in the sector, not in the least for the young workers.
31.12.2012: Signature of a contract of services to prepare more dedicated sections for other segments of the sector: cultural tourism, adventure tourism and marine and maritime tourism. These sections will be up and running in spring 2014.
In 2012, the Commission encouraged and facilitated communication activities related to the European Destinations of Excellence, as well as with regard the diversity of the thematic transnational tourism products (cultural, sportive, well-being, eno-gastronomic, etc.) Further to this, a call for proposals was published aiming at supporting National Tourism Administrations in charge of tourism to select and reward one tourist Destination of Excellence, to be
chosen on the theme of "accessible tourism".
26.06.2012: Launch of the call for proposals for the creation, development, strengthening and visibility of transnational thematic and sustainable tourism products in the framework of the preparatory action “Promotion of European and transnational tourism products with special emphasis to cultural and industrial ones”.
28.09.2012: Signature of a grant agreement with the European Travel Commission (ETC) to enhance promotion and visibility of Europe and its destinations on third markets.
10.09.2012: Launch of the broad international communication campaign to keep Europe in the spotlight for international tourists ("Europe - whenever you're ready")
In the context of the Preparatory Action "Tourism accessibility for all" (financed by the European Parliament):
- 6.11.2012: Conference on "Tourism Accessibility: a winning strategy" together with Committee of Regions in Treviso (Italy).
- 24.09.2012: Launch of the call for proposals for the setting up of the 1st European Excellence award for accessible Tourism.
- 25.11.2012: Signature of the contract for the assessment of the economic impact in the EU of accessible travel.
- 31.12.2012: Signature of the contract for the mapping of skills and training in the tourism sector to foster accessibility.