The Council has adopted conclusions setting out a European Agenda for Tourism 2030, which includes a multi-annual EU work plan to help member states, public authorities, the Commission and stakeholders make the tourism sector greener and more sustainable, resilient and digitalized.
Since the age of Marco Polo, travelling and discovering new destinations has been crucial for human interaction and broadening our horizons. To ensure the competitiveness of this sector, which plays an integral part in our economies, we have presented a set of actions which will facilitate the transition to green and digital in tourism.
The EU is a top destination for both international visitors and its residents. However, the COVID-19 pandemic had a particularly devastating effect on the tourism ecosystem and has led to significant losses of income and jobs across Europe: around 11 million jobs in the EU tourism sector were affected by the pandemic in 2020.
Though the sector started to show signs of recovery, Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine has negatively impacted the provision and affordability of travel and hospitality services, for both European businesses and citizens. Increasing energy prices, high inflation and fuel costs also make travel more expensive.
For this reason, the European Agenda for Tourism 2030 emphasises the need to protect the tourism sector and, at the same time, develop a forward-looking vision to take advantage of the willingness of many Europeans to change their travel and tourism habits so as to become more sustainable and responsible.
Tourism makes a significant contribution to economic development across Europe and can help to achieve the objectives of various EU, national, regional and local policies thanks to its cross-cutting economic and social dimensions and the high ratio of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises operating directly or indirectly along the tourism value chain.
The Council conclusions on ‘Tourism in Europe for the next decade: sustainable, resilient, digital, global and social’, adopted by the Competitiveness Council on 27 May 2021, called on the member states and the Commission, in cooperation with stakeholders, to design a European Agenda for Tourism 2030/2050. These conclusions come in response to that request, containing an EU work plan with voluntary actions to be taken forward.