Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Sections
You are here: Home topics Tourism policy in the EU
Document Actions

European Tourism

The EU Visa Code will apply from 5 April 2010
As from 5 April, the EU Visa Code will become applicable. The Visa Code gathers into a single document all legal provisions governing decisions on visas. It increases the transparency, develops legal security and ensures equal treatment of applicants while harmonising rules and practices for the Schengen States (22 Member States and 3 associated states) applying the common visa policy.

New EU visa code from 5 April
A new visa code will become applicable in the European Union from 5 April. The EU Visa Code gathers into a single document all legal provisions governing decisions on visas.

The attitudes of Europeans towards tourism 2010 - Eurobarometer survey
Some 80% of Europeans continue to travel for their holidays according to a new Eurobarometer survey on 'The attitudes of Europeans towards tourism 2010'. Only 20% of over 30,000 randomly selected citizens were almost certain that they will not travel in 2010, which is significantly below the proportion of non-travellers in 2009 (33%). EU citizens increasingly prefer to spend their holidays in traditional tourist destinations (57%), while 28% would rather go "off the beaten track" to emerging destinations. Tourism is one of Europe's most important service industries, accounting for 5% of Europe's GDP and 6% of employment.

Free movement of people within the EU
Free movement of people is a basic component of the single area which the EU has been building since its inception. It is acknowledged as a fundamental right for EU citizens. Although the principle of free movement was enshrined in the founding treaties, in the first place it did not extend to lifting physical borders but was mainly targeted at the working population until the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999, when the Schengen Convention of 1990 was integrated into the EU legal and institutional framework.

Trade and Imports of Animal Products - personal consignments
Personal consignments containing meat, milk or their products and brought into the EU continue to present a real threat to animal health throughout the EU. Hence pathogens could be introduced into the EU if personal consignments containing meat, milk or their products are sent by post or carried in the baggage of travellers arriving from countries outside the EU, where such pathogens may be circulating.

Second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) - 1st pillar regulation
The SIS II Regulation lays down the technical aspects and the operation of the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II), the conditions for issuing alerts on refusal of entry or stay for non-EU nationals, the processing of data relating to the alerts, and conditions of data access and protection. It constitutes the legislative basis for governing SIS II with respect to matters falling under Title IV of the EC Treaty (first pillar).

Schengen: legal instruments governing migration from SIS1+ to SIS II
The legal instruments governing migration from SIS 1+ to SIS II lay down the tasks and responsibilities of the European Commission and the Member States for preparing this migration, including further development and testing of SIS II.

Access of vehicle registration services to SIS II
The second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) will be a large-scale information system containing alerts on persons and objects in the EU.

Policy Coherence for Development
When exploring ways to accelerate progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the European Union (EU) considers how non-aid policies can assist developing countries in attaining the MDGs. The EU activity in this field is not only a key political commitment in the context of the MDGs, but also has a firm legal basis in the Treaty establishing the European Community (Article 178).

EU Programmes, Funds, Initiatives
To maintain Europe's position as a leading tourist destination, the quality of its services needs to be continuously improved. The European Commission is involved in initiatives that improve the skills and mobility of workers, particularly by engaging in global digital networks and helping tourism entrepreneurs manage their businesses.

Community's Commitment for Tourism
The European Commission, recognising the important role of tourism in the European economy, has been increasingly involved in tourism since the early 1980s, in co-operation with the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

Community's Commitment for Tourism
The European Commission, recognising the important role of tourism in the European economy, has been increasingly involved in tourism since the early 1980s, in co-operation with the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

Sustainability and Competitiveness of EU Tourism
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.

Calypso - Social Tourism in the EU
Social tourism proves that economic and employment opportunities, key goals within the Lisbon strategy, can indeed be generated by increasing tourism accessibility for additional strata of the European population. By facilitating tourism access in European Destinations for society groups for which going on holiday represents a difficult or even impossible undertaking, social tourism strengthens the tourism industry's revenue generation potential. Social tourism encourages the creation of longer-lasting employment opportunities in the tourism sector by making it possible to extend such jobs beyond the respective peak season.

Calypso - Social Tourism in the EU
Social tourism proves that economic and employment opportunities, key goals within the Lisbon strategy, can indeed be generated by increasing tourism accessibility for additional strata of the European population. By facilitating tourism access in European Destinations for society groups for which going on holiday represents a difficult or even impossible undertaking, social tourism strengthens the tourism industry's revenue generation potential. Social tourism encourages the creation of longer-lasting employment opportunities in the tourism sector by making it possible to extend such jobs beyond the respective peak season.

Cooperation in Tourism
The need to enhance the understanding and visibility of tourism being a wide and multisectoral phenomenon, requires a strong cooperation with other organisations, public administrations, destinations, stakeholders, academic world, etc. The Commission is already collaborating with the different services. Given that at present the Community has no direct tourism competence, a number of areas in other European policies have a considerable and even growing impact on tourism.

Cooperation in Tourism
The European Commission works on a number of initiatives to diversify and improve the range of tourism products and services available in areas such as sustainable tourism, accessible tourism, tourism for seniors, and low-season tourism.

Bathing water quality - Annual report, 2008 bathing season
Every summer millions of Europeans head for the beach to enjoy the sun and to cool down in refreshing clean water. To allow Europeans to make an informed choice on which beach to choose a yearly report is published on the quality of coastal and freshwater bathing areas as reported by Member States for the beaches located within their territory. This year the report is being published by the European Environment Agency (EEA), which is also making available on its website maps and tables with detailed information on specific bathing areas.

Bathing water quality - Annual report, 2009 bathing season
The annual bathing water report presented by the European Commission and the European Environment Agency on 10 June reveals that the large majority of bathing sites across the European Union met EU hygiene standards in 2008. During that bathing season some 96% of coastal bathing areas and 92% of bathing sites in rivers and lakes complied with minimum standards. The report provides useful water quality information for the millions of people who visit Europe's beaches every summer.

Duty-free imports: New rules for travellers' allowances into the European Union - briefing
From 1 December 2008, new rules on tax and duty free imports enter into force. Travellers will benefit from cost savings when importing goods into the EU in their personal luggage. At the same time, EU Member States will avoid administrative costs currently involved in collecting small amounts of duties and taxes.

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) - guide
ESTA is an automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and whether such travel poses any law enforcement or security risk.

Sunscreen products - EU guide
As the holiday season gets underway, the European Commission is alerting consumers to a new sunscreen labelling regime which gives consumers clear information to make informed choices about the products they chose for themselves and their families. Sunscreen products protect from UV radiation and can be effective in preventing sun-burn and skin cancer. Consumers should therefore use sunscreens and clearer labelling should help consumers to make informed choices. The Commission is also seeking to remind consumers that there are several reasons why sunscreen products should be only one out of a number of measures to protect from the UV radiation of the sun. See information, facts and figures and pictograms below.

US Visa Waiver Program - guide
The EU Council on 18 April authorised the European Commission to open negotiations on an agreement between the European Community and the United States of America regarding certain conditions for access to the United States' Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

Freedom to travel - Schengen
European Commission FAQ on the Schengen Agreement and the Schengen Convention - objectives, controls, the Schengen acquis, visas.

Schengen enlargement : background
On 14th June 1985, the Governments of Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands signed an agreement at Schengen, a small town in Luxembourg, with a view to enabling "all nationals of the Member States to cross internal borders freely" and to enable the "free circulation of goods and services".