Volume 3, Issue 1, February 2018

The economic and social impact of “over-tourism”

By vadimone / Shutterstock

Cheap transport, giant ships and some forms of collaborative economy change mass tourism. The sector economy, including cruise industry and hotel business, is evolving. Local social and environmental balances can be disturbed. In some places, both the quality of life of residents and the tourist experience is deteriorating. The TRAN Committee recently requested a research to take and in-depth look at the issues at stake and suggest possible remedies to excess.


This paper on the economic and social impact of “over-tourism” should be released by the end of the year. It will add to several other studies, already or soon published, on a sector of great economic, social and environmental importance.

Policy Department TRAN team

Recent research for the TRAN Committee:

Health tourism in the EU

By Gustavo Frazao / Shutterstock

This study defines and explores health tourism and its three main components: medical, wellness, and spa tourism. Health tourism comprises around 5% of general tourism in the EU28 and contributes approximately 0.3% to the EU economy. Health tourism has a much higher domestic share than general tourism does. Increasing the share of health tourism may reduce tourism seasonality, improve sustainability and labour quality, and may help to reduce health costs through prevention measures and decreased pharmaceutical consumption.

Study: Health tourism in the EU: a general investigation

Study presentation: Committee on Transport and Tourism – Health tourism in the EU: a general investigation

Upcoming research for the TRAN Committee:

European Tourism Labeling

This study focusses on the current situation in the European Union regarding quality and sustainability labelling in tourism. There is concern that the existing volume and variety of labels has become a barrier to consumer choice, which in consequence may lead to lost opportunities to increase the competitiveness of the European tourism industry. This paper will analyse the possibility of promotion of EU standards for tourism services through introduction of a harmonized EU certification system. It will also examine the potential to establish a single European tourism label.

Transport and tourism for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility

The scope of this important study includes the state of play of accessibility in EU Member States of both transport services (local and long-distance) and tourist destinations for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility (PRMs). The paper will also analyse the accessibility of interconnecting platforms (multimodal stations) for the above group of passengers, as well as tourist events, venues and accommodations.


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