The European Tourism Manifesto for Growth and Jobs and the World Travel & Tourism Council have today declared the urgent need for a genuine recognition of the importance of tourism. In the European Parliament this morning, the two representative bodies presented the Tourism Legacy Paper to the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani appealing to the new European Parliament and European Commission to move towards an integrated European tourism policy with strategic funding at EU level.
In response to receiving the paper, President Tajani stated: “As always, I give my full support to the tourism industry. The European Parliament is united in its understanding that tourism is a key sector for economic and social development in Europe and needs a genuine political recognition at the EU level”.
Executive Director of the European Travel Commission, Eduardo Santander co-signed the legacy paper on behalf of the European Tourism Manifesto for Growth and Jobs, alongside his counterpart Gloria Guevara Manzo, President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). The paper stresses that a holistic European approach is needed to formulate effective tourism policies taking into account the multiple impacts of the sector as well as the wide spectrum of stakeholders involved or affected by tourism.
Presenting the paper, Eduardo Santander, Chairman of the Tourism Manifesto and Executive Director of the European Travel Commission, declared: “Tourism promotes an awareness of a common European identity, helping to sustain our cultural and natural heritage. It helps to stimulate economic growth by generating employment, investment and income in Europe. But this growth is not guaranteed. A lack of European action and support will curtail the industry and its development. Today, we are calling on the new European Parliament and Commission to capitalize on the potential of tourism and move towards an integrated European tourism policy with increased financial support at EU level.”
The signatories of the paper endorsed the proposal of the European Parliament to introduce a specific allocation of 300 million Euro for sustainable tourism as part of the Single Market budget under the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the years 2021 to 2027.
Recent statistics from the World Travel & Tourism Council highlight the significant contribution of the sector. The industry generates (directly and indirectly) 10.3% of total EU-28 GDP and supports 27.3 million people, with visitor exports generating €400 billion. This is even more important when it is considered that it is a labor-intensive sector built primarily by SMEs with high female and youth employment ratios. In times when unemployment rates have increased, evidence indicates that the travel and tourism sector remains one of the leading job creators both in Europe and worldwide.
The European Tourism Manifesto for Growth and Jobs is a declaration adopted by 45 European public and private tourism stakeholders and stakeholders with an interest in tourism. The Manifesto outlines the signatories’ views on how tourism contributes to growth and jobs and how the European Union should shape its future tourism policy. The signing of this legacy paper today is another step taken by the signatories of the Manifesto to encourage the EU institutions to advance a genuine European tourism policy and prioritize strategic investments in tourism.