Tourism into the EU Cohesion Policy Strategy for the Atlantic Area

The Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) of the European Parliament adopted an opinion on the EU Cohesion Policy Strategy for the Atlantic Area. In the document presented by rapporteur Silvia-Adriana Ticău, the TRAN Committee calls on the Committee on Regional Development (REGI) to incorporate some suggestions in its motion for a resolution.

The TRAN official position, regarding the cohesion policy strategy for the Atlantic area includes a lot of references to tourism. The Committee emphasises the need for sustainable development of the main drivers of economic growth in the Atlantic area, in particular tourism, maritime transport, shipbuilding, fishing and aquaculture, offshore wind, and wave and tidal energy. It underlines the importance of sustainable, responsible and high-quality tourism for the regeneration of the Atlantic area and the creation of high-value and all-year-round jobs.

The TRAN Committee stresses the need to protect and promote the attractiveness of the Atlantic coastal areas, landscapes and cultural heritage, and to develop alternative and thematic tourism products, with a view to enhancing the region’s profile as a tourist destination and ensuring a sustainable economy. Members of the Committee also call for better use of the EU support programmes in favour of tourism and for actions to raise awareness concerning available funding instruments.

They remark that the attractiveness, competitiveness and dynamism of the Atlantic coastal areas depend on strengthening their tourism potential. The opinion documents underlines the importance of extending tourist seasons, diversifying products and client bases in order to eliminate the effects of seasonality, promoting the numerous assets of these areas by also encouraging nautical tourism, cruises, spa tourism, cultural tourism. Actions to ensure the linking of activities in coastal and maritime areas with tourism products in the hinterland have to be promoted as well.

The Committee stresses the need to mitigate the impact of tourism activities and infrastructures on the environment, ensuring the management of coastal areas and their hinterlands with a view to guaranteeing the sustainability of these areas and their fauna, flora and landscapes. The document recognises the importance, when consolidating high-quality tourist facilities, of incorporating agri-food and fish processing, especially those sourced from traditional agriculture and fishing. It advocates for the strength of short marketing chains in order to help keep added value in the local area.

And last but not least, the TRAN Committee asks the European Commission to adopt an Action Plan for the Atlantic Strategy by the end of 2013. The Plan should include the objective of making the Atlantic Ocean a model region for clean shipping and maritime safety and security. These objectives are crucial in maintaining and enhancing the region’s potential for tourism.

The document is available at: www.europarl.europa.eu

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