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The Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009, strengthens the EU competence in the area of tourism. Tourism is now one of the policy areas for which "The Union shall have competence to carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of the Member States”.

In view of this new competence, the European Commission adopted on 30 June 2010 a Communication entitled "Europe, the world´s No 1 tourist destination - a new political framework for tourism in Europe". The Commission text defines the new policy framework for the development of European tourism and identifies the four pillars that will constitute the backbone of this new framework:
  • Improving the competitiveness of the tourism sector in Europe;
  • Promoting the continuos sustainable development of EU tourism;
  • Enhancing Europe´s image as home to sustainable and high quality destinations; and
  • Maximising the potential of EU policies and financial instruments for the development of European tourism.

A total of 21 actions were announced in the Communication order to achieve the above-mentioned objectives.

HOTREC commented widely on each of the planned actions contained in the Communication and will continue its close collaboration with the European institutions in the near future, with a clear message of ensuring the full inclusion of SMEs interests in the implementation of the actions envisaged in the Commission Communication.

Key EU measures:


There are many European rules affecting the travel of people within and to Europe. Some of them affect the flow of tourists (e.g., visa policy); other refer to their rights and obligations (e.g., air passengers rights).

Key EU measures:


TOURISMlink is a European demonstration action aiming at improving the competitiveness of the tourism sector by connecting smaller local tourism enterprises to the global digital market in an efficient and low cost manner. It will facilitate the flow of information among service suppliers, customers and traditional tourism enterprises, in a B2B environment through the use of modern ICT.

The objective is to create a common framework for interoperability among different ICT solutions and systems, building on existing ICT systems and standardisation achievements and joining them in a seamless architecture at European level.

Take a look at the TOURISMlink website:!

Main HOTREC documents:

  • NET position on the Commission Priority Actions for EU Tourism  19 June 2015

  • HOTREC position paper on Late-Night Entertainment  30 May 2013

  • HOTREC response on the Commission Communication on tourism  11 October 2010

  • NET Letter to Vice President Tajani  30 September 2010

  • NET comments on Commission Communication on Tourism  24 September 2010

  • HOTREC letter to the Commission: How to prioritise the action fields identified by the ECORYS study  15 December 2009

  • HOTREC reply to the public consultation on an "Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism"  25 June 2007

  • ECTAA /EFCO & HPA/ GEBTA/ HOTREC/ IRU position on a regulation proposal establishing a Community code of visas   15 November 2006