EurActiv.com Correspondent's Choice

This article about a proposed Erasmus for tourists scheme was published by EurActiv on 14th April 2010.

EU ministers in charge of tourism will meet in Madrid tomorrow (15 April) to launch a programme aimed at encouraging tourists to take holidays all year round and maintaining tourism jobs off-season, according to a draft text obtained by EurActiv. The initiative marks the beginnings of an EU policy on tourism as established by the Lisbon Treaty.

Ministers will sign a common declaration in which they commit to supporting “measures and initiatives encouraging the extension of the high season in tourism,” according to the draft text.

The text is due to be adopted in Madrid during the EU’s first ministerial meeting on tourism since the sector fell under EU competence with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty last year.

The initiative aims to “contribute to the fight against seasonality and to the maintenance of tourist employment in the off-season,” it adds.

Most of the almost 10 million employees of the EU tourism industry tend only to work during certain periods of the year due to the intrinsic nature of the business, which is linked to weather conditions and public holidays.

“Seasonality represents a significant issue for the competitiveness of tourism. In this context, I plan to promote concrete initiatives in order to prolong the high season,” European Commission Vice-President in charge of Industry Antonio Tajani will say today during a tourism forum in Madrid, which will bring together the main stakeholders in the sector ahead of the ministerial meeting.

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