DG MARE just announced the availability of the results of the consultation on challenges in the maritime and tourism sector.
As a Blue Growth sector, coastal and maritime tourism has been identified as an area with special potential to foster smart, sustainable and inclusive Europe. Europe’s coasts combine a rich maritime heritage and tradition with an unrivalled diversity of landscapes and natural refuges. Its oceans and seas are known for its biological richness and indescribable beauty. Unsurprisingly, coastal and maritime tourism constitutes one of the most important touristic thematic sub-sectors in Europe. With more than 2.36 million people employed, coastal and maritime tourism represents 1.1% of the total EU employment. Aware of this potential, the European Commission is currently developing a strategy to provide Europe with complementary tools to foster a smarter, more sustainable and inclusive coastal and maritime tourism in Europe. In the definition of such a strategy, participation from interested stakeholders is of outmost importance. Thus, and in order to gather direct input from interested parties on recommendations and actions that can be facilitated and promoted at European level, a 12-week public consultation was launched from 14 of May until 6 of August 2012. Results are now available. The high level of participation in the public consultation “Challenges and Opportunities for Coastal and Maritime Tourism in Europe”, and the overall support for the roll of possible the initiatives suggested in the survey, demonstrates a broad endorsement and support from European stakeholders towards an EU strategy for this touristic sub-sector. The results of this public consultation will be taken into account in the formulation of the Communication on Challenges and Opportunities for Maritime and Coastal Tourism in Europe.