“Europe must offer sustainable and high-quality tourism, playing on its comparative advantages, in particular the diversity of its countryside and extraordinary cultural wealth.”
With this statement, the Commission communication “Europe, the world’s No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe” confirms the significant role of cultural tourism.
Europe is indeed a key cultural tourism destination, with a large number of major sites and a strong flow of international and domestic visitors. It is estimated that cultural tourism accounts for around 40% of all European tourism.
Tourists are more and more looking for true experiences, for meeting and getting to know other people and other cultures.
Tourism policies will need to adapt to these trends and develop a quality offer promoting local cultures and traditions and paying attention to sustainable aspects: preservation of the heritage, of the landscape, of the local culture.
Transnational cultural tourism products represent common European shared values and heritage. They contribute to present and promote Europe as a “unique tourism destination”. Therefore the European Commission is implementing a number of activities to support transnational tourism products based on specific themes which still have great potential for growth.
- The European Commission participates in European tourism fairs to support the tourism industry (ec.europa.eu)
- EU ‘already has very strong safeguards’ against benefits tourism (itv.com)
- Tourism’s robust and resilient performance expected to continue in 2013 (ec.europa.eu)