On the occasion of World Tourism Day, September 27th, the President of the European Parliament, Mr Antonio Tajani, gathered MEPs, Commissioners, and various important tourism stakeholders for a High-Level Conference on Tourism. The event was the first of its kind, and thus marked a major development in the recognition of the tourism industry and its significant contribution to the EU.
The conference was opened by a poignant speech from President Tajani which highlighted the importance of job creation, attraction of investment, digitalisation and joint promotional activities within the sector. The President commented on ETC’s work in promoting Europe as a prime destination and the progress of ETC initiative ‘The European Tourism Manifesto for Growth and Jobs’.
“In this increasingly competitive field, it is in our very best interests to join forces. In a way we are already doing this, through the work done by this Parliament and the Commission, in cooperation with many regional governments in the NECSTouR network and the European Travel Commission, and through the European Tourism Manifesto.”
Moreover, ETC was also mentioned in President Tajani’s conclusion, within the framework of the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year, of which ETC is an implementing body, and the Parliament’s adoption of policies for the promotion of tourism.
“I am thinking here of the host of pilot projects proposed by these MEPs: the preparation of the EU-China Tourism Year, and support for the European Travel Commission, UNESCO and the Cultural Routes.”
Commissioner for DG Grow, Elzbieta Bienkowska spoke on the importance of funding for competitiveness of tourism in Europe and the work being done with ETC, while MEP István Ujhelyi declared ETC as “one of the most important tourism stakeholders in Brussels”.
ETC President Peter de Wilde and Executive Director Eduardo Santander were also invited as speakers and discussed the necessity of visa facilitation and increased connectivity as factors to enhance tourism.
The event proved to be a major success for ETC and all parties involved, bringing tourism to the forefront of the EU agenda and consolidating its status as an essential sector within the EU.
Photo ©European Union 2017 – Source : EP