OPINION on new challenges and concepts for the promotion of tourism in Europe

//OPINION on new challenges and concepts for the promotion of tourism in Europe

OPINION on new challenges and concepts for the promotion of tourism in Europe

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT 2014 – 2019

Committee on Culture and Education

2014/2241(INI)
20.7.2015
OPINION
of the Committee on Culture and Education
for the Committee on Transport and Tourism
on New challenges and concepts for the promotion of Tourism in Europe
(2014/2241(INI))
Rapporteur: Luigi Morgano

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SUGGESTIONS
The Committee on Culture and Education calls on the Committee on Transport and Tourism, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:
1. Notes that tourism is one of the world’s largest industries and that Europe is one of the world’s major cultural tourism destinations; underlines that tourism is rapidly changing and the tourism industry is constantly subject to evolution, and that, therefore, Europe and the Member States need to continuously protect and promote what is truly indigenous by revealing special features and characteristics of natural, cultural and historical heritage;
2. Stresses the important role that European cultural tourism plays in furthering personal development and knowledge, promoting Europe’s rich national and local cultural diversity and heritage, contributing to intercultural learning, providing an opportunity for networking, strengthening European identity, and expressing European values;
3. Underlines the importance of fostering close collaboration between culture and tourism; recognises that European cultural tourism has an important contribution to policymaking, is an essential part of many national and regional economies, and is a key driver of sustainable social and economic development at local and regional level, and of regeneration of rural and urban areas, in particular in the current economic and employment crisis; recalls also the role of European traditional and industrial know-how in raising the profile of local areas and jobs;
4. Reiterates that tourism should be based on strategies that protect and strengthen both natural and cultural diversity and preserve and promote local cultures, popular traditions, heritage and environment, and that safeguarding tangible and intangible cultural heritage should be among our top priorities;
5. Emphasises the potential of cultural tourism, agrotourism and ecotourism in rural, island and coastal areas; stresses, to this end, the importance of ensuring intermodal connectivity, as a means of enhancing the appeal of such remote tourist destinations;
6. Underlines that Europe’s diversity and multiculturalism offer great potential for the development of thematic tourism, and stresses the importance of connecting tourist attractions in order to establish thematic tourist trails on a European, national and local scale; believes that the systematic promotion of thematic tourism (oenological, gastronomic, rural, religious, artistic, educational, exploratory, etc), possibly involving cross-border or interregional cooperation, can redefine European tourism and play an important role in combating the negative effects of mass tourism; calls, therefore, for the promotion of environmentally sustainable cultural tourism, and for measures to withstand the impact of seasonality;
7. Highlights that Europe’s breadth of languages – official, co-official, minority and lesser-known – forms the bedrock of its cultural heritage and that this offers additional opportunities in terms of tourism on all levels;
8. Draws attention to the essential role played by both formal and informal cultural education in generating demand for high-quality, sustainable and inclusive tourism, in its religious, educational, sport-related, exploratory, gastronomic, agricultural and ecological aspects; stresses the need to invest in high-quality training in order to have a better equipped workforce;
9. Calls for better use to be made of the opportunities provided by digitisation and innovation for the interpretation of cultural heritage and for a more effective and attractive promotion of European cultural tourism, in order to familiarise the largest possible number of people with Europe’s cultural and tourist heritage, while preserving traditional forms of promoting culture; stresses that the development of a fully functioning digital single market, together with the extension and consolidation of digital platforms for cultural resources and archives and a proactive use of social media, has the potential of modernising and developing the tourism industry in order to better promote and support all tourism services and providers;
10. Points out that the promotion of cultural tourism should take into account not only the top tourist destinations, but also smaller and lesser-known sites not included in the usual tourist routes;
11. Believes that better use of innovative products and services in the tourism sector could significantly help tourism companies, especially SMEs, and make them more sustainable; stresses the need to foster innovation and technological development in micro-enterprises and SMEs, and points to the major opportunities existing for the development of thematic/alternative forms of tourism through use of the internet and new communications technologies;
12. Reiterates the need for a well-trained, informed, motivated and committed labour force; stresses that more awareness of history and culture on the part of people working in the industry is essential for the further promotion of the historical and cultural heritage of tourism destinations;
13. Recalls that investing in human capital is essential for the quality of tourism services and is a precondition for sustainable and competitive growth; stresses the importance of providing better-targeted training policies in order to ensure the presence of well- qualified, service-oriented, multilingual personnel;
14. Highlights the importance of improving accessibility to cultural heritage sites and cultural education, taking into account, in particular, the specific needs of people with disabilities when constructing, renovating or extending tourist attractions; notes that, in this context, innovative projects, tools and products to facilitate autonomous access for persons with impaired mobility should be promoted at European level; bears in mind that information and booking technologies should be easily accessible for those persons; underlines the enormous progress made thanks to the application and use of new digital technologies for giving universal access to paintings, buildings, and cultural sites; suggests to the Commission and the Member States that they examine different possibilities of launching projects and funds to enable the younger population and – in the context of demographic change – older persons, as well as people with special needs, low-income families and other vulnerable citizens, to visit the Member States’ cultural destinations;
15. Points out that encouraging young people’s involvement in European cultural tourism has an extremely positive impact on their education and personal development;
16. Points out that Europe’s cultural heritage, in its artistic, linguistic, religious, historical and geographical aspects, makes it one of the leading tourist destinations in the world, and that cultural tourism is essential for boosting growth, social development, cohesion and high-quality employment; points out that the tourist sector generates about 2.9 % of EU GDP, accounts for some 1.8 million businesses, primarily SMEs, and employs approximately 3.3 % of the EU workforce, and that many of these non-offshorable jobs are linked directly or indirectly to cultural tourism;
17. Emphasises that, in order to maintain current tourist volumes and attract new tourists, Europe’s cultural and natural heritage, including its intact nature and landscapes, needs to be conserved and promoted; stresses that the right balance needs to be struck between expanding the tourism sector and protecting cultural heritage, having in mind the restoration, conservation and protection of archaeological and historic sites and monuments; urges the Commission, therefore, to adopt the European charter for a sustainable and responsible tourism, including the social responsibility principle, for the benefit of visitors and host populations;
18. Underlines the importance of a Council decision on adopting the ‘European tourism quality principles’ recommendation, in order to help tourism service providers promote the quality of their services and strengthen consumer confidence;
19. Supports the promotion of local and regional initiatives such as European crossborder cycle routes, in combination with a sustainable transport strategy that includes rail networks, the ACCR (Association des Centres culturels de rencontre), the European Capitals of Culture and the DestiNet Portals network, taking into account best practices and examples of sustainable tourism in Europe;
20. Supports the development of non-motorised travel routes (for walking, horse-riding or cycling) that can facilitate sustainable tourism and create opportunities to discover the diversity of Europe’s regions;
21. Stresses the importance of maintaining and preserving Europe’s cultural and historical heritage in order to prevent its deterioration, assigning priority to the quality of the work performed rather than its cost; stresses, in this context, the role that patronage can play in contributing to the conservation of the European heritage and compensating for the decline in the public budgets allocated for this purpose;
22. Calls on the Commission to launch a European Tourism Quality Brand to reward rigorous efforts by tourism professionals in supporting the quality of tourism services based on the highest respect for cultural and natural heritage, improving the quality of tourism jobs, enhancing accessibility for all, and promoting the cultural traditions of local communities;
23. Points out that cultural tourism in different regions helps diversify traditional economic activities and creates employment, thereby avoiding depopulation and the abandonment and deterioration of many valuable cultural sites, and preventing traditions and customs from dying out;
24. Points out that host communities and local populations should be involved in different policies for the identification, promotion, protection, conservation, management, presentation and interpretation of their heritage resources, cultural practices and contemporary cultural expressions, in the context of tourism;
25. Is convinced that school tourism should be experienced as one of the most meaningful non-formal learning activities related to the school curriculum and not as exclusively a leisure activity, and that it should be grounded in the values of ‘responsible tourism’;
26. Stresses the potential of cultural tourism for poverty alleviation; calls, in this regard, for the fostering of Member States’ creative industries and rural tourism in order to promote Europe’s extraordinary cultural wealth and fight poverty and unemployment;
27. Asks the Commission to bolster existing European measures and programmes, including the European Fund for Strategic Investments, as well as national and cross-border programmes on cultural tourism and cultural heritage that have proved effective, such as the European Capitals of Culture, the European Heritage Days, the European Cultural Routes, the European Heritage Label, the Creative Europe programme and the digital platform Europeana; calls on the Commission, moreover, to look into the feasibility of introducing a ‘European cultural card’ which would offer reduced entrance charges for tourist attractions and cultural sites such as museums, monuments, archaeological sites, libraries and theatres, following the example of the UNESCO-endorsed ISIC (International Student Identity Card);
28. Recommends the establishment of a European Year of Cultural Heritage, preferably in 2018, along with adequate support to cultural events and arts, film and music festivals; stresses, moreover, that promoting at EU level initiatives such as the European Capital of Sport and the European Youth Capital, and creating a European calendar of events to improve tourism information services, may offer significant added value in the promotion of European cultural tourism and in maintaining and reinforcing Europe as the leading tourist destination in the world;
29. Encourages Member States to work together with regional and local authorities in order to maximise the value of tourism and its contribution to jobs and growth, and to integrate the tourism industry within local development strategies;
30. Stresses the potential of sport tourism, which could in future become one of the most dynamic sectors in the developing European travel industry, and calls for the introduction of specific policies to promote and support its development; recalls the important place of sporting activities in making Europe’s regions attractive to tourists; highlights the opportunities arising from travel by athletes and spectators in the run-up to sports events and during those events, which could attract tourists to even the most remote areas; emphasises that the potential of sport tourism is not yet sufficiently exploited;
31. Notes the opportunities offered by significant historical events and sites, such as the Sites of Conscience, to address contemporary challenges through sensitive interpretation and educational programmes; encourages the use of cultural heritage and tourism in order to foster intercultural dialogue and bring the people of Europe closer together;
32. Stresses the contribution of civil society in promoting new forms of tourism, through social networks, voluntary organisations, cultural and sports associations, citizens’ action groups, and organisations representing young people, women and expatriate communities;
33. Calls for greater recognition of the vital role played by the voluntary sector in developing and supporting the tourism sector through cultural volunteering;
34. Asks the Commission and the Member States to implement the action to protect endangered monuments and sites in Europe in order to safeguard and promote cultural heritage and therefore encourage cultural tourism;
35. Highlights the importance of shaping and promoting sustainable and inclusive forms of tourism which interplay with the social, cultural and economic fabric of touristic sites, ensure the development of creative and environment-friendly entrepreneurship, human capital and skills development, and bring, together with financial benefits, social and cultural value to the local communities;
36. Stresses the importance of policies aimed at funding, preserving, maintaining and restoring cultural heritage sites;
37. Draws attention to the importance of preventing cultural discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities;
38. Welcomes mobility tools, as well as cooperation projects such as ‘Knowledge Alliances’ and ‘Sector-Skills Alliances’ under Erasmus+ and Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, as efficient means for tourism workers involved in education and training at all levels to exchange best practices, improve language skills and obtain practical knowledge of cultural tourism; is concerned, however, at the lack of interest among young people in pursuing careers in certain tourism sectors; stresses the advantages of a ‘dual education’ system in the tourism sector and the importance of combining learning with hands-on work experience, thereby improving both theoretical knowledge and practical skills; calls on the Member States, and on local and regional authorities, to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the ESF and by other EU, national and regional funds to promote vocational training.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE
Date adopted 14.7.2015
Result of final vote +:
–:
0: 22
1
5
Members present for the final vote Isabella Adinolfi, Dominique Bilde, Silvia Costa, Damian Drăghici, Angel Dzhambazki, Jill Evans, Giorgos Grammatikakis, Petra Kammerevert, Rikke Karlsson, Andrew Lewer, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Curzio Maltese, Fernando Maura Barandiarán, Luigi Morgano, Momchil Nekov, Michaela Šojdrová, Helga Trüpel, Sabine Verheyen, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Theodoros Zagorakis, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Milan Zver, Krystyna Łybacka
Substitutes present for the final vote György Hölvényi, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Ernest Maragall, Martina Michels, Marlene Mizzi
Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote Tim Aker

2019-03-06T11:56:49+00:00July 20th, 2015|RAPPORTEUR|

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