Vice President of the European Commission, Antonio Tajani opened the Conference, recalling how necessary it was to make tourism an all-year activity to ensure sustainable and long-term employment for the tourism industry and better conditions for the tourists themselves.
Vice President Tajani also talked about the various initiatives of DG Enterprise and Industry which also contribute to the efforts to overcome seasonality.
During the morning session chaired by the Director General of DG Enterprise and Industry, Pedro Ortún, a number of stakeholders presented and discussed their experience and best practices in the field.
The afternoon session was opened by Commissioner Maria Damanaki in charge of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
She explained how the new Commission Communication on the Challenges and Opportunities for Coastal and Maritime Tourism in Europe will promote dedicated sea-basin approaches and synergies between regions and across borders.
The Minister for Tourism, Environment and Culture of Malta, Mario De Marco, highlighted the importance of the tourism sector for his country, underlining that real growth should not be growth at all costs, but responsible and sustainable growth.
The Director General of DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Monique Pariat, introduced the roundtable debate by presenting the first results of the public consultation on coastal and maritime tourism.