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Advocacy has always been part of ETC’s mission. The organisation’s statutes state that “through its activities, ETC shall contribute to raising awareness and understanding among national European authorities and the general public of the importance of tourism and the need to ensure its development through appropriate collective measures”. Since 2014, ETC has been actively involved in advocacy activities and has started a broader cooperation with the travel industry building alliances to remove disadvantages and to create benefits for tourism in Europe.

Visa Facilitation

In order to remain the world’s first tourist destination, Europe must respond to the shifting patterns in global tourism and capitalize on the potential of tomorrow’s outbound travel markets.

As various research results have shown, more flexible visa procedures and rules could lead to a considerable increase in trips and thus have a significant economic impact. It is essential to re-evaluate the common EU visa policy as not only a tool to address security concerns, but also to minimise the deterrence to legitimate travellers whether for leisure or professional purposes. The process and policies for obtaining visas is a key determinant in the traveller’s destination selection. To stay competitive, it is imperative that the EU’s visa policies are improved.

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At the core of ETC’s strategy are the stimulation of competitiveness and the promotion of sustainable growth of the European tourism sector. Sustainable tourism incorporates policies, practices and programmes which consider expectations of tourists regarding responsible natural resource management as well as the needs of communities that support or are affected by tourism projects and the environment.

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It is widely acknowledged today that aviation makes a significant contribution to the tourism industry – over 52% of international tourists travel by air. Europe is ranked as the second aviation market worldwide, after North America, and holding the first position for international passenger traffic. Connectivity is therefore a very important and topical subject inextricably linked to Europe’s competitiveness as a tourism destination.

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European Tourism Manifesto

For the first time ever, Europe’s public and private tourism actors and stakeholders with an interest in tourism have come together to call for the European Union to do more for this important sector. The European Tourism Manifesto highlights the key EU policy priorities for the sector in the coming years on topics ranging from skills and qualifications to sustainability and competitiveness of Europe’s tourism.

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