Sustainability and Competitiveness of EU Tourism23 September 2009
by inadim -- last modified 24 September 2009
Sustainability of European tourism calls for pro-active co-operation among tourism enterprises, tourist destinations and national, regional and local authorities in order to address a wide range of challenges whilst at the same time remaining competitive.
Following previous Communications on its tourism policy, the European Commission has adopted, in October 2007, its Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism. This agenda builds on the report of the Tourism Sustainability Group, which includes experts from industry associations, destinations and civil society, as well as on the results of a public consultation held between April and June 2007. By this agenda, the European Commission builds the framework for the implementation of supportive European policies and actions in the tourism domain and in all other policy areas which exert an impact on tourism and on its sustainability, following a step-by-step approach and providing tourism stakeholders with added value at European level.
The "Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism" approved by the European Commission in October 2007 outlines the future steps for promoting the sustainability of European tourism and further contributes to the implementation of the renewed Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs and of the renewed Sustainable Development Strategy. It builds on the recommendations of the Tourism Sustainability Group, which were issued in February 2007. By outlining the objectives and principles for the sustainability of tourism and the challenges to be tackled, this Communication addresses all stakeholders playing a role in European tourism and calls them to contribute to the sustainable and competitive development of tourism in the EU. Tourism stakeholders are invited to accept their responsibilities at the levels where they mostly operate and are invited to embrace the opportunities that the sustainability challenge offers as a potential driver for innovation and growth. The sustainable management of destinations, the integration of sustainability concerns by businesses and the sustainability awareness by tourists form the framework of action proposed. The Communication also contains a message of commitment by the European Commission to this Agenda process. It builds the framework for the implementation of supportive European policies and actions in the tourism domain and in all other policy areas which exert an impact on tourism and on its sustainability, following a step-by-step approach and providing tourism stakeholders with added value at European level. The Communication also commits the European Commission to continue to strengthen its internal cooperation and to present its evaluation of the progress made in 2011. Commission Vice-President Verheugen presented an outline of this policy in his keynote speech at the 2007 European Tourism Forum.
Tourism Sustainability Group
As a result of the Tourism and Employment process held in 2000 and following Communication (2001) 665 "Working together for the future of European tourism" and Communication (2003) 716 final "Basic orientations for the sustainability of European tourism" , the Commission launched at the end of 2004 the Tourism Sustainability Group (TSG) in order to provide input to the process for the sustainability of European tourism.
Twenty-two TSG members have been selected on the basis of a call for expression of interest with the aim to ensure a rich variety of expertise from industry associations, destinations and civil society. Member States' administrations and international organisations, such as the World Tourism Organisation and the United Nations Environmental Programme, also nominated experts that enrich the discussions within the group.
The main tasks of the Tourism Sustainability Group are:
- to draft, discuss and table a detailed framework for action which allocates specific activities to the individual stakeholder groups, including an agreed timetable for implementation;
- to evaluate regularly the implementation of the measures provided for in the framework for action;
- to provide value also for the players on the ground.
Source: European Commission