The European Commission works on a number of initiatives to diversify and improve the range of tourism products and services available in areas such as sustainable tourism, accessible tourism, tourism for seniors, and low-season tourism.
Coastal and maritime tourism
The European Commission is implementing a strategy to increase growth and jobs in the maritime and coastal tourism sector.
The competitiveness of the European tourism industry is closely linked to its sustainability.
To encourage sustainable tourism, the Commission:
- co-funds sustainable transnational tourism products that can contribute to tourism growth
- developing a European Tourism Indicators System (ETIS) for destinations, a management tool which helps destinations to monitor, measure and enhance their sustainability performance
- supported a successful campaign to develop cycling routes - a great example of sustainable tourism - throughout Europe.
Cultural tourism represents a great opportunity to showcase European heritage and shared values, and promote Europe as a ‘unique tourism destination’. The Commission works with other international organisations on cultural routes, funds cultural tourism projects, and organises the annual Crossroads of Europe conference.
Accessible tourism is about making it easy for everyone to enjoy tourist experiences. This isn’t only about social responsibility – there is also a compelling business case to improve accessibility and thus boost the competitiveness of tourism in Europe.
Low season tourism
Promoting tourism during the low season can stimulate economic growth and jobs in Europe. The European Commission has identified seniors and young people as groups that can travel easily during the low season. Reinforcing their contribution to tourism could help overcome the challenge of seasonality and contribute to growth and employment.
The Commission has in the past already implemented several actions aiming at reducing the seasonality of tourism. Among these, the Calypso pilot initiative was developed in order to encourage people with disabilities, young, senior and family with low income to go on holiday, in particular during the low season.