ITEM 1 - Building Partnerships for European Tourism
pioneering work established by VISIT there is a growing
recognition of the need for the
building of effective partnerships in tourism across
Europe. This was highlighted in October 2005 following
the VISIT assembly by Günter Verheugen, Vice-President
of the European Commission responsible for Enterprise
and Industry at the 4th European Tourism Conference
in Malta. In his keynote address (which can be downloaded
as a pdf) highlighted the need for greater social responsibility
and sustainable development operating in partnerships
between stakeholders. Some of the key elements are
There is a need for a better partnership between public
authorities, private sector and employees.
1. A cohesive European policy is necessary to boost
the competitiveness of our industry and create more
growth and jobs
2. As a result there will be a new European tourism
policy implemented in partnership with the member states
and tourism stakeholders.
The aim of this policy will be to improve the competitiveness
of the European tourism industry and create jobs through
sustainable growth of tourism in Europe and globally.
The vice president went on to say that
To translate this policy into practice in the coming
period we will concentrate our actions in a number
of areas favouring partnerships and optimal use of
resources. Our policy will focus on three main sets
• Better regulation and policy co-ordination
• Improved use of the available European financial instruments
• Actions addressing specific tourism-related issues
Health and Consumer protection, Research, Information
Society, Justice, Trade, Internal Market, Environment
protection, Development, External Relations, Regional,
Employment, Education and Training, Agriculture, Competition,
Culture, Taxation, Energy and of course Transport,
are all policies which affect in some way tourism.
Quite often tourism is or should be integral part of
Our work will concentrate in integrating tourism in
those Community policies and making sure that there
is adequate co-ordination of the various policy initiatives
that may impact on tourism.
If tourism does not develop in a sustainable way, it
endangers the natural and cultural environment. We
actively support the economic, environmental and social
sustainability of the European tourism.
For this reason we set up the Tourism Sustainability
Group, composed of representatives of all actors and
aiming to make proposals to the Commission for the
preparation, by 2007, of an Agenda 21 for the European
Tourism. This should assure an adequate integration
of the relevant EU policies and instruments to the
goal of sustainability.
In parallel we are working to promote professional
training and exchanges of apprentices, to improve the
accessibility of tourism infrastructures to persons
with reduced mobility and support corporate social
Ethics and responsibility are important components
of the attractiveness and competitiveness of European
tourism. We must therefore make sure that child sex
tourism is not associated with Europe’s tourism.
Another important area in which we can work in partnership
is the promotion of Europe as a tourist destination.
At the beginning of next year the European Tourist
Destinations Portal will be launched on the Internet.
It will give access to the web sites of all European
National Tourism Organisations. This unique access
point to European tourism information should improve
greatly the promotion of the attractive and diverse
set of European destinations to the third countries.
It can give a real boost to our tourism. Every European
destination will benefit from this new generation of
information and knowledge tools.
The cultural wealth and diversity of Europe is one
of the major advantages of our tourism and our own
life. We must continue investing in the preservation
of our heritage and the promotion of arts and culture
It is worth exploring the possibility to establish
a ‘European destinations of excellence award’.
This award would reward destinations chosen by the
Member States as good examples.
Finally we will continue our efforts in partnership
with the member states and the industry to raise the
visibility of European tourism. Events like this Forum
and future initiatives of the Presidency together with
hard facts and figures coming from the Tourism Satellite
Accounts will play an important role in this endeavour.
As you see the renewed policy framework is
cohesive and covers all possible areas of Community
To sum up, I want to assure you that:
||We will not propose
||We will not create
new specific financial instruments but will take
advantage of all the possibilities offered by
the existing ones;
||We will not seek to
impose standards when those can be elaborated
through voluntary self-regulation;
||We will work to cut
red tape and modernise existing regulation;
||We will co-ordinate
the Community actions affecting tourism;
||We will promote actively
the competitiveness and sustainable development
of European tourism;
||We will continue to
support actions promoting Europe as a tourist
||We will explore ways
to promote emerging forms of tourism
||We will continue collaborating
and consulting with all the relevant stakeholders
||We will strengthen
the visibility of the importance of the European