On September, 27, during the plenary session in Strasbourg, the European Parliament approved a resolution on Europe – the worlds’ No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe.
On the resolution, the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) propose to create a ‘Europe Brand’ to promote Europe as a whole worldwide as a tourist destination; at the same time, they advocate for a more quality European tourism, calling on the Commission to assess the feasibility of a ‘European quality tourism label’.
Moreover, the MEPs ask the Commission to present an EU “integrated tourism strategy” by the end of 2012 and to assess the possibility of creating a ‘European Tourism Card’ including a list of the rights of tourists travelling in Europe.
The resolution underlines the importance of encouraging mobility and promoting lifelong learning, vocational and university training schemes and apprenticeships in the tourism sector, maintaining close contacts with the world of research and business.
Tourism policy must consistently incorporate sustainable development, says the resolution drafted by Carlo Fidanza. According to the European Parliament (EU), different actions have to be developed to achieve this objective: diversify tourism offer to avoid the effects of seasonality; encourage the use of sustainable means of transport, including cycling. Additionally, it is necessary to: link the traditional tourism sector with local products and services and tangible and intangible assets; connect existing regional, national and European cycle routes; support Europe’s rural tourism and agri – tourism, being sectors that improve the socio-economic situation of rural areas.
The resolution pays special attention on financial resources for tourism: the next financial perspectives 2014 – 2020 should include the rehabilitation of tourist areas in decline among their priorities. Moreover, a specific program on tourism, addressing in particular to micro, small and medium enterprises, should be established in the new financial framework.
Through this resolution, the EP encourages a coordinated approach for initiatives linked to tourism within the EU and define a new framework to increase its competitiveness, its sustainable and quality-based development and the visibility of Europe as an outstanding tourist destination.