Fostering European Tourism by creating a EU Tourism Agency
Towards the unprecedented challenges that the European Union (EU) is facing, also within the tourism sector, it becomes imperative for the European Commission to contemplate the establishment of a European Tourism Agency. This proposition, presented by the EPP group, is a direct response to the multifaceted needs identified by various stakeholders within the tourism landscape.
A European Tourism Agency would furnish the EU and its Member States with empirically grounded insights and concrete data pertaining to the current state of the sector. Such data would enable the formulation of more comprehensive strategies, founded upon the aggregation and analysis of tourism-related information. This comprehensive approach would encompass an integrated understanding of the social, economic, and environmental ramifications of tourism practices.
Moreover, the agency would also serve as a catalyst for promoting Europe as a tourist destination, with Portugal standing as a shining example. Portugal boasts an array of compelling advantages as a tourism destination, including its rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and a welcoming and warm population. Its diverse offerings range from historic cities like Lisbon and Porto to the scenic wonders of the Azores and Madeira archipelagos. Furthermore, Portugal’s strategic location as a gateway to Europe and its well-developed infrastructures make it an ideal host country for the agency.
Additionally, the agency would assume a crucial role in crisis management, an indispensable function in the contemporary era characterized by frequent disruptions in the tourism sector due to global disturbances. In such instances, isolated national responses have proven inadequate.
Equally significant is the agency’s potential to provide technical and administrative support to micro-businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), thereby enhancing their capacity to access and benefit from EU funds and financial instruments. Moreover, Portugal’s thriving small and medium-sized tourism enterprises stand to benefit significantly from such support, further solidifying its suitability as a host country.
The broader tourism ecosystem in Portugal would also benefit from the agency’s existence, as it would facilitate the sharing of best practices, supporting stakeholders in making informed decisions to bolster their tourism policies.
From a broader international perspective, the agency would be entrusted with the task of promoting the brand “Europe” in third countries, particularly because the EU is experiencing a decline in tourist arrivals from third countries over the past decade. The agency’s focus would be on diversifying the European tourism product, and Portugal’s unique offerings would play a crucial role in this endeavour.
In the interim, our proposal is gaining traction. The Spanish Presidency of the Council, as outlined in its program, underscores the commitment to establish a European Tourism Agency with regional offices in the outermost regions of the EU.
For the EPP Group, the creation of a European Agency for Tourism is not merely an ambitious proposition but also an emerging necessity. A comprehensive EU Tourism policy holds a pivotal role in the economic vitality of the EU. By championing EU tourism, the EU not only stimulates economic growth but also serves as a conduit for individuals from diverse backgrounds to connect and exchange experiences. Furthermore, a thriving tourism industry enhances the overall competitiveness of the EU on the global stage, with Portugal serving as a good example.
in: Travel Tomorrow – Buscardini Communications