On the occasion of the European Tourism Day in Brussels, 24 European public and private tourism stakeholders including the European Travel Commission (ETC) have published their Tourism for Growth and Jobs Manifesto.
The Manifesto sets out eight European policy priorities for the travel and tourism sector in the coming years. These are:
Skills and qualification
This is the first time that the European travel and tourism sector stakeholders come together to call European institutions to act on these key priorities, which seek to ensure that the Continent remains an attractive destination and that the tourism sector continues to make a significant contribution to growth and job creation to the European economy. A holistic approach is essential to formulate effective tourism policies given the multiple impacts of the sector and the wide spectrum of stakeholders involved or affected by tourism.
The Manifesto was presented to the representatives of the European institutions at a reception hosted by the Confcommercio Delegation to the European Union last week. The act counted with the presence of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) Ana-Claudia Tapardel (S&D), Cláudia Monteiro De Aguiar (Christian Democrats), Isabella De Monte (S&D) and István Ujhelyi (S&D).
Speaking on behalf of the European Parliament, as Vice-Chair of the TRAN Committee and President of the Tourism Task Force, Mr Ujhelyi said: “It is a historical moment from the point of view of the European representatives of the tourism sector. That is why we supported this initiative and encouraged politicians and the tourism stakeholders to sit on the same side of the table. Together, we can convince the institutions here in Brussels, through concrete actions and diplomacy.” Ms De Monte mentioned that “We will achieve excellent results if we all work together”, while Ms Țapardel added “This marks an important step to put tourism back on the EU Agenda”. Ms Monteiro de Aguiar also emphasized that: “This is what we wanted - speaking with a common voice”.
Jakub Cebula, Member of the Cabinet of EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska; and Carlo Corazza, Head of the Tourism, Emerging and Creative Industries Unit, DG GROW, at the European Commission also attended the event. “We will try to give appropriate answers to the challenges set out in the Manifesto” stated Mr Corazza. “We take note of the Manifesto and we will work together with all stakeholders closely” said Mr Cebula.
Europe is currently the world’s number one tourist destination with a market share of 51% in 2014. The tourism industry generates (directly and indirectly) 9.7% of total EU-28 GDP, a figure that is forecasted to rise to 10.4% by 20251.
In the EU, the travel and tourism sector employs almost 25 million people and visitor exports generate 351 billion EUR per year1. The role of tourism becomes increasingly important considering that, by nature, it is a labour intensive sector built primarily by SMEs, and it has high female and youth employment ratios.
This sector stimulates economic growth by generating income, employment, investment and exports. It also generates valuable spin-off benefits, including the preservation of cultural heritage, improved infrastructures, local community facilities and stronger awareness of European citizenship.
In times when unemployment rates have increased dramatically, evidence indicates that the travel and tourism sector remains one of the leading job creators both in Europe and worldwide.
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