demand concrete EU action to support EU tourist destinations
highlight different tourism concepts in regions
position the CoR as a partner of EU institutions and regional tourism organisations
better use of EGTC and macroregional cooperation for tourism
Tourism is a silent hero of the European economy. Robust and steadily growing - unlike some other industrial branches - proving millions of job places across Europe and being an essential part of the European way of life. The 2016 European Committee of the Regions' opinion "Tourism as a driving force for regional cooperation across the EU" recognises this contribution while going the extra mile to identify the outstanding barriers to growth and to propose the solutions to relaunch European tourism agenda.
The concrete proposals include an integrated EU tourism policy and a bold multi-annual action plan to support thousands of tourism-related SMEs, a creation of regional tourism investment platforms under the EFSI, a new award for "European Capitals of Smart Tourism", or a formal recognition of tourism qualifications. The European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, as well as tourism related stakeholders (ETC, NECSTouR, itp.) have expressed their interest in working together with the CoR in realising the potential of these proposals and scheduled meetings to plan the implementation. The new created inter-institutional Tourism Contact Group (TCG) bringing together all these decision-makers will coordinate the efforts and assure effective communication. This firmly places the Committee at the centre of the tourism policy and financial discussions in the framework of the mid-term review of the multiannual framework 2014-2020. Indeed, the opinion makes a strong case for a separate EU budget line to cover future EU tourism activities and to fund innovative, competitive, sustainable, cross-regional and cross-border projects.
Likewise, both 2017 Presidency Member States have met with the Rapporteur and the CoR hierarchy to discuss the adoption of a multiannual action plan for European tourism. This will be further discussed with relevant Permanent Representations.
Finally, the plenary adoption gave the opportunity to discuss once more the tourism agenda with the EP TRAN Vice Chair, Istvan Ujhelyi, and to connect the work of the CoR with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. Its Secretary General, Taleb Rifai stressed the relevance of tourism at regional level in terms of socio-economic and cultural development, and the need to enhance regional cooperation.
Finally, the plenary adoption gave the opportunity to connect the work of the CoR with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. Its Secretary General, Taleb Rifai stressed the relevance of tourism at regional level in terms of socio-economic and cultural development, and the need to enhance regional cooperation.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- calls on the European Commission to launch an integrated EU tourism policy and a multi-annual action-plan and to cut red tape in tourism-specific EU law;
- asks the EC to champion the European brand (EU logo) and the development of brand positioning and marketing platforms;
- suggests a standardised European classification/quality assurance system to complement existing national and regional ones;
- suggests introducing the title of "European Capital of Smart Tourism";
- proposes a media prize ("tourism Oscar") for documentation about European heritage;
- asks for a "European Citizen Travel Card", an electronic European travel badge (social media-compatible GPS "DiscoverYrope app") and a "European Traveller's Pass"
- supports a heading for promoting European tourism into the annual EU budget and in post-2020 EU regional policy and CAP;
- calls for European and regional tourism investment platforms under the EFSI and local tourism investment forums;
- calls for the de minimis thresholds of state aid for SGEIs to be increased to EUR 1 million per case per three tax years
- calls for a European tourism academy and a Jean Monnet chair for European tourism research as well as a formal cross-border recognition of tourism qualifications;