EU: New Way to Plan for the Future of Tourism

The document also lists priorities for tourism destinations and businesses in order to accelerate the green and digital transition and build a more resilient and competitive tourism sector.

The document also points out that the future success of the European Union travel industry will depend on its ability to meet consumer needs and demands for sustainable travel. This confirms the will, on the part of the European Union, to put sustainability at the center of the criteria for determining the true impact of tourism on destinations.

It is not yet specified what the new standards of judgment should be.

But the need to stop relying exclusively on the numbers of arrivals has been sanctioned, to avoid returning destinations on an irresponsible and uncontrolled growth path after the pandemic, thus stemming phenomena such as overtourism. The European Commission also noted that this new paradigm will require a review of the legislation on data collection, and that discussions are underway on the development of specific metrics.

Building a more sustainable sector also means following the objectives of the European green deal and preparing to adapt to future policies and regulations as part of the “Fit for 55” package, the report states.

The need to follow the recommendations of the European Commission was also reiterated at the annual meeting of the European Travel Commission (ETC), recently in Engelberg, Switzerland. In a recent release following the meeting that brought together the national tourism authorities of the various European countries, the participants reconfirmed their agreement to help formulate and adopt new sustainable travel techniques.

In commenting on the EU report, MEP Mario Furore recalls that the EU has made 15 different funding programs available to tourism businesses. “Too high a number – which transforms an opportunity into a confusion for many operators in the sector. We need a simplification and a de-bureaucratization by unifying all European funding in a single fund dedicated to tourism,” he said.

Important to be highlighted are the frequent suggestions to the European Commission on the need to include the proposal in the document “Transition pathway for tourism” which initiates a new approach with stakeholders to promote the transformation of industrial ecosystems, the most affected by the pandemic and at risk of desertification.

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