Source: DG MARE, EC
Tourism is undoubtedly an economic backbone of coastal regions. At present about 2.36 million people are employed in the coastal tourism sector, representing 1.1% total EU employment.
Cruise tourism alone represents a distinct segment generating direct turnover of € 14.5 billion and nearly 150,000 jobs. At the same time, this sector faces specific challenges, such as seasonality (dependency on the sun and beach tourism), lack of skilled professionals and of innovation culture and growing external competition.
What actions can be envisaged to reap the full potential of a sustainable and smart coastal and maritime tourism? These actions could be derived from answers to the following questions:
- How to render maritime and coastal tourism more competitive?
- How to address environmental implications of tourism and its socio-cultural aspects?
- How to stimulate tourists from third countries to visit Europe and encouraging EU nationals to discover coastal regions?
At the joint initiative of Vice-president Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, and Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, a public consultation is launched today. The results will feed into a comprehensive overview of the recommendations and initiatives which could be sponsored and promoted at European level. All stakeholders are invited to submit their comments and suggestions by 9 July 2012.
Challenges and Opportunities for Maritime and Coastal Tourism in the EU – Public consultation: http://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/partners/consultations/tourism/index_en.htm