European Tourism Forum, Vilnius 2013
European tourism needs visa facilitation measures, initiatives to extend the tourism season and new sources of funding. These are the main messages from the European Tourism Forum that took place on 17-18 October 2013 in Vilnius, Lithuania.
The 12th Forum was co-organised by the European Commission and the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union to discuss the impact of tourism on the EU economy and international tourism development trends
The Forum : ‘Tourism – A Force for Economic Growth, Social Change and Welfare’ took stock of the implementation of the European Commission’s Communication ‘Europe, the world’s No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe’ and discussed the impact of tourism on the EU economy and about international tourism development trends. It also looked more closely at tourism support possibilities under the new financial period 2014-2020 and debated one of the priorities of the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council – the Baltic Sea Region Strategy.
European Tourism Ministers met for an informal debate prior to the 12th European Tourism Forum around three important initiatives aimed at ensuring job creation and economic prosperity in this sector:
- simplifying short-stay visa processing to attract more tourists from emerging economies;
- strengthening senior tourism which can boost occupancy in low and medium seasons;
- aligning future tourism initiatives with the priorities set in the new European financial period 2014-2020 to ensure funding and boost growth