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Tourism Around Europe
jlag newsletter issue n. 2 Thursday 15 December 2011
A conversation with...
Tourism Observatory
Funding opportunities
The European Tourism Agenda

Welcome to the second issue of « Tourism Around Europe » - 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.

We are very proud to launch the second issue of our newsletter  with a conversation with Taleb Rifai, the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). He illustrates the main challenges of Tourism Towards 2030 and the main strategies that the European Union should follow to make tourism a driver for growth in Europe.

In the last three months, the European Union has implemented a series of actions intended to increase the competitiveness, the quality and the sustainability of the tourism sector. The Report of Carlo Fidanza MEP on "Europe - the world's No 1 tourist destination - a new political framework for tourism in Europe" had been approved by the European Parliament. Given the cross-cutting nature of tourism, the Report calls for an integrated approach with a view to developing synergies both between the different sectoral policies and the various financing instruments.

I warmly wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2012 for the European Tourism.

Silvia Barbone
Jlag Managing Director

A conversation with...

the UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai

"By 2030, 1.8 billion tourists will be crossing international borders" says the UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai answering to Jlag interview. "For Europe, this growth will translate into 13 million new travelers every year. To benefit from this major opportunity - he underlines - European destinations will need to continue to shape the conditions conducive to tourism growth. These include supportive national policies determining a tourism-friendly environment; a private sector at the forefront of technological developments and innovation; travel facilitation, including facilitating border crossings and visa procedures; investments in infrastructure and product development; and an eye trained on quality, marketing, human resources and market trends, as market knowledge will be key to “attracting” an ever more demanding customer".

full interview...

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Tourism Observatory

European Parliament approves a resolution on Tourism in Europe

On September 27, during the plenary session in Strasbourg, the European Parliament voted the Report of Carlo Fidanza MEP on Europe – the worlds’ No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe. On the resolution, the Members of the European Parliament propose to create a ‘Europe Brand’ to promote Europe as a whole worldwide as a tourist destination; at the same time, they advocate for a greater quality European tourism, calling on the Commission to assess the feasibility of a ‘European quality tourism label’.

European Heritage Label

On November 16, the European Parliament and the Council adopted a decision establishing a European Union action for the European Heritage Label.
From 2013 a voluntary heritage label may be granted to symbolic sites for Europe's history or integration. The label will guarantee the quality of selected sites, such as monuments, natural, submerged, archaeological, industrial or urban sites, cultural landscapes, places of remembrance, cultural goods and objects or intangible heritage associated with a place. 

'Destination Europe' - Agreement between the EC and the European Travel Commission

The European Commission and the European Travel Commission signed a Joint Declaration at the European Tourism Forum in Krakow (5-7 October 2011) to promote the image of Europe as tourism destination. Six key areas of collaboration are outlined in this declaration. They include the promotion of ‘Destination Europe’ in long-haul markets, the use of the ‘Europe – a never ending journey’ brand outside Europe and the development of pan-European cultural routes and thematic tourism products.

EU/Israel: cooperation agreement on tourism

Two joint statements of intent to improve cooperation in the fields of space and tourism have been signed between the EC and Israel. The joint declaration on tourism recognises the importance of this sector for growth and expresses the desire to strengthen bilateral tourism cooperation. Several actions have been agreed in order to facilitate tourism flows by promoting travel in the respective low seasons, thereby optimising the use of available spare airline and accommodation capacity. 

T20 - Declaration on the role of tourism in driving economic growth

The Declaration, adopted during the 3rd T20 Ministers’ Meeting (Paris, 25 October 2011) underlines the key role played by tourism for the prosperity of the global economy. The document stresses the importance of encouraging the sustainable development and decent work in tourism, by guaranteeing an institutional, fiscal and economically favourable framework to this sector.

Tourism trends in the Mediterranean countries

Eurostat published a Pocketbook on Euro-Mediterranean statistics (2011 edition); the publication presents a series of key statistical data for nine non-EU Mediterranean partners (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, occupied Palestinian territory, Syria and Tunisia) and comparative EU aggregates. One of the key theme analysed is tourism. The document includes, among others, data on: hotels average size, arrivals, departures of residents going abroad.

Green Tourism Report: investing in energy and resource efficiency

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has recently published the Green Economy Report which is the result of a three-year global research involving hundreds of experts and economists worldwide. The Report includes a chapter on tourism, developed in partnership with the World Tourism Organization; the document underlines the importance for investing in the greening of tourism and provides guidance on how to mobilize such investments.


Strengthening tourism flows between South America and Europe

The European Commisison is promoting Europe as a tourism destination through an initiative called "50.000 tourists" aiming at developing tourist flows between South America and the European Union by making use of available spare airline and accomodation capacity during the low seasons. Under this initiative, a Joint Declaration between the EC and the Federative Republic of Brazil has been signed.

Together to "PRESERVE" European culture and heritage

Many examples show that poorly planned branding of landscape and cultural heritage assets can be a threat to the beauty and diversity of the European territory. For this reason European regions must be careful when developing their cultural heritage strategies. If they want to fully benefit from their tourism assets, they must think in sustainable terms and use the right indicators. In order to respond to this issue the PRESERVE project was conceived. 

PRESERVE aimed to improve the effectiveness of regional policies, specifically focusing on cultural heritage and landscape policies. The project attempted to raise the awareness of local and regional representatives on sustainable tourism and to illustrate how certain measures could be taken on a policy level. This was done through a mutual learning process among the 14 regions involved in the project and through the exchange of good practices, shared problems and development of solutions to find new, innovative approaches to sustainable tourism.

Snowball to better business - Entrepreneurs learning from each other within Europe

Snowball to better business –project funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Programme and coordinated by the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (Finland) aims at providing an opportunity for new SME entrepreneurs in the tourism sector to learn from more experienced ones within Europe.

New entrepreneurs learn about markets, management, innovation in their chosen European country. They also receive practical and financial assistance such as match-making, issuing contracts, induction before going abroad, logistical and local support during the stay, and a European Union grant to the travel and subsistence costs during their stay abroad (1-6 months). Experienced tourism entrepreneurs establish new networks, get a fresh view on their own business operations through the interrogative questions of new European entrepreneurs, access to new skills and innovative knowledge provided by the new entrepreneur, and find new collaborators from Europe.

For more information, email to:

New initiative on Mountain Tourism

The Province of Avellino (Italy) has launched a new initiative called "Osservatorio Europa" to implement a series of actions aimed at promoting the territory as a mountain tourism destination. Jlag is coordinating this initiative and it would be very pleased to connect with international experiences around the theme "mountain tourism". 

If you are interested, email to:

Funding opportunities

ENPI CBCMEDsecond call for standard projects
The second call for standard projects will be launched in December 2011. An amount of € 38 million is indicatively allocated to the call.

Reform of Higher Education through International University Cooperation 
fifth call for proposals
The deadline for submission of applications is 23/02/2012

LIFE + - 2012 call for proposals
The 2012 call for proposal will be published between the 15 February 2012 and the 15 March.

INTERREG IV Bthird call for proposals
Deadline for submission of applications: 02/03/2012

EC Implementation Rolling Plan of the Communication on Tourism 2010
The European Commission developed the Rolling Plan for the Implementation of the 2010 EC Communication “Europe, the world’s N° 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe”. The Implementation Plan will be updated regularly.

EU Action Plan to improve the access to finance for SMEs
The European Commission is presenting a strategy to promote better access to finance for SMEs with an EU Action Plan which includes increasing financial support from the EU budget and the European Investment Bank and a proposal for a regulation setting uniform rules for the marketing of venture capital funds.

Some news about the new EU financial framework 2014-2020
The European Commission presented its proposals for the multi-annual budget 2014-2020. The proposals will be discussed by the Council and the European Parliament during 2012-2013. The most relevant to the tourism sector:

Creative Europethe new EU program proposed for the cultural and creative sectors. The proposed budget for the period 2014-2020 is €1.8 billion.

Erasmus for All - the new programme proposed by the European Commission for education, training, youth and sport. The overall budget is €19 billion.

Programme for the Competitiveness of enterprises and SMEs (COSME) - With a budget of € 2.5 billions over the period 2014-2020, COSME is a funding instrument, which is largely continuing the activities under the current Competitiveness and Innovation programme (CIP).

Horizon 2020the EU new funding programme for research and innovation. The proposed budget for the period 2014-2020 is €80 billion

The European Tourism Agenda
  • 18 - 22 January 2012 International Tourism Trade Fair FITOUR 2012, Feria de Madrid (Spain) - UNWTO activities at FITOUR - go to the web page
  • 24 – 27 January 2012 ENTER 2012 'eTourism Present and Future Services and Applications', Helsingborg (Sweden) - go to the web page
  • 25 January 2012 Open Conference on the European Tourism Quality Label, Brussels (Belgium) - go to the web page
  • 15 – 16 Febraury 2012 The 2012 Athens Tourism Symposium - International Scientific Congress on Current Trends in Tourism Management and Tourism Policy, Athens (Greece) - go to the web page
  • 16 February 2012 - Urban Forum 2012, Brussels (Belgium) - go to the web page
  • 25 – 27 February 2012 5th WSEAS International Conference on Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Cambridge (UK) - go to the web page
  • 07 – 11 March 2012 ITB Berlin (Germany) - go to the web page
  • 22 – 24 March 2012 1st Belgrade International Tourism Conference : Contemporary Tourism - Wishes & Opportunities, Belgrade (Serbia) - go to the web page


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