The 12th European Tourism took stock of the implementation of the Commission 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 international tourism development trends.
It also looked closely at tourism support possibilities during the financial period 2014-2020, and debated the Baltic Sea Region Strategy – a priority of the Lithuanian Presidency.
European Tourism Ministers met for an informal debate prior to the Forum to discuss 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 the low and medium seasons;
- aligning future tourism initiatives with the priorities set in the financial period 2014-2020 to ensure funding and boost growth.
The main conclusions from the Forum were that European tourism needs visa facilitation measures, initiatives to extend the tourism season, and new sources of funding.