Public and private tourism players have joined forces for the first time and are calling on the European Union to do more for the growth of the sector through the “Tourism for Growth and Jobs Manifesto”.
Over 20 European organisations have already signed up to the manifesto which seeks to ensure that the continent remains an attractive destination and that tourism continues to make a significant contribution to EU economy.
The document, initially presented at an EU event last week and published to coincide with European Tourism Day on Wednesday, December 16, lists key policy priorities, including skills, qualifications, sustainability and competitiveness.
“It is a historical moment from the point of view of the European representatives of the tourism sector. That is why I 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,” István Ujhelyi said speaking on behalf of MEPs attending last week’s event.
Europe remains the world’s leading tourist destination, claiming a market share of 51 percent in 2014, with the industry generating 9.7 percent of total EU-28 GDP and forecast to rise to 10.4 percent by 2025. The EU’s travel and tourism sector, meanwhile, employs almost 25 million people and visitor exports generate 351 billion euros annually.
Meanwhile, some 400 tourism stakeholders are participating today in the Commission’s European Tourism Day 2015 conference, held in Brussels, to focus this year on the promotion of Europe as a quality competitive tourism destination. The conference will provide an opportunity for public and private players to exchange views on key issues for the future competitiveness and sustainable growth of Europe’s tourism sector.
Organizations that signed on to the manifesto include the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA), the European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (FEG), Hospitality Europe, the Foundation for European Sustainable Tourism, Eurorail Group, Interrail and Amadeus.
You can find the full online version of the manifesto here: www.tourismmanifesto.eu