Tourism is a real engine for economic development, and the main objective of the Romanian presidency of the Council of the European Union is to keep Europe a top tourist destination in the world, Romania’s Tourism Minister Bogdan Trif on Wednesday told a session of the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN).
“Our priority during the Presidency is to increase the visibility of tourism, to draw attention to the fact that the field is constantly changing and that we must adjust our policies to meet the new challenges. Tourism is a true engine for economic development and we intend to grant it the attention it deserves. Our main objective is to keep Europe in the top ranking of the world’s tourist destinations, but that requires adaptation of the way in which we see tourism, especially in the context of digitisation. Security should also not be neglected, as it is an important chapter to tourists who need to feel first and foremost safe on vacation, and Europe currently is a peaceful oasis that benefits tourism development,” Trif said.
He added that one of the most important priorities in the area of tourism is related to digitisation.
“As you know, there is currently no separate budget for tourism. We have acknowledged the resolution of the European Parliament that talks about the need for direct tourism funding, but it is not in the Council’s powers at this point to comment on the financial framework 2021-2027. To us, it is very important to draw conclusions on tourism at the COMPET Council meeting at the end of May. We want to add digitisation to the list of priorities, to draw attention to the new challenges in the field. Given the context, I emphasised the need to draw up a strategic document to replace or update the 2010 Commission Communication called Europe, the world’s No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe,’ updating it to the recent developments in the single market and the single digital market,” said Trif.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, the Romanian presidency of the EU Council has planned to organise three informal events. One of them is a sustainable tourism conference to look into the common policies of the EU member states, to be held in Bucharest April 1-4, 2019, will include a summit meeting on April 2, 2019, and an expert conference on April 3, 2019.
A second event scheduled in Tulcea, June 11-14, 2019, a ministerial conference on the Danube strategy as an instrument for economic development, designed for member states of the European Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR).
The third conference, a conference of the EDEN network, will be held in Piatra Neamt, April 10-20, 2019, for officials from EDEN excellence destinations.