President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, signs memorandum of understanding with the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and opens the event marking the start of EU-China Tourism Year
Today, the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani signed a memorandum of understanding with the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Zurab Pololikashvili. The aim of the MoU is to enhance cooperation and synergies between the two institutions in the promotion of tourism.
‘Over the next 10 years, tourism can create more than 5 million new jobs, not least because the number of tourists is set to double to more than 2 billion. Europe must not let this opportunity pass by. Through the growth of tourism, we can offer real prospects for the new generations and boost strategic sectors of the economy, such as transport, trade, luxury goods, shipbuilding, construction, agri-foodstuffs and the cultural and creative industries,’ Tajani said.
‘We can’t just wait for this to happen by itself. We must work, including with UNWTO, to improve our competitiveness and our skills, to face the challenges of digitalisation and to promote Europe as the world’s number one tourist destination,’ the President of the European Parliament added after the signature of the memorandum of understanding.
The ceremony was attended by the Chair of Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism, Karima Delli, and the Chair of its Tourism Task Force, Istvan Ujhelyi.
Later this afternoon, at a special event in Brussels, President Tajani also opened EU-China Tourism Year with an address at a seminar hosted by the European Parliament and in which representatives of the Chinese authorities and leading industry stakeholders took part.
In his address, Mr Tajani emphasised that the Union must prepare to exploit the enormous potential offered by the growth in EU-China tourism by increasing the number of scheduled flights between European countries and China, simplifying visa application procedures, providing the right training and investing more in promoting Europe as a tourist destination in third countries.
Read the full speech here.