Growth

Coastal and maritime tourism

Coastal and maritime tourism

The European Commission is implementing a strategy to increase growth and jobs in the coastal and maritime tourism sector.

The beauty, cultural wealth and diversity of the EU's coastal areas have made them a preferred destination for many holidaymakers in Europe and abroad, making coastal and maritime tourism an important tourism sector. Employing over 3.2 million people, this sector generates a total of EUR 183 billion in gross value added and represents over one third of the maritime economy. As much as 51% of bed capacity in hotels across Europe is concentrated in regions with a sea border.

As part of EU's Blue Growth strategy, the coastal and maritime tourism sector has been identified as an area with special potential to foster a smart, sustainable and inclusive Europe.

The EU Commission adopted the Communication, 'A European Strategy for more Growth and Jobs in Coastal and Maritime Tourism' on 20 February 2014, presenting a new blueprint to enhance coastal and maritime tourism in Europe in order to unlock the potential of this promising sector.

The Commission is currently implementing the strategy through an action plan, which contains 14 actions.

Key actions

  • Close gaps in the availability of tourism data
  • Promote a pan-European dialogue between cruise operators, ports and coastal tourism stakeholders
  • Promote a framework for cooperation among public authorities and public organisations, through territorial clustering, networks, and smart strategies
  • Assess the need for EU action on qualification requirements for professional yacht captains, boating licenses and safety equipment requirements for recreational boats
  • Promote ecotourism and sustainable tourism products
  • Promote tourism diversification
  • Maximise access to EU funding through an online guide with a focus on coastal and maritime tourism

The Commission plays a key role as facilitator in this process and monitors progress and reports regularly to other EU institutions. All major stakeholders in the sector (EU countries, regions and industry) are fully involved in the process.

Pan-European dialogue between cruise operators, ports, and coastal tourism stakeholders

As part of action three in the strategy to implement the Communication, 'A European Strategy for more Growth and Jobs in Coastal and Maritime Tourism', the Commission promoted a structured dialogue on cruise tourism on 5-6 March 2015. The dialogue was designed to enhance synergies in the sector, targeting best practice sharing in innovation, competitiveness and sustainability strategies.

Conference on Smart cooperation in coastal and maritime tourism - Encouraging transnational partnerships through clusters and networks

As part of action four to strengthen the role of cluster organisations and networks as drivers for growth and jobs in the maritime and coastal tourism sectors, the Commission held a conference on Smart cooperation in coastal and maritime tourism - Encouraging transnational partnerships through clusters and networks on 20 January 2015.

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