Tourism is a cross-cutting sector, involving a big diversity of services and professions, linked to many other economic activities and policy areas.
Besides growth and jobs creation, tourism plays an important role in the development of the vast majority of European regions. Infrastructure created for tourism purposes contributes to local development, and jobs are created or maintained even in areas in industrial or rural decline, or undergoing urban regeneration.
Sustainable tourism also plays a major role in the preservation and enhancement of the cultural and natural heritage in an ever expanding number of areas, ranging from arts to local gastronomy, crafts or the preservation of biodiversity.
Although the Community has no direct tourism competence, European policies in a number of areas have a considerable and even growing impact on tourism. EU financial instruments managed centrally by the European Commission offer more and more opportunities to fund sustainable tourism-related projects.
We focused on this programme and its funding opportunities. Its aim is to provide added value in improving the sustainability performance of European tourism, through the creation of an environment favourable to tourism small and micro enterprises and to their cooperation on sustainability issues.
The Breakfast briefing was kindly hosted by the regional representation of Abruzzo (I), located at 210 Avenue Louise B-1050.
The guest speaker was Renate PENITZ, Seconded National Expert, DG Enterprise, Tourism Unit, European Commission.
This event was then followed by an AER conference on the Interreg IVC co-financed PRESERVE project (Peer Reviews for Sustainable Eco-Regions via Europe): "the environment to trigger for more sustainable tourism". Further information about this event available here.
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Seconded National Expert to the Tourism Unit in DG Enterprise and Industry. she has been working with the Division for International Tourism Relations at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour in Vienna for more than 10 years, following EU tourism activities especially on sustainable tourism. Moreover, she is a member of the Tourism Sustainability Group, an European expert's group which was set up by the Tourism Unit, DG Enterprise, in 2004.