EU, new rules for tourism statistics

New rules for a more systematic production of European statistics on tourism had been approved by the European Parliament  during the last plenary session. The final document will be now sent to the European Council for the final approval, that should occur in the next weeks, and will come into force, probably, next summer.

According to this document, the new statistic rules will be applied as from January 2012. The new legislation will also cover more data on new trends, internet bookings, short-stay trips and social tourism. The document approved underlines the importance to collect monthly information on the sector to improve the tourism development.  With this document the Meps ask to the European Commission and to the Member States to harmonize all the national touristic statistics.

“Any appraisal of its competitiveness requires a good knowledge of the volume of tourism, its characteristics, the profile of the tourist and tourism expenditure and benefits for national economies of the Member States ” is written in this draft legislative act. Moreover the text underline the importance of SMEs  for the touristic sector: “Given the size of SMEs, the potential administrative burden needs to be considered, and a system of thresholds should be introduced so that users’ needs can be met, while at the same time reducing the burden of response on the parties responsible for providing statistical information, particularly SMEs”.

This resolution – said Carlo Fidanza, EPP MEP, European Parliament rapporteur for the new European strategy on Tourism – It’s very important for the new European Strategy on Tourism development. These new rules will permit to have an updated legislative framework. It will assure a more effective sector monitoring for a better comprehension of the consumers needs”.



  1. What a huge missed opportunity. The new EU statistical framework does not including counting the numbers of travellers or overnights by people with dosabilities or those with long-term health problems, thus contributing to continuing neglect of access issues by many providers and destinations.
    In 2009 the UK Travel Survey DID count these overnights and discovered that 11% of all overnight stays were made by disabled visitors or their companions. Two lessons emerge from this: 1). It is possible to count these visitors without difficulty or prejudice; 2) they contribute 2 billion pounds to the UK economy so they deserve more attention by mainstream tourism providers!
    A third lesson might be that EU policymakers should consult more often with ENAT – the European Network for Accessible Tourism, when formulating their resolutions and directives. Then the needs of disabled, elderly and other consumers might be taken into account more comprehensively.

  2. Federica Dallan

    Dear Ivor Ambrose,
    thank you for your comment.
    Lack of information on the demand and travel patterns of people with special access needs represents a loss of potential travellers. The European Commission announced that 1 million Euros will be allocated for ‘Tourism for All’ initiatives in 2012. One of the key actions will be mapping the demand of accessible tourism. Much more needs to be done but this represents a first step towards a more accessible tourism.
    We are designing the next issue of our newsletter ‘Tourism Around Europe’: we are pleased to include a special focus on accessible tourism. We are pleased to insert in our blog as well any information on this theme. If you are interested in promoting any project, initiative, event or discussing about any issue on ‘accessible tourism’, we would be very pleased to have your feedback.

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