Tourism as a driver for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth

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The third in a series of publications highlighting examples of the work done by regions and cities towards the Europe 2020 Strategy

Text of Tourism as a driver for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth

  • ISSUE 3 | JUNE 2012

    Building Europe 2020 in Partnership Tourism as a driver for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth

  • Tourism and Europe 2020

    Tourism and the EU 3

    EPP opinions on tourism 4

    Europe 2020 EPP Taskforce 6

    Smart tourism 8

    Sustainable tourism 15

    Inclusive tourism 20

    Financial tools 22

    Conclusions and future prospects 23

  • 2Tourism is certainly one of the sectors that can provide a valuable contribution to the achievement of the Europe 2020 objectives! Tourism has an important potential for sustainable growth enhancement and job creation in the EU. It directly off ers jobs to almost 9.7 million citizens, with a signifi cant proportion of young people, and it provides a direct contribution of 5% to the EU GDP. Furthermore, over the last ten years, it clearly registered a rate of employment growth sensitively more pronounced than in other economic sectors and it strongly contributed to economic recovery in several Member States by good performance in terms of international tourist arrivals. Local and regional authorities can play a very important role towards strengthening Europes sustainable development and growth in the future. Furthermore, they can contribute towards promoting a competitive industry, for instance, by ensuring a reliable and business-friendly local administration and providing a good local infrastructure. I consider that regions and cities represent major players in the fi eld of industry sectors such as tourism and, therefore, strengthened cooperation between the Commission and the Committee of the Regions is of crucial importance. The Committee of the Regions has an important contribution to bring towards enhancing the competitiveness of the European tourism sector, which deserves to be taken into consideration.

    Antonio Tajani, European Commissioner

    Tourism is a key sector of the European economy. It comprises a wide variety of products and destinations and involves many diff erent stakeholders, both public and private, with areas of competence very decentralised, often at regional and local levels.

    The EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions is convinced that entrepreneurship and innovative tourism activities are central to achieving the goals set out under the Europe 2020 Strategy. In particular, the three following characteristics can boost growth and jobs in our cities and regions. Firstly, it is essential to note that tourism is the third most important socioeconomic activity in the EU generating more than 5% of GDP of the European economy and employing 5.2% of the workforce. Moreover, during this time of fi nancial and economic uncertainty, the tourism sector has continued to bring much needed revenue to the local and regional economy. Second, tourist attractions provide a great possibility for employment in the EU and as many of the projects in this brochure demonstrate there is a direct correlation on the jobs created. Third, and fi nally, tourism is key to fostering territorial cohesion within the EU, particularly in terms of encouraging the economic and social integration of rural and mountain areas, coastal regions and islands, peripheral and ultra-peripheral regions and less prosperous regions.

    However, it is not always easy for tourism to thrive. Throughout Europe, the tourism sector is facing a number of challenges from growing global competitiveness to the demographic evolution in Europe, environmental awareness and the development of information and communication technologies. We, in the EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions, believe that these challenges also off er Europe great opportunities to ensure that Europe remains the number 1 tourist destination whilst benefi ting from innovative, imaginative solutions that will help them to unlock the potential off ered by the sector.

    This third brochure, published on the initiative of the EPP Group Task Force on Europe 2020, aims to demonstrate the clear links between tourism and the Europe 2020 Strategy by highlighting best practices and tourism projects that are already promoting smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europes regions and cities and beyond. By using EU funds, it is possible for Europes regions and cities to further contribute to achieving the Europe 2020 goals on the ground.

    Michael Schneider, President of the EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions

  • 3Tourism and the EU: A developing relationship

    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 Unions GDP and provides about 12% of the labour force.

    The Lisbon Treaty acknowledges the importance of tourism outlining a specifi c competence for the European Union in this fi eld and allowing for decisions to be taken by qualifi ed majority. A specifi c article on tourism specifi es 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.

    These requirements for an ambitious European policy were recognised at the informal meeting

    of ministers for tourism organised on the initiative of the Spanish Presidency of the Council on 15 April 2010. Following the high-level conference on European tourism held in Madrid on 14 April 2010, a decisive step towards committing the Union and all the Member States to a competitive, sustainable, modern and socially responsible tourism sector as taken. Thus the EU ministers for tourism supported the Madrid Declaration, which establishes a series of recommendations concerning the implementation of a consolidated European tourism policy, stresses the need to strengthen sustainable competitiveness in the sector and recognises the added value of action by the EU on tourism, providing a worthwhile complement to action by the Member States through an integrated approach to tourism.

    In its 2010 communication on tourism, the Commission has identifi ed four main priorities:

    Stimulate competitiveness in the European tourism sector;

    Promote the development of sustainable, responsible and high-quality tourism;

    Consolidate the image and profi le of Europe as a collection of sustainable and high quality destinations;

    Maximise the potential of EU fi nancial policies and instruments for developing tourism.

    It has also developed a rolling implementation plan, outlining major tourism-related initiatives to be implemented in close cooperation with national, regional and local public authorities as well as with tourism associations and other public/private tourism stakeholders.

  • 4EPP opinions related to tourism

    EUROPE, THE WORLDS NO 1 TOURIST DESTINATION A NEW POLITICAL FRAMEWORK FOR TOURISM IN EUROPE COM(2010) 352/3 - 30.06.2010

    Keeping Europe the worlds top tourist destination is the objective of a Communication tabled by the European Commission on 30.06.2010. With 370 million international arrivals in 2008, Europe has more than 40% of the global fi gure - a position which needs to be retained. However the fast changing worldwide economy impacts on the tourism sector with some important changes concerning tourist behaviour and markets of origin. While fl agging challenges such as seasonality and an aging population, the Commission document outlines a policy that aims at supporting this essential sector of the European economy and proposes initiatives to promote its competitiveness, its sustainable and quality-based development and the visibility of Europe as an outstanding tourist destination.

    Rapporteur: Ramon Luis Valcrcel Siso

    THE CORRELATION BETWEEN THE LABOUR MARKET AND REGIONAL NEEDS IN THE AREA OF TOURISM22.04.2009

    The rapporteur recognises that tourism makes a substantial contribution to national GDP in all the Member States, even though its role and benefi ts as a business activity vary widely between them, in respect both of national fi nances and of local and regional development. He also acknowledges that the tourist industry faces a series of challenges, fi rst and foremost the economic downturn. In this context, there is a need to boost the tourist industry and support entrepreneurship in this sector, on account of the social dimension of tourism in the sphere of employment and social and regional cohesion. Finally, this opinion underlines that tourism must be developed on a sustainable basis, so that natural resources are not squandered and the environment is not damaged. The natural wealth of an area must be respected, and exploited with a view to the eco-friendly, sustainable development of tourism, the aim being to protect and enhance the environment, safeguard it for future generations, and create conditions for the development of new employment opportunities.

    Rapporteur: Konstantinos Tatsis

    WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE FUTURE OF EUROPEAN TOURISM COM(2001) 665 fi nal) - 13.11.2001

    In the Communication on Working together for the future of European tourism, the Commission outlined its ideas on how best to exploit the European tourism sectors competitive potential. The Communication is the fi nal milestone of the tourism and employment process that was launched four years earlier.

    Rapporteur: Alfonso Andria

  • 5REGIONS LEADING THE WAY TOWARDS A NEW EUROPEAN TOURISM POLICY: DECLARATION OF THE COMMISSION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (DEVE) OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 5 March 2007 under the chairmanship of Pedro Sanz Alonso

    In this declaration, the Committee of the Regions welcomes the Comm