Tourism is a key sector of the European economy. It comprises a wide variety
of products and destinations and involves many different stakeholders, both
public and private, with areas of competence very decentralised, often at
regional and local levels.
The EU tourism industry generates more than 5% of the EU GDP, with about 1,8
million enterprises employing around 5,2% of the total labour force
(approximately 9,7 million jobs). When related sectors are taken into account,
the estimated contribution of tourism to GDP creation is much higher: tourism
indirectly generates more than 10% of the European Union's GDP and provides
about 12% of the labour force.
The Lisbon Treaty acknowledges the importance of tourism outlining a
specific competence for the European Union in this field and allowing for
decisions to be taken by qualified majority. A specific article on tourism specifies that “the Union shall
complement the action of the Member States in the tourism sector, in particular
by promoting the competitiveness of Union undertakings in that sector”.
Travelling in Europe
Tourism in the EU