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Tourism

EU policy - background

Europe is the world's no. 1 tourist destination, with the highest density and diversity of tourist attractions. As a result, the tourist industry has become a key sector of the European economy, generating over 10% of EU GDP (directly or indirectly) and employing 9.7m citizens in 1.8m businesses. Tourism contributes to:

  • employment and regional development
  • sustainable development
  • an enhanced natural and cultural heritage
  • shaping of a European identity.

Tourism is also an important means of promoting Europe's image in the world, projecting our values and promoting the European model – which is the result of centuries of cultural exchanges, linguistic diversity and creativity.

EU policy aims to promote tourism so as to maintain Europe's standing as a leading destination, and maximize the industry's contribution to growth and employment. The Lisbon Treaty specifically acknowledges the importance of tourism in Article 195 pdf български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) .

Policy objectives and implementation

Four priorities for action have been identified in the 2010 communication on tourism pdf български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) :

  1. stimulate competitiveness in the European tourism sector
  2. promote development of sustainable, responsible, high-quality tourism
  3. consolidate Europe's images as a collection of sustainable, high-quality destinations
  4. maximise the potential of EU financial policies for developing tourism.

The Commission has developed a rolling implementation plan pdf - 83 KB [83 KB] , to be updated regularly, outlining major tourism-related initiatives to be implemented in collaboration with national, regional and local public authorities, tourism associations and other public/private tourism stakeholders.

Other EU policies impacting tourism

Other EU policies and programmes impacting tourism include:

Previous EU policy papers ("communications") on tourism

2007

Agenda for sustainable & competitive European tourism

Policy document: COM(2007) 621 final български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv)

Sustainable practices to increase Europe's competitiveness as the most attractive tourism destination.

2006

Renewed tourism EU policy: a stronger partnership for European tourism

Policy document: COM(2006) 134 final български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv)

Delivering stronger, lasting growth and more and better jobs to respond to modern challenges, while making the best use of available resources and synergies.

2003

Basic orientations for the sustainability of European tourism

Policy document: COM(2003) 716 final български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv)

Stressing the need to ensure consistency of various EU policies and measures affecting the sustainability and competitiveness of the industry. Calling for an EU wide drive to increase the economic, social and environmental sustainability of European tourism.

2001

Working together for the future of European tourism

Policy document: COM(2001) 665 final български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv)

How best to exploit the European tourism sector's competitive potential.

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