With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for tourism operators.
There is no specific EU fund for tourism but, as a tourism operator, you can apply for funding from various EU sources, such as the European structural and investment funds.
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The European Union has launched various initiatives to help entrepreneurs manage tourism businesses and improve staff quality and mobility, for instance if they are restructuring or are short of qualified workers. The EU helps tourism operators to find business partners, funding and information (for instance via its Tourism Business Portal). It also helps them to go digital (for example via webinars or by offering financial support for the development of tourism-related apps), and provides guidance on starting up tourism businesses. EURES – the EU’s job mobility portal – has a dedicated section for tourism and hospitality sector skills passports. The EU also conducts surveys that help give tourism operators a better understanding of the tourism preferences of the European public.
Furthermore, the EU is helping tourism operators to attract more tourists by promoting destination Europe. It has created the visiteurope.com website and has run various campaigns (such as 2018 EU-China Tourism Year).
Lastly, the EU is engaged also in visa facilitation, while strengthening internal security. It has removed internal border controls for those travelling within the Schengen Area (most EU countries), while retaining external border controls.
- European Commission website on support to tourism businesses, https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/tourism/support-business_en
- EPRS in-depth analysis, Tourism and the European Union: Recent trends and policy developments, 2015 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_IDA(2015)568343
- EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service: www.epthinktank.eu