The European Commission participated in the "Feria Internacional de Turismo" (FITUR) in Madrid in February 2013. This year the event hosted the presentation of "Destination Europe 2020", an initiative of the European Travel Commission, organised in close cooperation with the European Commission.
The event counted also with the participation of the Spanish Tourism Organisation (TURESPAÑA) and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.
Mr Pedro Ortún, Director in DG Enterprise and Industry, recalled the importance of all partners, including the European tourism industry, to cooperate closely in the promotion of Europe as a tourism destination in long-haul markets. He also underlined that policy measures are also necessary to facilitate traveling to Europe.
"Destination Europe 2020" is an 18 month programme of activities to be carried out by the European Travel Commission with the support of the European Commission. It aims at defining a long-term strategy for Europe, as a tourism destination.
The 33rd Borsa Internazionale del Turismo" (BIT), the most important tourism fair in Italy, took place on 14-17 February in Milan.
Vice President Antonio Tajani intervened by reaffirming that tourism is at the center of the industrial policy and recovery for Europe . By giving it the importance it deserves and working actively to strengthen it, tourism can become the Catalyst for the 3rd industrial revolution.
The Vice-President defined some priorities to increase the competitiveness of European Tourism: simplifying and modernising the issuing of visas , elaborating strategies to offset seasonality in tourism, encouraging the tourism of seniors and promoting better coordination of European quality labels for tourism services.
On the opening day, the Italian Minister for Tourism Piero Gnudi unveiled the national Strategy 2020 for Tourism.
On the same day. UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai opened the Conference on Ethics and Accessibility, organized by the Permanent Secretariat of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics , to raise awareness about the untapped business potential of accessibility in the tourism sector.
The European Commission was also present at the fair with its stand "ARE YOU READY FOR EUROPE"?