Original publication: October 2019
Authors: University of Central Lancashire: Richard WESTON, Mary LAWLER, David JARRATT; University of Girona: Jaume GUIA, Lluís PRATS, Dani BLASCO, Natàlia FERRER-ROCA; University of Ljubljana: Tanja Mihalič
Short link to this post: http://bit.ly/32ETV14


Global tourism has now grown for nine years in succession, with international arrivals reaching 1.4 billion in 2018, two years ahead of forecasts. Growth in tourism receipts continue to out-perform global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and have now reached 1.7 trillion USD. Tourism now accounts for 7% of global exports, making it the world’s third largest export industry.

Europe is ranked as the world’s number one destination for international arrivals, 713 million in 2018, over half the global total, growing by 6% in 2018. Early indications are that 2019 will see further growth, although at more modest levels than 2018.

Tourism creates a surplus for the European Union (EU) economy, with international tourism receipts exceeding EU residents spending on international tourism by 27 billion in 2016. The industry represents around 6% of total EU export earnings, making it the fourth largest export industry.

European Tourism – Recent Developments and Future Challenges

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This study aims to provide the Members of the TRAN Committee with an overview of the current state of affairs in European Tourism, considering the latest developments, and where possible identifying future challenges and emerging opportunities. It draws a number of conclusions and where appropriate makes recommendations at an EU policy level that will support the sustainable development of the sector.


To support this the following objectives have been set:

  • provide a comprehensive overview of the tourism sector in the EU;
  • present an analytical overview of current and expected future developments relevant to EU tourism policy; to this end the study should describe between three to five recent (or emerging) trends likely to have a major impact on the sector;
  • summarise current knowledge-based policy debates;
  • focus on policy responses made so far at the EU level and on additional actions that could be taken to further boost the growth, competitiveness, sustainability and quality of EU tourism services;
  • present a critical assessment of preparedness of the EU tourism sector to face the expected challenges and to reap benefits from the emerging new opportunities;
  • offer a set of recommendations for EU policy makers, in particular for the Members of the European Parliament, on what could be done (especially at EU level) to further stimulate growth and competitiveness of the sector.

Link to the full study: http://bit.ly/629-200

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