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Tourism Around Europe
jlag newsletter issue n. 5 Wednesday 19 September 2012
A conversation with...
Tourism Observatory
Funding opportunities
On our bookshelf
The European Tourism Agenda

Welcome to Tourism Around Europe newsletter.

With this issue we celebrate the first Tourism Around Europe anniversary, and  we are so glad to see that more people are sharing our passion for the tourism and travel industry within a European perspective. On the occasion of the first anniversary, we have interviewed MEP Carlo Fidanza, former Rapporteur of the European Tourism Strategy. He talks with us  about  the new European Tourism Task Force, Structural funds and the new funding programme COSME

In this issue we approach several topics: Green Growth and Blue Growth, Cycle Tourism, Accessible Tourism, Sustainable Tourism, Quality Labels. European tourism grows at policy and planning level: the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in protected areas has been adopted by one hundred parks, a new framework for the development of a macro-regional strategy in the Mediterranean has been designed, the Communication on Blue Growth  has been adopted by the European Commission, a new study on cycle tourism and Eurovelo has been published. The European Tourism Day and the World Tourism Day are coming, they are an important opportunity to reassess and start to focus on plans for the 2013.

Thanks to  a new partnership with Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President of ICTP (the International Council of Tourism Partners) we will disseminate Tourism Around Europe behind the continent and thanks to our partner Touring Club Italiano (TCI) we have launched Tourism Around Europe in Italy within the TCI magazine "La Rivista del Turismo".
This anniversary is a great opportunity to thank all our readers and followers: those who commented, sent emails, corrected us, shared our work. We wish to thank all the senior tourism leaders, Mr. Antonio Tajani, Mr. Taleb Rifai, Mr. Gérard Ruiz, Mr. Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, Mr. Carlo Fidanza for supporting us with dedicated interviews.

We have realized we have not interviewed any woman yet, this is a big issue…

I wish to all of you a very good start after the summer.

Silvia Barbone
Jlag Managing Director

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

« 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.

photo by Nicola Marra de Scisciolo
A conversation with...

MEP Carlo Fidanza, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament Tourism Task Force, former Rapporteur of the European Tourism Strategy

Jlag had the pleasure to interview Mr. Carlo Fidanza, Member of the European Parliament and former Rapporteur of the European Tourism Strategy. He talks about the new European Tourism Task Force, the next European Tourism Day, structural funds and the main challenges for the EU in the tourism sector for the next multiannual financial framework 2014-2020.

Mr. Carlo Fidanza focuses on seasonality and maritime tourism, as main themes of the next European Tourism Day. He underlines that "Combating seasonality is one of our priorities" adding that "It is impossible, especially in a period of crisis, to guarantee continuity to enterprises working few weeks in a year. We must create a new tool after Calypso preparatory action, improve exchanges  with BRIC countries (Brasil, Russia, India, China) during the low season, increasing private investments in the field of accessibility to allow many people with different needs to travel all the year".

Mr. Fidanza illustrates the opportunities for local authorities and SMEs from the tourism sector within the multi-annual financial framework 2014-2020. He specifies that "(...) the EC has proposed a new program called 'COSME' (for the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises). This financial tool is addressed to small and medium enterprises and, according to the original proposal of the European Commission, it should support specific projects in the field of tourism too".

full interview

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Carlo Fidanza
Tourism Observatory

EC Communication on Blue Growth

In the Communication on 'Blue Growth', adopted by the European Commission on the 13th of September 2012, maritime, coastal and cruise tourism is identified as one of the sectors that could deliver sustainable growth and jobs in the blue economy in Europe. The document indicates measures to be undertaken to boost the sector: public administrations should take a strategic approach to investments in enabling infrastructures such as port facilities and transport; higher education courses should deliver skills needed to maintain and increase market share; tourism offer during the low-season should be improved as well as the environmental impact of coastal tourism. The Commission will shortly begin an assessment of further specific measures to enhance the sector.

The document is available at:

The European Parliament disseminates a study on cycle tourism

The European Parliament has published a research which provides an overview of the cycle tourism market across Europe and seeks to evaluate the potential for development.
The report concentrates on EuroVelo, a European cycle route network which seeks to offer a sustainable Trans-European Network. We learn that the nature of cycle tourism fits well with current EU policies on sustainable tourism but there are several barriers to its development. Obstacles are, for example, the lack of connection between transport modes, the low involvement of tour operators and tourism providers in cycle tourism and the lack of quality long distance cycle routes and networks. The study recognises the importance of developing a network in this field and provides a set of recommendations to strenghten the potential of Eurovelo.

The study is available at:

European charter for sustainable tourism in protected areas

One hundred parks have been certified in Europe within the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. The Charter is a practical management tool that enables protected areas to develop tourism sustainability. The EUROPARC Federation, that developed the Charter, recognizes the 100th area recently certified as a great achievement that will help other parks as a best practice. The certification process of the Charter is an in-depth developing mechanism involving all stakeholders from the public and private arena. 

For more information, visit the Charter website or write to:

Development of a macro-regional strategy in the Mediterranean

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has recognised the role of tourism industry in generating growth and providing employment in the Mediterranean countries. According to the EESC opinion, the promotion of tourism development is one of the pillars in identifying a strategy to Mediterranean macro-region. Special attention should be paid to cruise tourism, especially in the eastern Mediterranean, which is an area with a wealth of archaeological sites and cultural facilities. EESC puts also emphasis on the need to promote cross-border cooperation to attract tourists in the region. A public hearing will be organised by the EESC in Larnaka (Cyprus) on September, 26 to collect practical inputs from representatives of civil society, local and regional authorities on what would constitute key elements of a successful macro-regional strategy in the Mediterranean.

The document is available at:

Winter season tourism trends 2011-2012

In the 2011-12 winter season (November to April), tourism recorded positive growth rates in most of the EU and EFTA countries, compared to the same period in 2010-11. This is revelead by an analysis recently published by Eurostat. In terms of nights spent in hotels and similar establishments, tourism in the European Union increased by 2.6%, compared with the same period of the previous year. Latvia registered the highest increase (+11.4%). Almost three-quarters of the total nights in hotels and similar establishments in the EU-27 were spent in five countries: Germany (17.5 %), Spain (16.3 %), France (14.3 %), Italy (13.5 %) and the United Kingdom (12.2 %). The most popular destinations for tourists travelling outside their own country during the winter season 2011-2012 were Spain, Italy and Austria.

Data is available at:


How to compare sustainability labels in tourism

The great variety of quality labels admittedly causes confusion among the general public. Currently, tourism boasts more than 100 quality labels worldwide. The small stickers with green leaves, radiant suns or blue flags are displayed at hotel entrances, tourism offices or at the entrance gates to camping sites. A new brochure informing about sustainability labels for travel products has been produced thanks to a joint effort of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. 

The guide represents a tool for comparing the main characteristics and quality features of well-known sustainability labels in tourism. It helps tourists to select holiday options that are designed to respect human rights, that go easy on the environment and are of palpable use to the local population in the regions visited. The brochure has been compiled with the assistance of the European Union, Austrian Development Cooperation (OEZA) and the Austrian Life Ministry. The English version of the “Guide” is available at and

For more information, email to Karin Chladek, Naturefriends International (NFI):

European Training Certificate - Access for All in the Tourism Sector

One of the key areas where tourism businesses can improve their competitiveness is in "accessible tourism", catering especially for disabled persons, senior travellers and their families. Studies have shown that the market size for accessible tourism in Europe is at least 127 million persons with a value of 89 Billion Euro a year. Yet the demand for accessible accommodation, venues and services far outweighs the supply.

To address this problem, partners from ENAT, the European Network for Accessible Tourism carried out the ETCAATS project, co-financed under the EU’s Leonardo programme. The project produced an on-line course for tourism managers and staff, which explains how businesses can win a share of this market by understanding the specific needs of these customers and adjusting their offers and services to cater for them. The free-of-charge course is offered at ETCAATS partners also carried out research on how to integrate accessible tourism skills in Vocational and Educational Training Systems (VETs), providing a “roadmap” for a common EU certification framework that can help to define and recognise future qualifications in this area.

For more information, visit ETCAATS project website, the facebook page or email to:

Discover Media Pianura Lombarda through "slow travel"

The Association “Pianura da Scoprire” is managing the project “Discovering Media Pianura Lombarda” cofinanced as strategic project 2011 by Fondazione Cariplo and Regione Lombardia. The aim is to let tourists rediscover Media Pianura Lombarda, an area located in Italy, in the Provinces of Bergamo, Cremona, Lodi and Milan.

Within the project, Jlag is in charge of a feasibility study whose aim is to map cycle routes in the 37 municipalities located in the area. The map will be used as a tool to create cycle tourism itineraries based on different themes (nature, gastronomy, religious places, fortresses). Jlag is carrying out a research to investigate the potential demand of cycle tourism in Media Pianura Lombarda.

We invite Italian-speaking cycle tourists to fill the questionnaire available at: http//

For further information and suggestions please contact us at

Town twinning project ‘European Citizens for Sustainability’

A new project, ‘European Citizens for Sustainability’ (EC4S) has been financed by the European Commission within the Progamme ‘Europe for Citizens’. EC4S will promote a first direct exchange between the citizens of the Municipality of Cassano Irpino (Italy) and the Municipality of Râşnov (Romania). Citizens of both municipalities will participate in town twinning activitites that will take place in Cassano Irpino in October 2012.

Through a 6 days meeting, citizens from the two towns will interact, debate, share their views and experiences on topics related to sustainability. Sustainability will be discussed around four macro-areas: efficient and sustainable water use; renewable energy; sustainable tourism in rural areas; the role of senior and young citizens in preserving the local tangible and intangible heritage in rural communities. The meeting will be also an occasion to officially sign a twinning declaration and a future engagement of collaboration between the two towns.

Jlag has assisted the two muncipalities in developing the project. For more information, you can write us at:

Funding opportunities

Mapping the skills and training needs to improve accessibility in tourism services
Call for tenders
DG Enterprise and Industry
Deadline is 28/09/2012

Assisting the integration in EURES of dedicated sections for tourism industry sub-sectors
Call for tenders
DG Enterprise and Industry
Deadline is 05/10/2012

Mapping and performance check of the supply of accessible tourism services
Call for tenders
DG Enterprise and Industry
Deadline is 09/10/2012

Culture Programme - deadline extended
Call for proposals 2012
Education, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency

7FP Environment 2013 - one stage
Call for proposals
DG Research and Innovation
Deadline is 16/10/2012

7FP Environment 2013 - two stage
Call for proposals
DG Research and Innovation
Deadline is 16/10/2012

Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP)
Call for proposals 2013
Education, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency
Deadline is January/February 2013

For the LLP calls 2013, Jlag would be very pleased to connect with any best practice in the vocational and education training system in the field of tourism. If you are interested, email to:  


Nominations open for UNWTO Ulysses and Lifetime Achievement Awards
Organised by UNWTO
Deadline is 21/09/2012

Europa Nostra and EU cultural heritage prize
Organised by Europa Nostra and the European Union
Deadline is 01/10/2012

European Projects Awards
Organised by the European Projects Association, the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Academy for Education and Social Research
Deadline is 15/10/2012

Tourism for Tomorrow Awards
Organised by the World Travel & Tourism Council
Deadline is 26/11/2012

On our bookshelf

Green growth and travelism

A new book “Green Growth and Travelism – Letters from Leaders” lays out a long term vision for the integration of Travel and Tourism with the broader societal shift to a green economy. Green Growth is described as the new global paradigm vision for a shift to a lower carbon, more resource efficient and fairer future. Travelism is the value chain linking visitor, industry, and local community, through a wide network of supplier industries, which is seen as a key driver.

Co-edited by our new partner, Professor Geoffrey Lipman, it includes essays by some 50 leaders inside and outside the sector, from around the world on key aspects of that integration - many are directly relevant to Europe.
European Voice recently ran a strong opinion-editorial based on one of the letters by EADS CEO Thomas Enders, raising critical questions around the lack of education systems in Europe, geared to produce skill sets for this green growth future and calling for use of increasing taxes and charges levied against the industry to be ploughed into actions to build tomorrows workforce.

See the European Voice article at and the book at

The European Tourism Agenda
  • 27 September 2012 European Tourism Day 2012: Seasonality - Maritime and Coastal Tourism, Brussels (Belgium) - Organised by the European Commission - go to the web page
  • 27 September 2012 World Tourism Day 2012 "Tourism & Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development", Maspalomas (Spain) - Organised by UNWTO - go to the web page
  • 07-10 October 2012 4th European Congress on Rural Tourism 2012, Piatra Neamt (Romania) - Organised by the European Federation for Farm and Village Tourism (EUROGITES) - go to the web page
  • 08-11 October 2012 Open Days 2012: 10th European Week of Regions and Cities, Brussels (Belgium) - Organised by the Committee of the Regions - go to the web page
  • 14-16 October 2012 5th European Heritage Days Forum, Nicosia (Cyprus) - Organised by the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union - go to the web page
  • 15-17 October 2012 20th Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference, Cairns (Australia) - Organised by Ecotourism Australia - go to the web page
  • 16 October 2012 Euromed Heritage 4 Programme: Conference on "Mediterranean heritage, a driver for development", Brussels (Belgium) - Organised by Meseuro and Euromed Heritage 4 - 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
  • 22-25 October 2012 Europarc 2012: (Re)Connecting Society with Biodiversity, Genk (Belgium) - Organised by the Europarc Federation - go to the web page
  • 25-26 October 2012 European Tourism Forum 2012, Nicosia (Cyprus) - Organised by the European Commission and the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union - go to the web page
  • 05-08 November 2012 World Travel Market, London (UK) - Organised by Reed Exhibitions - go to the web page
  • 14-16 November 2012 11th Global Forum on Tourism Statistics, Reykjavik (Iceland) - Organised by Eurostat and OECD - go to the web page
  • 15-17 November 2012 Cultural Heritage Protection in times of risk. Challenges and opportunities, Istanbul (Turkey) - Organised by Yildiz Technical University and ICOMOS ICORP - 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


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