- The contribution of tourism to GDP was 3.7% of total GDP; the total contribution is estimated at 10.2% of GDP.
- For the sixth successive year, growth in tourism outpaced that of the global economy (2.5%).
- In 2016, the direct and indirect contribution of tourism to employment was 11.6% of total employment (26,5M jobs).
- Tourism capital investment in 2016 was 4.9% of total investment.
EU tourism policy aims to maintain Europe's standing as a leading destination while maximizing the industry's contribution to growth and employment and promoting cooperation between EU countries, particularly through the exchange of good practice.
The main objective of this thematic area is to help to strengthen tourism industries in the EU, especially in tourism digitalisation and tourism safety, by reinforcing the regional innovation capacity to facilitate investments based on open innovation infrastructure or new technology by clusters in regional innovation ecosystems.
Safety and security are the global megatrends in tourism business; along with digitalization, sharing economy and authentic experiences. The tourism regions involved will make a break-through in investments as they have strategically put the digitalization and safety in use as the key competitive factors. The aim is to overcome the challenges and obstacles the tourism industry is facing when investing in new products, services and premises. Thematic area will bring together stakeholders from the tourism sector and related industries.
The aim of the partnership is to support increased investments, regional growth, work opportunities and innovations in order to:
- build up resilience and innovations through local networking among business, authorities, associations and educational institutions,
- take better use of digitalisation and safety in the development of tourism innovation;
- support value chains in tourism in terms of investment pipelines and platforms;
- help SME´s to be able to achieve economic growth;
- enhance and boost economic and scientific development.
This consortium is supported by NECSTouR, the network of European Regions for Sustainable and Competitive Tourism, bringing together 35 strong regional authorities competent in tourism associated to tourism-related academic organizations and representatives of sustainable and
responsible tourism business networks from 20 European countries.
Tourism of Tomorrow Lab
Sanna Kärkkäinen, the Managing Director for Visit Rovaniemi, presents the most advanced investment idea of the Tourism partnership. The project, called the ‘Tourism of Tomorrow Laboratory’ (ToT LAB), aims to build an EU hub for gathering research, expertise, and data on tourism.