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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

International cooperation

Due to the intensity of global tourism competition, the European Commission works with non-EU countries and international organisations to boost international tourist flows to Europe.

The need to promote Europe in emerging economies such as China, Russia, India, and Brazil was spelt out in the 2010 Communication, ‘Europe the world’s No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe’.

These economies, together with countries such as Morocco and members of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), have significant potential to increase tourist flows to Europe. The Commission has strengthened cooperation with all of them to promote sustainable and responsible tourism development models and exchange best practices.

Joint statements with 16 non-EU countries

The Commission is engaged in a dialogue with several partner countries in tourism. As a result, 16 ‘Letters of Intent’ concerning cooperation have been signed.

These Letters of Intent, or ‘Joint Statements’ bring tourism to the fore of discussions in relations with the partner countries and offer them a framework to

  • discuss current issues
  • exchange views, policy initiatives, and best practice
  • undertake common projects that build on the expertise and experience gained so far

The discussions take place with countries that show a genuine interest to engage in this process. During the dialogues, areas of common interest and priorities are identified.

Tourism cooperation in other EU programmes

Special attention to cooperation in tourism was included in the Missions for Growth to various European, Northern African, Latin-American, and Asian countries.

As part of the ongoing cooperation between EU and Mediterranean Ministers, an exchange of information to promote sustainable and responsible tourism development models took place during the seminar on Current Cooperation and Future Perspectives in Sustainable Tourism.

Cooperation with international organisations

The Commission also interacts with international tourism bodies and has strengthened its cooperation with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Council of Europe (CoE).