Tourism offers much to the EU gets a little

Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship, travelled to Athens, where he attended the conference organised by the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE). (EC Audio Visual Services).

Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship, travelled to Athens, where he attended the conference organised by the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE). (EC Audio Visual Services).

The summer giant of European tourism woke up again from its winter hibernation and is about to favour the crisis and unemployment stricken southern regions of the Old Continent and not only. For a brief period of one week or so the entire population of countries in the misty and grey north travel southwards to the sun. At the same time they help revive the sleepy during the winter months sea-side resort towns and villages in the Mediterranean coasts. In this way the sun thirsty northerners create millions of jobs in the recession stricken regions of Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and south France but also in mega tourist destinations like Paris, London, Rome and Berlin.

Offers much gets a little

There is no doubt that the European tourist sector is a major industry for the Union, producing large parts of the GDP in many countries and offering millions of jobs. Unfortunately the EU budget spends almost nothing for the sectors’ development, while other sectors of economic activity of great interest to Germany or France attract billions every year from the Brussels’ spending. This is another indication that the EU is gradually developing an ideology of empire, where the peripheral countries are of secondary interest in relation to the central regions (see Elias Lacon’s story “Is the EU’s enlargement over-stretched?”).

In the south, tourism remains the heavy industry of Greece, Spain, Portugal south France and Italy. Almost one sixth of the Greek GDP comes from tourism, while in Cyprus this percentage is close to one-third. Entire regions and millions of jobs depend completely on tourism. It’s not only hotels and taverns that profit from this business. Agricultural production and other local petty industries make a living during the five month summer tourist period from May to September.

On top of that private investments in tourism offer good employment opportunities all year round in countries and regions favoured by the preferences of European holiday makers. Apart from the sun and sea holidays, the industry has developed a whole array of subsectors like religious, health and education tourist activities.

One billion trips

According to the Eurostat, every year EU citizens make around one billion holiday trips. In 2011, the most recent reference year for which complete data is available, residents of the European Union made 1.04 billion holiday trips and spent 5.7 billion nights during those trips. Tourist expenditure amounted to EUR 338 billion. It is even more interesting to note that around 80% of those nights and money spent by EU citizens during their holidays are realised either within their home country or in another EU member state.

In this way the demand by EU citizens for holidays is feeding almost exclusively the internal offer. The huge EU tourist industry however attracts also millions of visitors from around the world. The groups of tourists from Asia taking pictures, is a standard view in the south of Europe but also in prime destinations like Paris.

Trips, Nights, Expenditure EU27 ( 2011)

graph tourismThe internal wave of holiday makers remains though the prime force behind the European tourist industry. According to Eurostat, “More than 3 out of 4 trips were domestic trips (in 2011) – i.e. trips in the tourist’s own country – but in terms of nights spent and expenditure, domestic trips accounted for 60 % and 46 % of the total respectively. For most EU countries, the domestic market was dominant; only for the Benelux countries and Slovenia this was not the case. In the case of Belgium and Luxembourg, more tourists spent their holidays in France – the number one foreign destination – than in their own country”.

Coming to the preference of the EU holiday makers on the average 23.7% of all trips were made in a foreign country: 17.2 % in another EU Member State, 6.5 % outside the Union. Spain was for EU residents the number 1 foreign destination, in terms of number of trips as well as number of nights spent or expenditure. 3 % of all trips made by Europeans were spent in Spain (or 13 % of all trips abroad), followed by Italy and France.

Eurostat notes that “Neighbouring or nearby country was the preferred foreign destination for holiday trips of nearly all the European tourists (in 2011). However, this was not the case for tourists from Romania (Italy), Sweden (Greece) and the UK (Spain). In terms of duration and expenditure, the proximity of the destination became less dominant: further away destinations – also outside Europe – took a bigger share”.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

COVID-19 pandemic: The war inside our heads

Asking for more restriction on intra EU immigration: Unproductive and politically dangerous

Coronavirus: a Disease that spreads as fastly as its fake news

Can the Tokyo Olympics help bring the world together?

European research priorities for 2021-2027 agreed with member states

The Eurogroup protects Germany and blames others

Myanmar military target civilians in deadly helicopter attack, UN rights office issues war crimes warning

The price of centralization of human resources for health

Children of ISIL terrorists likely held in ‘secret detention facilities’, UN human rights office warns

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

COVID-19 and the pursuit of financial inclusion in Pakistan

Coronavirus: Commission launches data sharing platform for researchers

Infringement – Commission takes Italy to Court for its incomplete regime of access to genetic resources

Human rights champions from across the world receive top UN prize

Germany may have a stable and more cooperative government

How income-sharing agreements can improve access to education

Lagarde discusses the European Central Bank’s policy revamp with MEPs

Macro-Financial Assistance: Europe’s way to control Ukraine?

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

COVID – ACT III, When do I get off the stage?

SRHR and Ending HIV : Can one be achieved without the other ?

Sign language protects ‘linguistic identity and cultural diversity’ of all users, says UN chief

Who really cares about the 26.2 million of EU jobless?

19th EU-China Summit: A historical advance in the Chino-European rapprochement

‘Foreign children’ in overwhelmed Syrian camp need urgent international help, says top UN official

EP survey: EU recovery funds should only go to countries respecting Rule of Law

FROM THE FIELD: West Africa’s wishful gold diggers

Moving from commitment to action on LGBTI equality

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: from cardboard beds to recycled medals, how the Games are going green

Commission’s action plan: financial world mandatory links to environmental targets

Fostering intergenerational solidarity and cooperation through age-friendly environments: the right answer to Europe’s demographic challenge

The Eurogroup+ is born to govern the EU Banking Union

European Youth Forum demands immediate action & binding agreement on climate change

How to create a transparent digital economy and rebuild consumer trust

Coronavirus reinforces the importance of empathy

To all far-right partisans who exploit Charlie Hebdo atrocity: a peaceful reply given by a peaceful student

For how long and at what cost can the ECB continue printing trillions to keep euro area going?

What is the European Super League and how would it work?

State aid: Commission approves German scheme for very high capacity broadband networks in Bavaria

To feed 10 billion people, we must preserve biodiversity. Here’s how

Ramped-up emergency preparedness, part of ‘changing the DNA’ of the UN’s health agency

New Report Offers Global Outlook on Efforts to Beat Plastic Pollution

How African countries can benefit from plan to reform global tax

Destabilizing Lebanon after burning Syria; plotting putsch at home: King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

COVID-19 is an unmissable chance to put people and the planet first

Take care of your borders and then expand them

The Juncker Plan at work: bringing investment back on track in Europe

Africa-Europe Alliance: European Commission committed to a sustainable African agri-food sector

Mindfulness: a freedom we can still have in the pandemic

If you live in a big city you already smoke every day

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2018 review confirms positive trends but highlights challenges, in particular linked to automation and digitalisation

Safer products: EP and Council close deal to beef up checks and inspections

Coronavirus global response: EU Humanitarian Air Bridge to Iraq and new funding

Top UN Syria envoy hails ‘impressive’ start to historic talks in Geneva

UN rights chief slams ‘unconscionable’ US border policy of separating migrant children from parents

EU-US resume trade negotiations under the spell of NSA surveillance

The world’s economy is only 9% circular. We must be bolder about saving resources

How many websites are there?

State aid: Commission approves €650 million Polish support to LOT in context of coronavirus outbreak

Nepal faces a crisis as COVID-19 stems the flow of remittances

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s