EPP Regions and cities call for a focus on competitiveness and sustainability in European tourism

On the first of June 2012, the European People’s Party Group (EPP) in the Committee of the Regions (CoR) held a meeting dedicated to the role of sustainable tourism in the pursuit of growth, in the city of Faro (Portugal). In view of discussions on the future EU budget, regions and cities called for strengthened investment opportunities for sustainable tourism, underlining that in line with the Europe 2020 targets for economic, ecological and social development, sustainable tourism can generate a large percentage of GDP and provide a beacon of hope for young people.

“Local and regional authorities play an essential role in developing and managing tourism projects and that is why we need to ensure that sufficient attention is paid to these programmes and projects in the future budget” stated Michael Schneider, President of the EPP Group in the CoR.

The Faro Declaration adopted at the end of the meeting calls for a spirit of multilevel governance when further developing EU policy in the field of tourism in order to enhance cooperation. Manuel Pinto de Abreu, Portuguese Secretary of State for Maritime Affairs declared that “We need an appropriate, strategic and forward looking financial framework. At the moment, the discussions do not consider competences such as tourism, which can have an impact on growth and social welfare. Moreover, the new regulations governing the common EU policies must see tourism as a vital element to economic growth.”

Throughout the meeting, many local and regional experiences were presented and shared, such as the impact of culture on tourism, making reference to Maribor’s title of European Capital of Culture 2012 or the UEFA European Football Championship and how sports tourism can boost the local economy.

This meeting was also the opportunity to launch the third in a series of brochures dedicated to the role of local and regional authorities in implementing the Europe 2020 Strategy. Forging links between Europe 2020 and the tourism industry, this brochure contains examples of successful projects from across EU with the aim of demonstrating that EU funds can be used for tourism projects on the ground therefore contributing to jobs and growth in the region.

To view and/or download the brochure, visit: http://web.cor.europa.eu/epp

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