This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism
Europe is the most attractive tourist destination in the world, and tourism plays a major part in growth and job creation in Europe. The sector's competitiveness is closely linked to its sustainability, as the quality of tourist destinations is very much influenced by their natural environment and their local community. For this reason it is necessary to take a holistic approach, addressing not only the economic prosperity of the sector, but also social cohesion, environmental protection and promotion of the culture of European tourist destinations.
Communication from the Commission of 19 October 2007 – Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism [COM(2007) 621 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This Communication is the official launching and endorsement of an Agenda for sustainable and competitive tourism. The objectives of this Agenda are to deliver economic prosperity, social equity and cohesion and environmental and cultural protection.
These involve several challenges for the sector, including:
The objectives of the Agenda will be achieved by means of appropriate policies such as sustainable destination management (for example, through spatial and land use planning or investment decisions on infrastructure and services), the integration of sustainability concerns by businesses and raising awareness of sustainability among tourists.
To achieve competitive and sustainable tourism the Commission proposes the following principles:
All tourism stakeholders in Europe are called upon to participate in the implementation of this Agenda: public authorities at all levels, businesses, tourists, educational and research establishments, trade unions, consumer associations, NGOs and international organisations. The Commission, for its part, plans to implement all of the actions set out below.
Mobilising actors to produce and share knowledge
Best practice related to sustainability and competitiveness must be shared. For this reason the Commission actively supports or will actively support the following initiatives:
Promoting destinations of excellence
The Commission will continue to implement the “European Destinations of Excellence” (EDEN) initiative. It will also continue to promote Europe as a sustainable, quality destination. It will work towards this with the European Travel Commission and the national tourism organisations, and will lend greater support to the European Destination Tourism Portal.
Mobilising EU financial instruments
Tourism projects may receive funding from several Community funds, including:
Mainstreaming sustainability and competitiveness in Commission policies
Several Community policies can have an effect on tourism and its sustainability: environment, transport, employment or research. These policies have different impacts depending on the region. The Commission will take into account the specific needs of the areas, whether coastal areas, mountainous areas, rural areas or urban areas.
To find out more about European action to support the tourism industry, go to the DG Enterprise and Industry website.
Last updated: 15.02.2008