The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the European Parliament signed an agreement in Brussels, on Wednesday, towards the advancement of sustainable tourism across the EU.
The UNWTO and the EU Parliament will work on promoting good practices and the sharing of knowledge and experiences. In this direction, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili (photo, L) met with the European Parliament President Antonio Tajani (photo, R) in Brussels, where he addressed the Tourism Task Force underlining the need to enhance integration, connectivity and technology to maximize the role of tourism in creating jobs and stimulating growth in EU.
The deal coincides with the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, offering the opportunity to highlight the significance of cultural tourism, considered to be a travel asset in EU countries.
“The best way to ensure tourism’s positive impact for its people is by working closely with the European Parliament as the representative of the people of Europe,” Pololikashvili said, adding that “today we are becoming stronger partners in our work to make tourism, and cultural tourism in particular, a driver of prosperity, opportunity, and better livelihoods across the EU”.
The signing event was also attended by the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska as well as the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and Responsible for the Tourism Task Force, Istvan Ujhelyi and the representatives of the European Tourism Manifesto.
Europe is the world’s leading tourism destination welcoming half of the world’s 1.3 billion international arrivals. In 2017, international tourism in Europe grew 8 percent.
“Over the next 10 years, tourism can create more than 5 million new jobs, not least because the number of tourists is set to double to more than 2 billion. Europe must not let this opportunity pass by,” said Tajani.
“Through the growth of tourism, we can offer real prospects for the new generations and boost strategic sectors of the economy, such as transport, trade, luxury goods, shipbuilding, construction, agri-foodstuffs and the cultural and creative industries,” he added.