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EU plans tourism boost

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EU plans tourism boost


Europe wants to create a certified quality label for its tourism activities. Europe is already the world’s leading destination for tourists, attracted most notably by Spain, Italy and France. It wants to boost this further, especially to encourage visitors from countries whose economies are developing well.

The European Parliament has passed a motion asking the European Commission to draw up detailed proposals for the initiative. The MEP responsible for guiding this through the various institutional steps is Carlo Fidanza, with the Committee on Transport and Tourism.

Fidanza said: “We must above all support small and medium-sized businesses, SMEs, so that they can present quality offers on the Internet. With the European Commission we are looking at setting up a web platform for SMEs to improve their visibility on the Net.”

One of the highlights of this is a European harmonisation of the hotel star classification system, because today a four-star rating in one EU country can be the equivalent of a two-star rating in another EU state. The parliament also wants European investment dedicated to training people in the tourism professions, for instance in management.

Fidanza said: “We see all the indicators telling us that, in this period of crisis, tourism is one of the sectors that responds best in the face of global difficulties. Tourism is not a resource that can be relocated elsewhere, and this makes it able to stand up to fluctuations in international markets.”

Tourism represents ten percent of the EU’s income, provides twelve percent of all the jobs in the bloc and is its third-strongest socio-economic activity.

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