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Tourism Around Europe
jlag newsletter issue n. 6 Friday 14 December 2012
A conversation with...
Tourism Observatory
Funding opportunities
On our bookshelf
The European Tourism Agenda

Welcome to this issue of Tourism Around Europe.

International tourism has continued to grow in 2012, despite global economic uncertainty, to reach over one billion international tourist arrivals. Yesterday (13 December 2012), the symbolic arrival date of the one-billionth tourist has been celebrated by the World Tourism Organization with the One Billion Tourists One Billion Opportunities. The figure cements tourism’s position as one of the world’s largest economic sectors, and this is encouraging for destinations and businesses. At EU level the growth of the tourism sector has been crucial for many countries, offering employment opportunities and a considerable revenue stream.

We are are very pleased to have interviewed for our "A conversation with" section two key women who work at the European Commission, the main EU institution for the tourism sector. We have talked with Ms. Francesca Tudini, Head of the Tourism Unit and Mrs. Iuliana Aluas, Policy Officer. The Tourism Unit, which is under Directorate General Enterprise and Industry, includes almost 20 people. Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty the Tourism Unit has implemented many actions, such as the 50.000 tourists initiative and European thematic itineraries, with the scope to promote Europe as unique destination. This year it has also been launched the first European promotional campaign "Europe, whenever you are ready".

Behind this promising picture, more needs to be done in the way how fundings are planned and managed, as the Committee of Regions has recently pointed out. The 2013 opens many opportunities in terms also of fundings. The new financial framework 2014-20 is approaching, and Member States, regions and local authorities are called to decide initiatives and actions. We do hope sustainable tourism will be a priority and that the new financial framework will support the creation of a vibrant tourism industry.

We wish you a very Happy New Year and holiday time.

Silvia Barbone
Jlag Managing Director

The next “Tourism Around Europe” newsletter will be issued in March 2013

« 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...

Ms. Francesca Tudini, Head of the Tourism Unit at the European Commission, and Mrs. Iuliana Aluas, Policy Officer


The ratification and implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon has brought about an increased role for the European Commission within the area of tourism. We would be very pleased to know more about your Unit. Which is its main role? Which are the main objectives and activities? Which are the main interdependencies with other EC Units and the European Parliament?

“Since 2010, I am the Head of the Tourism Policy Unit which has as a main role to ensure the proper foundations for the European tourism policy, stressing those factors which determine its competitiveness, while taking account of the need for sustainable development”, Ms. Tudini says. "The European Commission's mission in tourism is in fact clearly delineated by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This mission is to support, coordinate and complement action by the Member States in the tourism field, amongst others, by promoting the competitiveness of undertakings in this sector and creating an environment conducive to their development. This is best done by encouraging cooperation between the Member States, particularly through the exchange of good practice, encouraging partnerships at all levels across the sector and incentivising pan-European and transnational tourism joint ventures and initiatives. All these, on the background of an integrated approach to tourism which ensures that the sector is taken into account in other EU policies. As you can imagine, there is a big work to be done but luckily enough I have a small but brilliant team and I can count on excellent colleagues, like Iulia who is one of the strong assets of our group."

Mrs. Aluas explains that the "Tourism Policy Unit is not the only one to deal with the EU tourism policy. The Commission's tourism policy team has been in fact formally enlarged since October 2012 with a second Unit Tourism and Cultural Instruments. We are practically working in team and endeavour to promote the competitiveness and sustainability of European tourism through our various pan-European and transnational policy initiatives, to ensure that Commission policies and initiatives take into account the competitiveness and the sustainability of Europe’s tourism, to co-operate with the EU Member States, to promote and encourage collaboration with and amongst all European tourism stakeholders, and last but not least, to enhance the understanding and visibility of EU tourism.

full interview

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Ms. Francesca Tudini and Mrs. Iuliana Aluas
Tourism Observatory

 Tourism Quality Label in Europe: impact assessment under different possible options

Is the European Quality Label considered a threat or an opportunity? The EC has published a research where the main aim is to clarify the opportunities and challenges embedded in a possible EU action in the Tourism Quality Label topic, and assess the potential added value of a Commission initiative in this field. The principal findings emerged included that numerous quality labels were created in the tourism sector both by public authorities and private organizations with a remarkable fragmentation and inconsistency in criteria; businesses under a quality label scheme enjoy an overall increase in their quality; stakeholders mostly agree that the current situation is confusing for both businesses and consumers as well as a proposed initiative could improve upon the status quo and positively contribute to the competitiveness of the European tourism sector. It is remarked by stakeholders that any initiative should include criteria related to the functioning of the schemes, the frequency of monitoring, and the establishment of a complaint-handling mechanism, bottom-up, complementary to existing schemes, voluntary, free of charge and simple. The research finally analyzes different scenarios and provides some options based on maximise the potential impact on competitiveness and limit the marginalisation of micro-enterprises.

The Preparatory study is available here

Study on the impact of EU policies and the measures undertaken in their framework on tourism

The DG Enterprise & Industry has published a study which examines the impact of different EU policies, and their legislative and non-legislative initiatives, on tourism and its competitiveness. The study indicates a number of challenges for the industry, including: different degrees of implementation of business regulation, taxation, social; security among Member States and sub-sectors; different impacts of legislation across sub-sectors and depending on the size of companies, with particular emphasis on micro-enterprises; the seasonality of tourism activity; uneven regional development and an insufficiently skilled workforce. The study gives also recommendations for the mainstreaming of tourism under other policy areas which can be summarised following three axes: stimulate competitiveness in the tourism sector, promote the development of sustainable, responsible and high quality tourism and consolidate the image and profile of Europe as a collection of sustainable and high-quality destinations.

 The Study is available here

Consultation on challenges in the maritime and tourism sector: Results available

With more than 2.36 million people employed, coastal and maritime tourism represents 1.1% of the total EU employment. In addition, around 51% of bed capacity in hotels across Europe is concentrated in regions with a sea border, highly contributing to the economy of these regions. Aware of this potential, the European Commission is currently developing a strategy for this touristic sub-sector. This strategy has included a participatory process of interested stakeholders who have provided relevant inputs from different perspectives throughout the public consultation “"Challenges and Opportunities for Coastal and Maritime Tourism in Europe". According to the majority of the participants in the consultation, non-beach related tourism activities, seasonality and sustainability threats, lack of product diversification and innovation strategies are the main issues to take into account the strategy. Finally, most of the stakeholders realize the need for a strategy which protects the physical and natural environment of coastal regions by supporting sustainable economic and social measures whilst mitigating adverse impacts.

The consolidation results of the consultation are available here 

NECSTouR Regions achieve higher performances than competition on environmental criteria

NECSTouR is the Network of European Region for a Sustainable and Competitive Tourism gathering 28 Tourism Regional Authorities associated to 30 representatives of the academic and business sectors. Fourteen NECSTouR Regions from France, Italy and Spain were analysed from the global TRAVELSAT© Competitive Index survey, an innovative instrument to perform independent benchmarking on destinations' quality and sustainability competitiveness using standard metrics related to tourists' experience and satisfaction. Based on a global sample of 4800 + interviews among international tourists, the survey revealed NECSTouR Regions achieve stronger performances than competition on environmental criteria, human hospitality indexes in NECSTouR Regions surpass the norms and show a 10% positive gap in terms of perceived Value For Money.

For further information, visit:

Chinese Outbound Travellers: a target market for Europe

The China Day 2012 conference was held last 22nd and 23rd November 2012 in Copenhagen (Denmark), inside the long-term Destination Europe 2020 strategy. The conference was a joint initiative of European Travel Commission (ETC), the European Commission (EC), VisitDenmark, Wonderful Copenhagen and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The conference highlighted the importance of the Chinese travel market for Europe. China is world’s fastest growing outbound market and will continue growing over the coming two decades. The conference offered an excellent opportunity to analyze the challenges to receive properly a market that is expected to produce 100 million outbound tourists a year by 2020 (WTO forecasts). It was revealed the difficulties that Chinese tourists willing to visit Europe have to affront such as visa restrictions, languages barriers, insecurity and lack of knowledge about the Chinese culture and customs from the European tourist sector. As output of this scenario, the European public and private sector committed to work together and share best practices in order to target the Chinese travellers and develop products to meet the real expectations of an increasingly travel market.

For more information, visit:


Train-to-Change project, CSR-Skills for Change Agents in European Tourism

The implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a quality feature that allows even small and medium-sized enterprises to meet future market requirements and enhance their competitiveness. The European policy increasingly encourages the tourism sector to conduct measures of social responsibility. Train to-change is a 2 years funded project by the European Commission which aims to create a European training concept of vocational education and training, incorporating the highly topical issue of Corporate Social Responsibility in tourism and providing sector-specific skills. Those skills will be obtained on the job with the support of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and as part of a CSR process of corporate development. Employees of tourism enterprises in Austria, Croatia, Germany, Italy and Spain will be trained as CSR managers in the context of their jobs in order to act as change agents. The CSR managers will introduce a CSR system in their companies and prepare a sustainability report. Some of these CSR managers undergo further training as CSR trainers to acquire the skills to act as multipliers and contribute to further dissemination. A career-long training concept for the qualification of CSR managers will be tested in practice and disseminated in Europe through the partner network. The project is funded until September 2013.

Website: kate - Umwelt & Entwicklung 

For more information, email to Ute Rössle, kate - Umwelt & Entwicklung:

IPOT – International Project of ornithological tourism in protected areas in the Mediterranean Basin 2011-13

During the last World Migratory Bird Day 2012, UNEP strongly remarked Bird-Watching ecotourism can play an important role in a Green Economy. The Mediterranean basin is located in a strategic geographical position along the flyways of migrant birds between Europe and Africa-Middle East, and offers extraordinary conditions for birding. “The growth of bird watching in the Mediterranean is tied directly to increased economic opportunities in rural areas with important natural values. However the professionalism in these areas has not always been accompanied by proper planning and tourism development”. “The IPOT project aims to strengthen the professional ornithological tourism sector, standardizing training criteria and standards to improve its competitiveness while ensuring the sustainability of economic activity in the region”. Funded under the Leonardo da Vinci programme, “the project is based on expand, adapt and transfer the main results of a previous project iberaves, to train professionals in the tourism sector into bird-watching tourism services, in different countries of the Mediterranean basin. In addition, expand and improve the on-line course for transfer to other sectors such as professionals working in the Biosphere Reserves in all Mediterranean countries participating in the project (Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus) and prepare all these results to be assimilated by other Mediterranean countries”.

Website: SEO/BirdLife - Turismo Ornitológico

For more information, email to Cristina Sánchez, SEO/BirdLife International:

A data infrastructure for digital cultural heritage: characteristics, requirements and priority service

The European amount of digitized material is growing very rapidly thanks to national, regional and European programmes which support the digitization processes by Museums, Libraries, Archives, Archaeological sites and Audiovisual repositories. The generation of digital cultural heritage is accelerated also by the impulse of the Europeana platform that is fostering the European cultural institutions to produce even more digital content. Moreover digital cultural heritage content is complex and interlinked through many relations. European countries are working for the future, in order to create a data infrastructure devoted to cultural heritage research. Two twin-projects were completed in the last years, DC-NET and INDICATE, and a new international coordination action named DCH-RP was launched this year 2012 to design a validated Roadmap for the preservation of digital cultural content. While approaching digital solutions and technologies, the digital cultural heritage sector also needs platforms to share best practices, develop cooperation and be visible to the world. contributes to this scope. It is a collaborative and communication platform open to world-wide contribution, run by the technical coordinator of DC-NET, INDICATE and DCH-RP. These initiatives are contributing to smooth the way to the Open Science Infrastructure for Digital Cultural Heritage which is foreseen in 2020.

For more information, email to Antonella Fresa, Promoter S.r.l.:

Funding opportunities

Life Long Learning Programme Sub-Programmes:
Comenius, Erasmus, Grundtvig, Leonardo da Vinci
Multilateral Projects, Networks, Accompanying Measures

Deadline: 31/01/2013

Deadline: 05/02/2013

The Ocean of Tomorrow 2013
Deadline: 07/02/2013 

Deadline: 28/02/2013

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Tools for a common governance and sustainable fisheries management: fostering collaborative research between scientists and stakeholders
Deadline for submission of proposals: 28/02/2012

Life Long Learning Programme
Transversal Programme:
KA1 (Policy Co-operation and Innovation) KA2 (Languages), KA3 (ICT), KA4 (Dissemination and exploitation of results)
Multilateral Projects, Networks, Accompanying Measures

Deadline: 28/02/2013

Funding for Higher Education Institutions and Other Bodies
Sixth Call for Proposals, Tempus IV
Deadline: 26/03/2013

LIFE+ 2013 call for proposals
The Financial Instrument for the Environment
Publication: 14/02/2013
Deadline: 25/06/2013


QualityCoast Award
Organised by the Coastal and Marine Union - EUCC
Deadline : 07/01/2013

VisitEngland Awards for Excellence
Organised by the VisitEngland
Deadline: 11/01/2013

Access City Award 2013
On 3 December 2012 Berlin (Germany) was proclaimed as the winner
Organized by European Commission - DG Justice

On our bookshelf

“Global Report on Women in Tourism 2010”, published in 2011, is the first attempt to map the participation of women in the tourism industry worldwide and it is still currently reference to work on this topic. “In the context of responsible tourism and local development, this study seeks to demonstrate that tourism can act as a vehicle for the empowerment of women. With a particular focus on developing countries, the Report is divided into five thematic strands: Employment, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Education and Community. The study's findings confirm that women make up a large proportion of the global tourism sector, which offers a wide range of opportunities for their economic empowerment. However, upon closer inspection, the Report finds that women are concentrated in low-skill, low-paid and precarious work in tourism”.

The report was developed by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and UN Women together.

You can download the report for free at:

The European Tourism Agenda

15 January 2013, Prospect 2013, London (United Kingdom)
Organized by Tourism Society – go to the web

22 – 25 January 2013 eTourism Conference, Innsbruck (Austria)
Organized by International Federation for Information Technology and Travel & Tourism (IFITT) – go to the web

25 – 28 January 2013 International Association Tour Managers International Weekend, Dublin (Ireland)
Organized by IATM – go to the web

30 January – 3 February FITUR 2013 International Tourism Trade Fair, Madrid (Spain)
Organized by IFEMA – go to the web

14 - 16 February The International Conference on Tourism, Transport, and Logistics 2013, Paris (France)
Organize by - Suan Dusit Rajabhat University (Thailand), Le Harve University (France); Kellogg College, University of Oxford; Lincoln University (New Zealand) and Institute for Tourism Studies (Macao) – go to the web

15-17 February 2013 International Tourism Exchange (BIT),
Milan (Italy)
Organized by Fiera Milano – go to the web

21 February 2013 International Study Day "When tourism questions memory ", Brussels (Belgium)
Organized by Tourisme Autrement, asbl – go to the web (in French)

22 February 2013 Conference on European Tourism System of Indicators for Sustainable mnagement at destination level, Brussels (Belgium)
Organize by The University of Surrey – go to the web

5 – 6 March 2013 World Forests Summit, Stockholm (Sweden)
Organized by The Economist Events – go to the web

6 – 10 March 2013 ITB Berlin,Berlin (Germany) – go to the web

6 – 10 March 2013 The 13th Global Summit, Abu Dhabi
Organized by World Travel & Tourism Council – go to the web

25 - 27 March 2013 3rd Partners Symposium and Annual Conference of Partners, Bonn (Germany)
Organized by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism – go to the web

29 – 31 March 2013 International Forum for Responsible Tourism, Bucharest (Romania)
Organized by Romanian Academy and the Amphitheatre Foundation - go to the web

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