Freitag, 14.12.2018 11:49 Uhr

Improving sustainable tourism across Europe

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome/Brussels, Belgium, 01.03.2018, 13:05 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Reise & Tourismus +++ Bericht 7040x gelesen

Rome/Brussels, Belgium [ENA] Improving sustainable tourism across Europe has been at the centre of an official visit of the new Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to the European Parliament. In fact, World Tourism Organization Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili made his first official visit to Brussels (27-28 February) to sign an agreement between the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the European Parliament.

During his first official visit to Brussels, UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, met with the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska as well as the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and Responsible for the Tourism Task Force, Istvan Ujhelyi and the delegates of the European Tourism Manifesto. Europe is the world’s leading tourism destination receiving half of the world’s 1.3 billion international arrivals.

In 2017, international tourism in Europe grew 8%, one percentage point above the world average, totalling 671 million tourists. During the signing of the agreement, Mr. Pololikashvili stressed that the best way to ensure tourism’s positive impact for people is by working closely with the European Parliament as the representative of the people of Europe. “Today we are becoming stronger partners in our work to make tourism, and cultural tourism in particular, a driver of prosperity, opportunity, and better livelihoods across the EU”, he added. “Over the next 10 years, tourism can create more than 5 million new jobs, not least because the number of tourists is set to double to more than 2 billion.

Europe must not let this opportunity pass by. Through the growth of tourism, we can offer real prospects for the new generations and boost strategic sectors of the economy, such as transport, trade, luxury goods, shipbuilding, construction, agri-foodstuffs and the cultural and creative industries” declared Antonio Tajani. European Union must work, including with UNWTO, to improve its competitiveness and its skills, to face the challenges of digitalisation and to promote Europe as the world’s number one tourist destination.

The UNWTO Secretary-General met also with the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska and exchanged views with the members of the Tourism Task Force of the European Parliament and with the public and private stakeholders of the European Tourism Manifesto. On the occasion, UNWTO Secretary-General emphasized the importance of working in collaboration with the European institutions on key priorities: sustainability; innovation and technology; safety and security; and education and job creation.

Addressing the EU–China Tourism Year Parliamentary Day, which celebrated the EU-China Tourism Year, Mr. Pololikashvili said “This year comes as an opportunity to make Europe the best global destination for Chinese tourists and to use tourism to increase understanding between Europe and China”. According to the European Travel Commission, 12.4 million Chinese tourists visited the EU in 2017. With an average above one million per month and considering the prospects of growth, the impact of Chinese tourists on EU tourism is a significant factor for European tourism development and bilateral relations with China.

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