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EBI and European Tourism Manifesto call for investment in sustainable tourism within national recovery plans

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, which is made up of over 60 European public and private tourism-related organisations (including EBI), has published a paper titled “Call for action: Accelerate social and economic recovery by investing in sustainable tourism development”, presenting a non-exhaustive list of reforms and investment ideas related to travel and tourism. The alliance advocates for these to be implemented through national recovery plans, which are currently being finalised and which will receive funding from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. Thanks to input from EBI, the role of boating and nautical tourism is very present in the paper.

The travel and tourism sector accounts for 9.5% of the EU’s GDP and is largely made up of SMEs. It provides jobs for 22.6 million people, and it is estimated that €1 of value generated by tourism results in an additional 56 cents of added value in indirect effects on other industries. However, the sector has been substantially hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and €161 billion worth of investment is necessary for it to return to pre-crisis levels. The EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, together with national recovery plans, presents an opportunity for investment in the tourism sector, in particular to enhance the sector’s resilience and to advance in its green and digital transitions.

The wide range of proposals includes, for instance, the greening of buildings used for tourism, the upscaling of circular economy practices, investing in sustainable mobility projects, the development of integrated connectivity solutions, the rollout of rapid broadband services, the development of digital tools, the use of data for smart tourism management, and the promotion of skills training, among other ideas.

In particular, the paper includes several investment ideas specific to nautical tourism and recreational boating that EBI developed as part of the joint paper. It calls for the development, renovation and environmental transformation of coastal and inland marinas (such as new berths, renewable energy installations, power storage, waste disposal facilities, and climate change adaptation), as well as the roll-out of eco-friendly permanent mooring solutions for recreational boats in protected areas. Furthermore, it calls for incentives to retrofit boat engines, and to research, develop and deploy clean fuels, new electrical and hybrid engines, hydrogen, and other new propulsion systems. It also advocates for funding to develop digital tools to improve the boating experience, including marinas, navigation, maintenance, and weather information.

The paper has been shared with the EU institutions and the 27 national governments. The full paper can be found in the European Tourism Manifesto website here.

In addition, European Tourism Manifesto will be launching the #Tourism4Recovery campaign on social media on 1 March, to coincide with the extraordinary meeting of EU Tourism Ministers. Its goal is to call on European governments to make tourism a strategic element in their national recovery and resilience plans and to promote the investment proposals included in the paper described above. Stakeholders are invited to contribute to the campaign by posting on their social media channels using the photos and videos found here and the hashtags #Tourism4Recovery and #EuropeanTourismManifesto. Find more information on the European Tourism Manifesto website.