Europe is the world’s region most visited by tourists: in fact, six EU countries are in the world’s top ten

destinations for holiday-makers. Not surprisingly the sector is very important to the European economy. Tourism is a cross-cutting sector, involving a big diversity of services and professions, linked to many other economic activities and policy areas. Tourism is a dynamic and growing industry – turnover grew by about a quarter between 1999 and 2002. In 2004, foreign tourists spent more than 860 million nights in European accommodation. Mainly dominated by SMEs, it accounts for 4% of the Community’s GDP, with about 2 million enterprises employing about 4% of the total labour force (representing approximately 8 million jobs). When the links to other sectors are taken into account, the contribution of tourism to GDP is estimated to be around 11% and it provides employment to more than 12% of the labour force (24 million jobs). Besides growth and jobs creation, tourism plays an important role in the development of the vast majority of European regions. Infrastructure created for tourism purposes contributes to local development, and jobs are created or maintained even in areas in industrial or rural decline, or undergoing urban regeneration. Sustainable tourism plays a major role in the preservation and enhancement of the cultural and natural heritage in an ever expanding number of areas, ranging from arts to local gastronomy, crafts or the preservation of biodiversity. This led the Commission and the tourism stakeholders to work for the elaboration of a European Agenda 21 for Tourism A new policy approach is being developed, linking tourism to the demands of the Lisbon strategy, which seeks to stimulate European competitiveness and growth. the Commission further explains in its Communication that it seeks to improve "the way in which policy is made". This requires a policymaking containing all aspects. It will lead to a better coherence. Furthermore, it mentions in detail the problems that face a European sustainable development and that should be resolved by sustainable methods (e.g. climate change, land use, soil exhaustion or age poverty) European Parliament Fact Sheets 4.15.0. Tourism LEGAL BASIS The EC Treaty does not contain a specific chapter on tourism, but Article 3(u) of the Treaty does allow the Community to pass measures dealing with this area. Provisions on the free movement of people, goods and services, SMEs and consumer protection, as well as environmental, transport and regional policies, are all relevant to tourism, because of its multifarious nature. The measures taken in these policy areas can affect tourism within the Community, whether directly or indirectly. OBJECTIVES The EU tourism industry is made up of around 2 million companies, primarily small and medium-

Improving the quality of products and services related to tourism. acknowledged the importance of tourism for European integration and invited the Commission to make proposals. This discussed the current challenges to the industry. with the intention of bringing about a new . Many decisions made in the field of European transport policy thus affect tourists and tourism companies. When its close association with other economic sectors is taken into account. the cause of sustainable development of tourism activities was championed through the drawing-up and the implementation of a European Agenda 21 for tourism. and quality and the use of new technologies. Tourism is also a part of the larger environmental policy and this dimension has gained in significance over time. EU institutions and EU Member State governments. On the global stage. ACHIEVEMENTS A. Amongst these proposed measures. the tourism sector is an integral part of the European economy and thus measures are needed to help organise and develop it. which proposed the creation of an operational framework. One of the results of this strategy has been the annual European Tourism Forum.Furthering the exchange and dissemination of information. from the point of view of sustainability and competitiveness and through the improvement of information. By the end of 2001. Because of its economic weight.sized enterprises.: Transport Policy). . whether directly or indirectly (see Chapter 4. the EU has become increasingly aware of tourism's contribution to employment in Europe. held since 2002 with the participation of high-ranking representatives from the tourism industry.1. In its conclusions of 21 June 1999.Promoting environmental protection and the sustainable development of tourism. the 'sustainability in tourism' export group was set up in 2004. which predicted considerable growth until 2010. In November 2003 the Commission adopted the communication on 'Basic orientations for the sustainability of European tourism' (COM(2003) 716). the EU is the most important tourist region. training. It outlined a series of measures to boost the Community's contribution.Improving training and qualifications in the tourism sector. It contributes 4% of total GDP and employment (around 8 million jobs). General policy The first Council resolution on this subject. The creation of an efficient passenger transport system with high-quality and safe transport services is thus a prerequisite for the economic development of tourism. From a European perspective. Since 1997.5. the Commission had published a communication on 'Working together for the future of European tourism' (COM(2001)665). a plethora of measures and actions were proposed for the different stakeholders so as to safeguard the future of European tourism. on 28 April 1999 the Commission presented a communication on 'Enhancing tourism's potential for employment' [COM(1999)205]. . of 10 April 1984. The subsequent decision of 22 December 1986 established an advisory committee on tourism. To this end. On the basis of an expert group report on the growth and potential for employment of the tourism sector. Tourism generates considerable demand for transport services. the tourism policy is also a means of supporting general political goals in the fields of employment and growth. the Council identified four different action areas: . this figure becomes even higher. . On 17 March 2006. based on the method of open coordination between all stakeholders concerned. As a follow-up measure. the Commission published a communication on 'A renewed EU Tourism Policy: Towards a stronger partnership for European Tourism' (COM(2006)134).

important rules on the protection of air passenger rights were adopted (see* 4. In particular.the creation of a European Tourism Agency (resolutions of 15 December 1994 and 25 October 1996). it has called for: . The Commission also produced an internet guide on measures taken by the EU to promote tourism companies and tourist destinations. . Directive 2006/7/EC of 15 February 2006 on the quality of bathing water is equally relevant to the tourism policy. and also the promotion of tourism sustainability.European Tourism Policy to meet these.increased protection of tourists' interests: . such as the Council Recommendation of 22 December 1986 on fire safety in hotels and Directives 90/314/EEC on package tours and 94/47/EEC on timeshare properties. In the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe.).a special chapter on tourism to be written into the Treaty. protection from overbooking in hotels (resolution of 31 March 1998 on improving safety. . INTERREG and also the ESF playing an important role. Special measures 1. . greater civil liability of travel agencies and stricter criteria for granting operating licences (resolution of 15 December 1994). B. which created a general framework for Community measures in this area. aimed at harmonising the national methods used. . consumers' rights and trading standards in the tourism sector). Great store was also placed on the creation of a Community statistical information system.6. An initial two-year programme. . there is now a specific section on tourism.action against travel agencies. in particular proposals on optimising the use of EU financial instruments in the period 2007-2013. was introduced through Directive 95/57/EC of 23 November 1995. 2. compliance with Directive 90/314 on package travel. with programmes such as LEADER. The communication was based on the aforementioned Commission documents but included new aspects. projects supporting tourism or cultural heritage received increased support within the framework of the structural funds in the period 2000-2006. ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT The European Parliament has made vital contributions to the development of Community tourism and has often given momentum to concrete measures. airlines and hotel chains which encourage sex tourism (resolution . The EU tourism industry and companies within this sector were also supported by numerous other Community programmes. For tourists These included measures making it easier to cross borders and protecting health and safety as well as the material interests of tourists. when it was revised in 1996. For the tourist industry and the regions In light of the contribution made by tourism to regional development and employment. including EU programmes for SMEs. In the field of transport.5. The campaign against sex tourism involving children was the subject of a 1996 Commission communication (COM(96)547). on amending the existing regulations.

in its resolution on tourism and development of 8 September 2005. Parliament supported the Commission's approach and emphasised the need for an integrated approach to all political measures affecting tourism. on 8 September 2005 the European Parliament passed a resolution on New prospects and new challenges for sustainable European tourism'. . who whilst abroad committed illegal acts relating to the sexual exploitation of children. It also called for the development of a sustainable and competitive tourism industry. so as to make sure that all investments which are clearly damaging to the environment. education and culture) to work towards the harmonisation of the hitherto fragmentary nature of the measures taken and towards an integration of all Community programmes aimed at safeguarding the sustainable development of this sector. consisting of 70 paragraphs. available to all and geared towards quality. (b) safety in tourism. Parliament proposed the introduction of a certified European Fair Trade Tourism label to encourage ethical standards in tourism. (f) promotion of tourism at Community level. 2) ACT Communication from the Commission to the Council and European Parliament of 28 October 1998: "A European Community strategy to support the development of sustainable tourism in the developing countries" [COM(1998) 563 final/2 . environment. (d) awareness and promotion of European tourism. (g) coordination of regulations and (h) tourism in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe. regional policy. . the native way-oflife or the cultural heritage of the destination country are not supported.of 6 November 1997 on the Commission communication on combating child sex tourism). thus ensuring the positive contribution of this sector in the long term. the minimum labour standards as set out by the International Labour Organisation.Not published in the Official Journal].in its resolution on the future of European tourism of 14 May 2002.coordination of Community policies on the promotion of employment in the tourism industry with national employment policies as well as the improvement of quality and safety standards within the European tourism industry (resolution on tourism and employment of 18 February 2000). In the resolution of 30 March 2000 on the same topic. These aspects included: (a) competitiveness and quality of services. consumer protection. human rights. Furthermore. 3) SUMMARY Role of tourism Tourism has become a very important and dynamic sector both in the world economy and particularly in the developing countries. (c) new initiatives on sustainable tourism. employment. The European Parliament set out its position and demands on the different aspects of an EÚ tourism policy. On this point. social policy. Parliament requested Member States to introduce universally-binding extraterritorial laws. making it possible to legally pursue and punish people. 1) OBJECTIVE To establish a strategic framework for European Community (EC) activities in the tourism sector in developing countries in order to allow tourism to develop sustainably. . whilst taking into consideration the maximum number of tourists which each natural area or cultural site can take. . Its growth affects not only the activities directly linked to . It called for all European investments in the tourism industry of developing countries to be subject to the same regulations as those applicable to the granting of assistance within the European Union.likewise. Parliament stressed the need to reinvest the profits generated by tourism back into local development. it called for all the relevant Commission DirectoratesGeneral (transport. (e) tourism and transport.

Tourism is already an important sector in certain developing countries and will become so for others. Objectives and means The European Community has examined past activities in this area and has drawn some conclusions. are essential factors in attracting tourists and the public authorities are largely responsible for these areas. These will include establishing the necessary legal and institutional framework. However. the essential role of the public authorities must be taken into account. preserving the public heritage and improving infrastructures. The opportunities presented by this phenomenon must therefore be seized. As for the European Community. non-governmental organisations and the players involved at the various geographical levels (regional. supporting the development of human resources. Technical aid is also needed to improve the information and commercial organisation of the sector. However. the growth in this sector is reflected in its development policy and it is a significant donor in this area. both skilled and unskilled.). The EC's . and for those often marginalised in the labour market such as women. supporting the public authorities in planning and managing their policy in this area and also in ensuring effective monitoring. It allows jobs to be created for various levels of workers. The uncontrolled development of the sector risks its future being limited in the long term. The range must be extended by consulting more often the private sector. etc. The main objectives and support of the EC are aimed at: • encouraging the sustainable development of tourism Helping to establish the conditions favourable to sustainable development which will protect the environment and population. it must also be ensured that this sector does not develop in an uncontrolled manner threatening the natural environment and the social and cultural life of the country. security. The EC's strategy also tackles the problem of sex tourism involving children.tourism (mainly in the private sector) but also other sectors such as transport. helping to consolidate the role of industry in tourism in today's open and competitive market economy. including the following points: • • the activities have been too centred on the promotion of tourism and therefore the environmental and social aspects have been neglected. etc. • • Basic principles for implementing the strategy Tourism is a fragmented and complex sector which has close links with other sectors. good environmental management. A more comprehensive and coherent strategy is needed. Political stability. The EC will mainly provide technical aid to help the governments of the beneficiary countries implement policies encouraging the development of sustainable tourism. Cooperation in the private sector must be encouraged and direct support given to the SMEs which make a considerable contribution to this sector. The national tourism offices and the national tourism administrations have been the main contacts. local. Players Tourism is based almost solely in the private sector and involves both large enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). the choice of contacts has been too restricted.

the Commission highlights that differences still exist in the way environmental impact assessments (EIA's) are carried out across the EU. coordination and complementarity The strategy must be harmonised with other EC strategies and policies and must also be based on the Community acquis in tourism.or long-term aid. • • Coherence. Although there is a cost implication in compliance. encourage regional cooperation Regional cooperation may be very useful. the smaller the company. The development of the tourism sector will vary from one country to another. companies that do take action can benefit from lower energy bills and greater efficiency in their operations. For a comprehensive overview of the latest definition of SMEs in Europe. involve different players To this end." . However. The European Commission understands the pressures faced by small businesses and is taking action to help them. as it allows economies of scale to be made. There are a number of areas where action is being taken: • • • Minimising the administrative burden on companies Helping SMEs integrate environmental concerns into their businesses Supporting regional and national networks Commission report shows inadequate implementation of environment Directive In a report. The strategy should be based on the following principles: • define the support framework for the country in question. Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström said: "This report shows that Member States need to do more to properly implement the EIA Directive and it reveals what the weaknesses in implementation are. we recommend you visit the relevant Commission website.approach must be tailored to this complexity and to each country. It has proposed an Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme to make it easier for SMEs to comply with their obligations and improve their environmental performances. etc. Coherence must also be ensured between all the donors. at identifying the validity of tourist development. In general. particularly for the small countries. the EC should assume a leading role as it has a great deal of experience in this area and is the largest donor in this sector. common solutions to be found to common problems and it facilitates the exchange of good practices. The aid must also be targeted according to the level of development in the sector and the needs (short. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) traditionally find it harder to comply with environmental legislation than their larger counterparts. aid targeted to a sector or the adoption of a more global approach. a partnership must in particular be encouraged between the public administration and the private sector. the more difficult it is. The beneficiary countries will mainly be the developing countries which have cooperation agreements with the EC including this sector.). Presenting the report at a press conference in Brussels. in particular. The intervention of the EC must be from the bottom up in order to involve more players. co-financing agreements must be concluded between the EC and the beneficiary countries and local initiatives must be supported. published today. The strategy for the country will be based on an analysis of the sector aimed.

while ensuring that the Environment is protected. local and regional authorities and industry. A Scoreboard per sector and per Member State is available in the Annual Surveys on the implementation and enforcement of Community environmental law. Cohesion Fund projects and projects in excess of €50 million under the European Regional Development Fund. The others are nature.” Environmental impact assessment is one of the four sectors of Community environmental law where Member States have the worst implementation record. The only Member State with no current open cases is Denmark. The Fourth Annual Survey (2002) will be published in the coming weeks. The Member State with the biggest number of infringement procedures open at present is Spain. The Directive also enables citizens to voice their concerns and take part in the decision making process. setting too high thresholds for determining whether an EIA is needed. as a bureaucratic obstacle. It intends to do this by continuously monitoring the Directive's enforcement and by preparing guidance in consultation with Member States. Commission eager to tackle gaps The Commission is keen to improve implementation of the Directive and tackle implementation gaps.65% . most infringement cases . but some project developers still see them. It will also carry out targeted research and encourage capacity building programmes. which come within the scope of the EIA Directive have to comply with it.” The report emphasises that Member States have to step up implementation of the Directive. carrying out EIA only after having granted development consent. Commissioner Wallström underlines that an EIA can ensure that tax-payers' money is well spent: “For European citizens. all Member States have not yet transposed the amendment to the original EIA Directive although the deadline was more than four years ago. However. thorough EIA can simplify their lives by making decisions easier. The main types of infringement cases are: lacking or insufficient determination of whether EIA is necessary (“screening”). waste and water. about 30% of open infringement cases concern gaps identified by the Commission in national laws intended to transpose the Directive. An amendment to the EIA Directive is not currently on the agenda for several reasons. It is likely that the strong link with the EIA Directive will strengthen the administrative capacities of the respective authorities in the Member States in their assessment procedures and will complement in many cases the application and better implementation of the .concern bad application of the Directive in relation to individual projects. Second. First. In fact. wrongly. not covering all project categories required. Another reason is the adoption of the SEA Directive on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment that will have to be transposed by Member States by 21 July 2004. (Directive 2003/35/EC)) and which will have to be transposed by the Member States within two years from its entry into force.After fifteen years of application the EIA Directive is not yet fully implemented in all the Member States. Highlighting the importance of the EIA Directive and its potential benefits Commissioner Wallström said: “Environmental Impact Assessments has been a very useful tool for promoting environmental protection. This is one of the conclusions of the Commission's 5 Years Report “On the Application and Effectiveness of the EIA Directive (Directive 85/337/EEC as amended by Directive 97/11/EC): How successful are the Member States in implementing the EIA Directive?”. non-effective public consultation and non-compliance with the EIA in the development consent procedure. EIAs provide an assurance that Community money is well spent. the new Member States and stakeholders like NGOs. One is the recently adopted amendment that introduces additional obligations with regard to public participation and access to justice (in line with the Aarhus Convention.

listed in Annex II. carry out case-by-case examination or use a combination of these screening instruments. The inadequate incorporation of EIA results in development decisions Incomplete transposition of Directive 97/11 The Environmental Impact Assessment Directive This EIA Directive is an important part of EU environmental legislation. An amendment of the EIA Directive may be necessary in due course to further help implementation. before they are authorized. the aim being to ensure that all projects with likely significant impact on the environment are assessed. These include inter alia: “screening” (determining whether an EIA is required for a specific project). It requires Member States to carry out environmental impact assessments (EIA) on certain public and private projects. Directive may also reveal additional difficulties in environmental assessment practices that need to be taken into account in a future amendment of the EIA Directive.e. tourism and leisure activities. such assessments are obligatory. Member States must operate a screening system to determine which projects require assessment. Poor "scoping". This means that a certain project would be subject to an EIA in one Member State but not in another. “scoping” (identification of content of environmental impact study. Main findings The 5 Years Report examines key areas covered by the EIA Directive. For some projects.EIA Directive. For others. different numbers of EIAs carried out in the Member States. Implementation of the Strategic Environmental Assessment. Setting quality control systems is not an obligation deriving from the Directive itself but it is left to the Member States. The Report outlines nine shortcomings in the following areas: The unsystematic "screening" of Annex II projects. The Report also examines how Member States deal with EIA issues such as alternative options. such as construction of motorways. public participation and quality control. Wide variation between Member States in the criteria for "screening". such as urban development projects. They can apply thresholds or criteria. i. Annex II of the Directive lists the categories of projects that have to undergo an EIA if they are likely to have a significant impact on the environment. Variable levels of EIA activity between Member States. SEA. where it is believed that the projects are likely to have a significant impact on the environment. . Insufficient consideration of the cumulative effects of projects Processing of transboundary EIAs require more formal and informal consultation Poor quality control systems for the EIA process.EIS) and decision-making (authorising the project). "Scoping" is the process of identifying the content of environmental impact studies. airfields and nuclear power stations listed in an Annex I to the Directive.

Above all. The policy document promoting sustainable tourism should be made available in widely spoken language(s). Based on this empirical study the following key lessons emerged. Financial resources. To be implementable. This can happen both in the form of financial contributions to projects benefiting sustainable tourism. This could increase the scope and range of positive impacts on nature management of the numerous initiatives of NGOs. as the tourism business is largely international. Public authorities should be more supportive of all NGOs aiming to contribute to policy goals. the public can provide input and express environmental concerns with regard to the project. fiscal incentives and other needed resources should be provided for and appropriately coordinated. This is again highly important for developing countries where infrastructural constraints are larger. the policy should not only trace performance requirements on companies but specify which public authorities should take responsibility for which infrastructural or institutional preconditions for implementation by target group. The results of this consultation must be taken into account during the authorization process. All economic sectors and companies threatening sustainable development on the island should be addressed. in the first instance. in general. by an adequate legal framework for the environmental and social-local protection and benefit from tourism development. This motivation can be proved. and of the tourism sector in particular. . and by means of support in the distribution of informational material guiding tourists towards environmentally friendly behavior in newly developed and well conserved nature areas. During the EIA procedure. The policy also needs to clearly appoint public authorities and other stakeholders responsible for the implementation or detailed design of the various initiatives.The objective of an EIA is to identify and describe the environmental impacts of projects and to assess whether prevention or mitigation is appropriate. island authority should be genuinely motivated for the sustainable development of the island. This is especially needed in developing countries where foreign investors are an important presence.

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