Email not looking beautiful? View it in your browser
Tourism Around Europe
jlag newsletter issue n. 4 Tuesday 17 July 2012
A conversation with...
Tourism Observatory
Rio+20 - Tourism and sustainable development
Funding opportunities
The European Tourism Agenda

We are very pleased to launch the fourth issue of Tourism Around Europe with an interview to the next President of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), Mr. Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, few days before his election. He will be elected during the next CoR plenary session, on July 18-19, 2012 and his mandate will officially start on the 10th of August 2012.
We have selected the most relevant policies, researches, projects, events, funding opportunities and we have dedicated a special section to the RIO+20 Conference.
We do know stakeholders expectations were higher for the RIO+20 event but we do hope that the results of the Conference will inspire additional efforts to create sustainable tourism programmes and projects in developed and developing countries. Only knowledge-based sustainable tourism actions can create concrete, effective and positive outcomes.
We wish to invite you to send us any news you may think is relevant to the EU tourism debate and to like our new facebook page:
We would like to thank you for your encouraging interest in Tourism Around Europe and we wish you Happy and Sustainable Summer Holidays.

Silvia Barbone
Jlag Managing Director

The next “Tourism Around Europe” newsletter will be issued in September

« Tourism Around Europe » is a quarterly newsletter for competitive tourism in Europe. Our aim is to disseminate European tourism policies and practices. We wish to encourage the exchange of knowledge regarding European tourism themes, actions and challenges. Each issue includes a conversation with influential leaders and thinkers within the sector.

A conversation with...

Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, the next President of the Committee of the Regions

Mr. Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, the next President of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), talks with Jlag few days before his election. He illustrates the role of the Committee of the Regions in the tourism sector, the link between sustainable tourism and territorial cohesion, the tourism policy towards Mediterranean, and the main results achieved by the CoR delegation at RIO+20

Mr. Valcárcel Siso underlines the importance of promoting the cooperation between the Mediterranean regions. As future Co-President of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM), he intends "(...) to make significant progress during the next presidency by, for example, involving the local and regional authorities of the southern shore of the Mediterranean in the EU Covenant of Mayors". Mr. Valcárcel Siso reminds that "ARLEM is currently working on tourism policy" and that "at its next plenary session in February 2013, the Assembly will adopt a report on sustainable tourism". 

Regarding the main results achieved at RIO+20, Mr. Valcárcel Siso talks about the agreement signed by the Committee of the Regions and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Both institutions committed to promoting the role of local and regional authorities in decision-making on environmental protection. As underlined by the future CoR President "The green economy, resource efficiency, biodiversity and management of ecosystems, decentralised cooperation and the fight against climate change (...)  will continue to be among the key issues on our agenda in the EU".

full interview

Tweet Button Facebook Like Button

Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso
Tourism Observatory

Promoting the tastes of Europe

The European Commission adopted a Communication  on the promotion and information measures for European agricultural products. Through the document, the Commission intends to make the agriculture and agri-food sector in Europe more dynamic and more competitive. Food is an increasingly important attraction for tourists. High-quality agro-food products are resources that enable tourism to be developed, especially in rural areas and less known destinations. Food tourism industry should take advantage from this new European promotion policy.

Public consultation on challenges and opportunities for maritime and coastal tourism in Europe

The European Commission will present a Communication on the “Challenges and Opportunities for Maritime and Coastal Tourism in the EU” in 2012. In view of the preparation of this Communication, the Commission has launched a public consultation, open until 6 August 2012. The Commission  is  inviting  all  stakeholders  involved in coastal and maritime tourism to express their views regarding appropriate measures to foster the potential of this area of tourism. Coastal and maritime tourism play a key role in the context of the Europe 2020 strategy. A European approach to this area of tourism can contribute to answering the internal and external challenges currently facing these sectors of activity such as increasing competition from non-European destinations and seasonality.

The consultation is available at:

Mediterranean and Europe: current cooperation and future perspectives in sustainable tourism

The European Commission organised a seminar  on 21 and 22 June 2012 in Brussels, focused on exchange of good practices on sustainable tourism between the EU and the Mediterranean Partner Countries. Representatives from Croatia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia, explained their national strategies to improve sustainability in tourism. The event was an occasion to present the more recent developments of the EU policy in the field of tourism with a particular focus on sustainability and to provide some room for dialogue and debate among all participants. The possibility to extend the EU initiatives EDEN and Calypso to MED countries was also explored.

Presentations are available at:

European Tourism Label for Quality Systems

The European Commission has just closed a public consultation  to collect the opinions of public and private stakeholders and individuals on the development of a European Tourism Quality Label. Currently, there is a wide variety of public and private initiatives in this field, but they lack of consistency and coordination. The European Tourism Label for Quality Systems is part of an holistic European strategy in the field of tourism. The consultation will help the Commission to assess the impact of the proposed initiative.

Summer season tourism trends in 2011

In the 2011 summer season (June-September), tourism recorded positive growth rates in most of the EU and EFTA countries, compared with the same period in 2010. This trend is confirmed both by the number of nights spent in hotels and similar establishments, and by the net occupancy rates of bed-places in these establishments. Comparing the monthly figures for the 2011 summer season with the previous year, nearly 35 million more nights (+4.8%) were spent in hotels and similar establishments in the European Union.  The highest increases were observed in Bulgaria (+21.1%), Romania (+17.5%) and Lithuania (+16.8%).

Data are available at:

European tourism in 2012 – trends and prospects

The European Travel Commission (ETC) has just published this year’s first quarterly report on European Tourism in 2012 – Trends & Prospects. Many destinations are showing continued visitor growth in the early part of 2012. Travel has been especially strong in Eastern Europe with occupancy rates surging by 7.5% in the early part of the year. Northern European hotel demand has also continued to grow with nearly 2% growth in occupancy. As a new reference for destination strategy, the document includes a series of market share analyses for ten of Europe’s largest source markets. 

The report is available at:

G20 Declaration recognises the importance of Travel & Tourism

The G20 world leaders have, for the first time, recognized the socio-economic value of Travel & Tourism. The G20 Declaration, signed at the annual meeting of the G20 world leaders, held in Los Cabos (Mexico), on 18-19 June 2012, underlines "the role of travel and tourism as a vehicle for job creation, economic growth and development”. World leaders commit to “work towards developing travel facilitation initiatives in support of job creation, quality work, poverty reduction and global growth”. This is an important success for the tourism industry: improving visa process and entry formalities can boost the international tourist numbers in G20 countries.

The G20 Leaders' Declaration is available at:

Rio+20 - Tourism and sustainable development

Two strategic documents having an impact in the field of tourism have been adopted at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development - RIO+20 (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, 20-22 June 2012):

- the 'Future We Want': in the document world leaders call for enhanced support for sustainable tourism activities and relevant capacity-building in developing countries. They encourage the promotion of investment in sustainable tourism, including eco-tourism and cultural tourism, which may include creating small and medium sized enterprises and facilitating access to finance. The document underlines the importance of establishing appropriate guidelines and regulations in accordance with national priorities and legislation for promoting and supporting sustainable tourism.

The 'Future We Want' is available at:

- the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production: the objective of the Framework is to support the regional and national policies and initiatives in accelerating the shift towards sustainable consumption and production. The Framework will include a range of programmes, five of which have been already identified, including one on sustainable tourism.



ATHENA Project highlights the Ancient Theaters in Euromed Region

The ATHENA Project (Ancient Theatres Enhancement for New Actualities) is funded by the European Commission under the Euromed Heritage Program 4. Its aim is to lay down plans to sustain ancient theatres in the sites of Merida (Spain), Siracusa (Italy), Cherchell (Algeria), Carthage (Tunisia), Jarash and Petra (Jordan). 

The Department of Antiquities in Jordan is leading the project, with five other academic institutes from the different countries. Project activities include: data collection, risk analysis, 3D technology and laser scanning, drawing up a management plan to create best practices and optimal utilisation of ancient theaters. Different events and activities are being held, partner countries met in Amman in early May 2012, in Tunisia in early July where the Carthage Theater was scanned as a sign of cooperation. They will hold other meetings throughout the year. ATHENA Project publications under way include compiling a thesaurus on ancient theatres, a children’s play and a book on the project.

For more information, email to Nizar Al Adarbeh, ATHENA Project Manager: or visit

"GEO2NOR”: Discover the Northern Geoparks

The “GEO2NOR: Geoparks and Geotourism Northern Routes” is a project developed by Magma Geopark (Norway) in collaboration with: Katla Geopark (Iceland), Shetland Geopark (Scotland), Stonehammer Geopark (Canada) and Locatify (Iceland). The project is also supported by the Norwegian Centre of Expertise and Ilulissat Kangia World Heritage Site Greenland. The project was set up under the NORA (Nordic Atlantic Cooperation) call for proposals 2012, in the focus area “Developing possibilities in new marketing strategy” and make the NORA region a “destination of choice”. The aim is to capitalize the tourism experiences in the NORA region, through developing of a common tourist browser with Geoparks low carbon dioxin footprint tourist packages. A common platform will contribute to increase the possibilities for tourists to have organized journeys in the Geoparks. 

Geoparks are a relatively new UNESCO initiative. There are currently 90 Geoparks in the world, 50 in Europe and 4 in the Nordic countries. A Global Geopark is a unified area with geological heritage of international significance and where that heritage is being used to promote the sustainable development of the local communities who live there.

For more information, email to Pål Thjømøe:


Greenways4Tour is a project financed by the European Commission and coordinated by the European Greenways Association. The aim of the project is to promote and increase international awareness of European greenways as excellent facilities for cyclists, walkers and people with disabilities and to greatly improve sustainable tourism choices in Europe. Greenways are independent non-motorized routes, mainly using disused railways and canal towpaths. Safe, accessible and very attractive, they give easy access to areas of outstanding natural beauty (e.g. in mountainous areas, by way of tunnels and viaducts). 

The “Greenways4Tour” project includes the launch of the European Greenways Observatory (EGO), a web platform aimed at a wide audience, both greenway users and providers. It will include as many European Greenways as possible, describing their location and their main features. As part of this initiative, a publication on good practice in the areas of greenway promotion, accessibility, and greenway services will be produced.

For more information, email to Mercedes Muñoz, AEVV-EGWA Director: or visit:

Funding opportunities

Support to transnational thematic tourism products as means of enhancing competitiveness & sustainability of European tourism
Call for proposals
DG Enterprise and Industry
Deadline is 25/07/2012

European corporate social responsibility award scheme
Call for proposals
DG Enterprise and Industry
Deadline is 27/07/2012

Pilot projects for the development of 'Sector Skills Alliances'
Call for proposals
DG Education and Culture
Deadline is 16/08/2012

Analysis and creation of an ICT and tourism business support portal
Call for tender
DG Enterprise and Industry
Deadline is 30/08/2012

Call for proposals 2012
DG Environment
Deadline is 06/09/2012

Economic impact of social enterprises
Call for proposals
DG Enterprise and Industry
Deadline is 07/09/2012

European Multistakeholder platforms on corporate social responsibility in relevant business sectors
Call for proposals
DG Enterprise and Industry
Deadline is 14/09/2012

Cooperation projects to create transnational tourism products based on cultural and industrial heritage
Call for proposals
DG Enterprise and Industry
Deadline is 28/09/2012

Call for proposals 2012
Education, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency
Deadline for 'Multi annual Cooperation projects' and 'Cooperation measures' is 03/10/2012

EC Implementation Rolling Plan of the Communication on Tourism 2010
The Rolling Plan developed by the European Commission for the implementation of the 2010 Commission Communication on tourism COM (2010)352 has been updated.

The European Tourism Agenda
  • 29 July-4 August 2012 XIII World Congress of Rural Sociology 'Working Session: Living, Visiting and Promoting the Rural Tourism Experience', Lisbon (Portugal) - Organised by the University of Lisbon, ISCSP and IRSA - go to the web page
  • 6-7 September 2012 Flavours of the Silk Road: International Conference on Food, Culture and Tourism, Baku (Azerbaijan) - Organised by UNWTO and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan - go to the web page
  • 12-15 September 2012 Re-creating the Global City: Tourism, Leisure and Mega-Events in the Transformation of 21st Century Cities, London (United Kingdom) - Organised by the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS) - go to the web page
  • 13-14 September 2012 Competition and Innovation in Tourism: New Challenges in an Uncertain Environment, Naples (Italy) - Organised by the National Research Council/IRAT and the University of Huelva - go to the web page
  • 13-14 September 2012 International Conference on Tourism, Climate Change and Sustainability, Bournemouth (United Kingdom) - Organised by the Bournemouth University - go to the web page
  • 17-19 September 2012 ESTC 2012 Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference, Monterey (USA) - Organised by the International Ecotourism Society (TIES) - go to the web page
  • 27 September 2012 European Tourism Day 2012, Brussels (Belgium) - Organised by the European Commission - go to the web page
  • 27 September 2012 World Tourism Day 2012, Maspalomas (Spain) - Organised by UNWTO - go to the web page
  • 7-10 October 2012 4th European Congress on Rural Tourism 'Innovative Tourism - New Life for Rural Areas', Piatra Neamţ (Romania) - Organised by the European Federation for Farm and Village Tourism (EUROGITES) - go to the web page
  • 16-19 October 2012 World Social Tourism Conference, Essaouira (Morocco) - Organised by the International Social Tourism Organisation  (ISTO)- go to the web page
  • 27 November 2012 11th FEMIP Conference "Towards Sustainable Tourism in the Mediterranean", Marseille (France) - Organised by the European Investment Bank - go to the web page


If you want to promote your projects and initiatives through Jlag's newsletter, email to:

You are receiving this newsletter because you are registered in our database. unsubscribe .