MEPs form new tourism Intergroup
Organisations representing tourism businesses have welcomed a newly-formed group on tourism which has been established by members of the European Parliament.
A statement signed from the representative organisations of all the major sectors of the tourism industry in Europe within Net, the Network for the European Private Sector in Tourism - CLIA (cruise lines), ECTAA (travel agents and tour operators), EFCO&HPA (camp sites, holiday parks and holiday villages), ETOA (inbound tourism), HOTREC (hotels, restaurants and cafes), IAAPA (amusement parks and attractions) and the IRU (bus, coach and taxi operators) says: “We welcome the formation of the new Intergroup on Development of European Tourism, Cultural Heritage, Ways of Saint James’ and other European Cultural Routes, as it recognises the importance of tourism to the wider European community.
“Travel & Tourism is responsible for 9 per cent of Europe’s gross domestic product and 22 million jobs, 10 per cent of total employment. It is bigger than the automotive industry and bigger than the oil, gas and chemical industries put together. Of all the economic sectors, it has the greatest potential to help Europe emerge from its economic difficulties and to create jobs throughout the economy, including for the millions of young people who are currently struggling to find work.
“Some activities, such as waiting at tables, looking after holidaymakers and helping to run hotels cannot be outsourced off-shore. They are important first jobs for young people starting in employment.
“Europe has the potential to be a more dynamic tourism economy, but reform is urgently needed to create a playing field that is globally competitive on regulation. We need improved administration of the issuance of visas and new measures to make trade across borders easy as well as free. Achieving this needs close collaboration between policy-makers and industry – a dialogue the new Intergroup is ideally placed to facilitate.”
An Intergroup is a focus group comprised of MEPs from at least three different political parties, to look at a specific issue or set of issues. It will often consider legislation and convene interested parties. Part of its significance, according to NET, is that MEPs must vote to form an Intergroup and the number of Intergroups is limited to 28 so the formation in itself indicates that the matters being addressed are considered to be an important priority.