How are tourism services marketed in India



Brussels, 17 March 2006

COM (2006) 134 final


A new EU tourism policy: ways to more partnership for European tourism


1.1. Growth and employment as a challenge

In February 2005 the Commission proposed a reorientation of the Lisbon Strategy with two new priorities for the work of the European Union: achieving stronger, sustainable growth and creating more and better jobs. [1]

Since 1997, the employment and growth potential of tourism has received multiple recognition at the EU level. [2] Globalization, demographic change and developments in traffic engineering are the driving forces behind the rapid growth of this branch of industry. The variety of its attractions and its high quality tourism services make Europe the leading travel destination in the world. Tourism as an economic activity can therefore make an important contribution to the achievement of the objectives of the strategy for growth and jobs.

Tourism extends into the most varied of sectors, combines a wide variety of services and professions and is linked to many other economic activities. It affects industries such as transportation, construction, and retail, as well as the many industries that offer vacation products or services related to vacation or business travel. Despite a few large international corporations, SMEs predominate in this sector. In the European tourism industry (in the strictest sense) around 2 million companies generate more than 4% of the Community's GDP and employ around 4% of the workforce (around 8 million jobs). If one also takes into account the links with other sectors, the estimated share of tourism in GDP is around 11% and its share in employment is over 12% (24 million jobs).

The rate of growth in job creation in tourism was higher than the average for the European economy as a whole. In the last decade, the annual growth in employment in the hospitality industry (HORECA: hotels, restaurants and cafés) has almost always been higher than the overall increase in employment. [3] The fact that the tourism industry creates jobs primarily for women, young and less qualified people is due to the high proportion of part-time jobs and flexible working conditions. The flexibility of this workforce should be matched by suitable measures to safeguard jobs and further qualification.

The development of the vast majority of European regions depends to a large extent on tourism. Infrastructure projects for tourism purposes stimulate local development and create or maintain jobs in rural or industrial areas with declining development or in urban renewal areas. The fact that the regions must be made more attractive acts as an incentive for more and more travel destinations and stakeholders to focus more on sustainable and environmentally friendly projects and strategies. Sustainable tourism is a decisive factor for the preservation and enhancement of the cultural and natural heritage in more and more areas, from art to local gastronomy and handicrafts to the protection of biodiversity. [4] That in turn creates growth and employment. The Commission and tourism stakeholders have recognized this and have started working on a European Agenda 21 for tourism.

It is thanks to tourism that visitors to European destinations come into contact with our values ​​and our heritage. Traveling contributes to international understanding and promotes the development of a European identity. It also supports intercultural dialogue by bringing different social, economic and cultural groups into contact with one another.

With the recent enlargement of the European Union, the diversity of European travel destinations and tourism products has increased: Today we have numerous natural and cultural sights open to us that many European citizens are not even familiar with. The expansion of tourism in the new Member States and the acceding countries will have a positive impact on growth and employment in the European tourism industry.

Tourism is therefore particularly important for the revised Lisbon Strategy; their implementation is not just a matter for the public administrations. Here, all interest groups at European, national, regional and local level have an obligation within the framework of a renewed partnership for growth and jobs.

1.2. The challenges

The changes in the population structure will have enormous consequences for tourism in Europe. There will be more and more elderly people (over 65 years of age) and the general population will enjoy ever better health, higher life expectancy and growing purchasing power compared to previous generations. The group of those over 50 who love to travel should therefore grow.

With this growth, the demand for certain forms of tourism will also shift. Trips to natural and cultural attractions are likely to show the strongest growth.

Europe is the most frequently visited region in the world, but the number of visitors from all over the world is growing more slowly than the international average. New, competing travel destinations are emerging and expanding, with innovative products and services that intensify global competition for the EU.

It is also well known that tourism can become a victim of its own success if it does not go through sustainable development. Biodiversity, the functioning of ecosystems, natural resources and the non-renewable cultural heritage, and even the viability of urban areas, can be threatened by excessive tourism. Economic, social and ecological sustainability are key factors for the competitiveness of travel destinations and the well-being of their people, but also for the creation of jobs and for the preservation and upgrading of natural and cultural sights.

In order to cope with challenges such as demographic change, external competition, sustainability and the demand for certain forms of tourism, Europe must concentrate its efforts on increasing its competitiveness. With a more competitive tourism industry and sustainable travel destinations, the revised Lisbon Strategy could be successfully implemented, tourist satisfaction increased and Europe's top position as a travel destination secured.

1.3. Dialogue and partnership between tourism stakeholders

Tourism is an economic activity with a variety of stakeholders and policies at different levels. They influence the development directly and indirectly and are also influenced by it themselves. In order to promote a harmonious and sustainable development of tourism, the sectoral social partners, interest groups and authorities must be in dialogue with one another.

Partnerships at all levels of decision-making in tourism are also needed between all stakeholders involved. These partnerships must become a focus of action everywhere (European, national, regional and local, as well as public and private).


The challenges facing European tourism require a coherent political response at EU level. Such a policy must focus on clear and realistic goals, supported by decision-makers, employers and workers as well as the local population. It should make optimal use of the available resources, use all possible synergies, build on the existing range of measures and offer clear additional benefits for national and regional projects and measures. Thus, European tourism policy should complement the actions of the Member States.

In response to today's challenges, the Commission intends to launch a new European tourism policy based on past experiences. The central aim of this policy will be to strengthen the competitiveness of the European tourism industry and to create more and better jobs through the sustainable expansion of tourism in Europe and worldwide.

In implementation, the Commission will develop a close partnership with Member State authorities and stakeholders from the tourism industry.

Past experience and exchanges of views with a wide range of stakeholders suggest that coordination within the Commission and within national authorities, cooperation between the various stakeholders and the establishment of certain support measures are the most appropriate instruments for implementing this policy.

The main focus will be on the following topics:

2.1. Tourism-relevant cross-sectional measures

2.1.1. Better regulation

In view of the large number of policy areas relevant to tourism, better regulation must be actively promoted at both national and European level, as the way in which legislation is designed can have a major impact on the competitiveness of the tourism industry and travel destinations.

In its communication entitled "Better regulation for growth and jobs in the European Union" [5], the Commission set out a revised approach to further promote better regulation to strengthen European competitiveness. The focus is on:

1) Better and more frequent use of impact assessment on new legislative proposals. This integrated approach will ensure that tourism is fully reflected in any impact assessment for proposals likely to affect it.

2) Examination of pending legislative proposals.

3) Simplification of existing EU legislation [6]. This also includes legal acts such as the Package Travel Directive and the Timeshare Directive, which has priority.

The Commission will continue to consult regularly with stakeholders on how to develop the simplification program in the coming years. The tourism interest groups are called upon to actively participate in this improvement of the regulatory environment, which should also be transferred to the national level in order to save the tourism industry from being burdensome with administrative requirements.

2.1.2. Policy coordination

The majority of all Community measures to strengthen the competitiveness of European tourism are carried out with the help of enterprise policy instruments. But there are many other areas of European politics that have an indirect or direct impact on tourism. [7]

Each year, an assessment is made of the projects in the Commission's work program that may have an impact on tourism in order to ensure that their impact on the sector's competitiveness is taken into account at an early stage. This is in line with the mandate of the European Parliament in its 2005 report on the new perspectives and challenges for sustainable European tourism. [8]

The Commission continues to seek to keep the members of the Advisory Committee on Tourism informed in an efficient, timely and transparent manner of the tourism-related plans in its work program. In this way, the public authorities can also regularly inform the various interest groups at national, regional and local level about the Commission's projects.

The Commission will continue to consult and inform stakeholders on tourism-related issues and projects. This is an interactive process that has produced positive results overall; it must be intensified and continuously improved. In this context, the Green Paper on Maritime Policy, which is currently being drawn up, which also addresses tourism in coastal and marine areas, provides a further opportunity for numerous stakeholders to provide input for EU policy making.

2.1.3. Optimized use of the existing European financial instruments

Tourism has benefited greatly from the financial support offered by each of the European financial instruments. In the 2007-2013 period, the development of tourism businesses, services and infrastructure will be supported through the Structural Funds and other EU programs.

The Commission has foreseen that sustainable tourism projects promoting socio-economic development can be financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) [9]. Within the framework of the "Convergence", "Competitiveness and Employment" and "European Territorial Cooperation" objectives, the ERDF will promote more sustainable tourism concepts in order to enhance the cultural and natural heritage, improve accessibility and mobility through infrastructure measures and support measures for ICT, innovative SMEs, To seize business networks and clusters, services with higher added value, cross-border tourism strategies and supraregional exchange of experiences.

The environmental and transport infrastructure are of the utmost importance for tourism; therefore they are also financed by the Cohesion Fund.

Due to the employment potential, the promotion of tourism is one of the main areas of action of the European Social Fund (ESF). Projects that are co-financed include training programs and training courses to increase the productivity and quality of jobs and services in the tourism sector.

The ESF also offers targeted training measures and combines them with start-up grants for micro-enterprises in the tourism sector. Such measures can be extremely effective at promoting economic activity and employment. The ESF also co-finances measures to promote professional mobility.

After the European Parliament asked for a special measure to be included in the future Leonardo da Vinci program (as part of the new integrated lifelong learning program) [10] in the form of a mobility program for apprentices and young adults in initial vocational training, the Commission adopted a number in 2005 launched by preparatory studies to identify the main characteristics of possible models for European apprenticeship training. These studies will reveal what may hinder mobility in vocational training. Tourism was named as a possible pilot sector. It is hoped that this will produce concrete proposals for solutions on which a program of specific measures will be built, the implementation of which is planned in the second phase of this pilot project.

Rural areas have become more attractive and offer many positive environmental aspects, so that over the last few decades rural tourism has become an important diversification factor for the rural economy, which is also well compatible with agriculture. This could create excellent opportunities for the new Member States and the candidate countries. The new European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development contains the following funding priorities:

- Improving the quality of agricultural production and its products

- Improvement of the environment and the landscape

- Promotion of tourism activities in the context of the objective of diversifying rural areas

- Studies and investments related to the preservation, restoration and enhancement of cultural heritage

The planned European Fisheries Fund (EFF) includes the "sustainable development of fisheries areas" as a new priority. Its aim is to mitigate the socio-economic effects of the restructuring of the fisheries sector and to regenerate areas dependent on fisheries through diversification and the creation of employment alternatives. One of the alternatives for fishermen would be ecotourism. Small-scale fishing is supported by the EFF, as is tourism infrastructure. The fund also supports the switch to activities outside of sea fishing that may be related to tourism.

The aim of the proposed "Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Program" [11] is to strengthen the competitiveness of EU companies and especially SMEs.

The research carried out in the proposed 7.Funding for the European Community Framework Program for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration [12] can also benefit the tourism sector, for example through research on information and communication technologies, satellite applications, cultural heritage and land use. The starting point for this is the research projects that were funded by the previous framework programs and for which politicians and stakeholders should be made more aware.

Member States, regions, local authorities and industry at all levels are called upon to work together to ensure that tourism is fully benefiting from European financial instruments and that it is taken into account in the planning of all related projects.

2.2. Promotion of sustainability in tourism

2.2.1. A European Agenda 21 for Tourism

The pursuit of our immediate goal - creation of growth and jobs - goes hand in hand with the realization of social and environmental goals. The revised Lisbon Strategy is a fundamental component of the overarching objective of sustainable development laid down in the EC Treaty: It is important to improve social security and living conditions for current and future generations in an environmentally friendly manner in the long term.

The Commission has already emphasized in its communication “Basics for the Sustainability of European Tourism” [13] that ensuring the economic, social and environmental sustainability of European tourism is of crucial importance, on the one hand as a contribution to sustainable development in Europe and all over the world and, secondly, as an essential prerequisite for the viability, continued growth, competitiveness and commercial success of this extremely important industry. The Commission then started to prepare a European Agenda 21 for tourism.

In 2004 the Commission set up the “Sustainability in Tourism” (GNT) group in order to strengthen the synergies between the parties involved and to give content to the Agenda 21 process for sustainability in European tourism. The GNT is composed of experts and includes a balanced representation of industrial associations, representatives of travel destinations and trade unions / civil society. Authorities from the Member States and international organizations such as the World Tourism Organization are also represented. The GNT pays special attention to environmental issues.

It will complete its work and present a report in 2006. Then the Commission will start organizing the follow-up. It assumes that, on the basis of this report, it will be able to prepare a proposal for a European Agenda 21 for tourism by 2007.

2.2.2. Special measures to promote sustainability in European tourism

The development and implementation of a European Agenda 21 for tourism is a long-term process. In addition, the Commission wants to take special measures to promote economic and social sustainability in European tourism, for example:

- Identify national and international measures to promote tourism-related SMEs and initiate an exchange of best practices

- Assessing the economic relevance of better accessibility for disabled people in the tourism sector in relation to growth and jobs, business opportunities for SMEs, quality of services and competitiveness

- Promote the exchange of best practices on "Tourism for All"

- Publication of a manual on the creation of “learning spaces in the tourism industry” in order to promote further qualification in the tourism sector with the involvement of all interest groups

- Study of employment trends in coastal and marine tourism

- Creation of official statistics and initiation of e-Business-W @ tch studies to assess the effects of electronic business traffic on the tourism industry

- Continue initiatives and collaboration with Member States, industry and the World Tourism Organization to tackle the sexual exploitation of children, particularly when tourists are responsible for such crimes

2.3. More knowledge about the tourism sector and greater visibility

2.3.1. More knowledge about the European tourism sector

Public and private sector decision-makers need harmonized, more detailed and timely statistics. Council Directive 95/57 / EC [14] on the collection of statistical information in the field of tourism will be updated to take into account the development of tourism in Europe and user needs. The aspects of timely and timely delivery, relevance and comparability should be significantly improved.

In cooperation with Member States, national statistical institutes and other stakeholders, better harmonization and implementation of tourism satellite accounts will be encouraged as they can give a more accurate picture of the real size and importance of the tourism industry. The lessons learned from the pilot projects co-financed by the Commission (2002-2006) will be very useful.

Eurostat will continue to produce special editions and publications useful to industry and public administration, such as the Panorama on Tourism and Pocket Guide on Tourism and the various editions of Statistics in Focus on winter and summer travel trends , ICT in tourism, travel habits of Europeans, employment in tourism, etc.

2.3.2. More advertising for European travel destinations

The globalization of the markets is increasing competitive pressure, but it also offers new opportunities by opening up new markets (such as China, Russia and India) with wealthy customers who also demand high-priced trips. As more tourists come to Europe, more jobs and more growth are created.

The Commission has financed the establishment of a European portal for travel destinations so that people who wish to travel can be brought closer to Europe as a whole consisting of numerous attractive individual destinations. There will be practical information about Europe such as: B. Notes on travel planning (means of transport, weather, calendar) or recommendations about attractions and activities as well as links to national websites. The portal will go online from March 2006 under the direction of the European Travel Commission.

In the cities and regions of Europe there is a large number of sporting and cultural events (European Capital of Culture [15], festivals) which offer the opportunity to promote the image of the host travel destination. In particular, tourism-related SMEs can greatly benefit from such events if they are appropriately involved in all phases of the organization.

The Commission will analyze the impact of such events on tourism-oriented SMEs. The results of these projects and recommendations for future events will then be presented at a European conference.

Numerous travel destinations in Europe are currently working on the development of promising funding methods for sustainability in tourism. These can serve as a model for all travel destinations that aim to optimize tourism. The Commission will work with Member States to explore how to raise awareness of such good practice, possibly through its own award for top European travel destinations.

2.3.3. More public awareness of tourism: a common goal

The Commission, in partnership with the public administrations of the Member States and industry stakeholders, is constantly striving to raise the profile of tourism and to improve knowledge of the sector, which, due to its complexity, is often only perceived in its narrower sense. rather than as a phenomenon that affects many aspects of the economic and social fabric.

Every year since 2002, a different Member State has hosted the European Tourism Forum, which is organized in close cooperation with the Commission, the Member States and the European tourism industry. The fact that the forum recently took place in several new Member States (2004 in Hungary, 2005 in Malta and 2006 in Cyprus) has given it a particular added value.

The Commission will continue to work in partnership with all stakeholders to ensure that

- the issues discussed are relevant to the current context,

- tourism stakeholders become even more involved in the forum,

- this event will gain more public attention across Europe.

In addition, several Council Presidencies organized meetings of the ministers responsible for tourism, special conferences and other things, or they co-organized the European Tourism Forum together with the respective host country. Such events are very important as they facilitate close contacts between decision-makers and stakeholders, highlight specific issues and raise public awareness of the tourism sector in Europe. The Commission will continue to actively promote such initiatives and encourage the coming presidencies to do the same.


In view of the complexity of tourism and the enormous diversity of the actors involved, all stakeholders must cooperate in the planning and implementation of the relevant European policies and measures. Community institutions, Member State authorities, professional associations, employers and workers, non-governmental organizations and research institutes should form partnerships at all levels in order to strengthen the competitiveness of European tourism and demonstrate its importance. The structure of the cooperation and partnerships within the framework of the new tourism policy can be checked regularly at the European tourism forums.

This communication sets out what the Commission intends to do within the framework of current Community law for the tourism sector in order to achieve its sustainable growth and employment potential and how it intends to do so. It also shows how the various stakeholders can be involved in community action. The new tourism policy is geared towards all important aspects of European policy making and enables all concerned to cooperate constructively. How successful it will ultimately depend on the response and active engagement of all stakeholders.

[1] COM (2005) 24 of 2.2.2005.

[2] See

[3] Eurostat: Statistics in focus 32/2005.

[4] European Strategy for Sustainable Development 2005-2010. See

[5] COM (2005) 97 of 16.3.2005.

[6] An example of a piece of legislation that has already been adopted is Directive 2005/36 / EC, which consolidates and modernizes the current rules for the recognition of professional qualifications, thereby promoting the provision of services by qualified professionals in the tourism sector.

[7] See and other projects such as the proposal for a directive on services in the internal market.

[8] PE 353.597 / v03-00.

[9] See

[10] COM (2004) 474 of 14.7.2004.

[11] COM (2005) 121 final of 6.4.2005.

[12] See

[13] COM (2003) 716 final of November 21, 2003.

[14] Official Journal L 291 of 6.12.1995, pp. 32-39.

[15] See