Europa Nostra supports the #Tourism4Recovery campaign

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, which represents over 60 private and public organisations from all over Europe, including Europa Nostra and a number of other organisations with a focus on culture and heritage, has called on European governments to include tourism as a strategic part of their national recovery and resilience plans. Europa Nostra endorsed the #Tourism4Recovery campaign, launched by the alliance on 1 March, and provided extensive input to the ‘Call for Action: Accelerate Social and Economic Recovery by Investing in Sustainable Tourism Development’, published by the alliance on 9 February.

The ‘Call for Action: Accelerate Social and Economic Recovery by Investing in Sustainable Tourism Development’ emphasises that the new Recovery and Resilience Facility agreed by the EU institutions to help rebuild the EU’s economy, offers an unprecedented opportunity to reset travel in Europe and build a more sustainable, resilient and innovative tourism sector.

To assist EU governments in drafting their national recovery plans, the paper presents a non-exhaustive list of reforms and investment ideas to drive digital and green transitions of travel & tourism and wider EU economies. Europa Nostra actively contributed to this paper, stressing the importance of a responsible and sustainable cultural tourism sector which can be an active contributor to Europe’s recovery within the principles of the Declaration ‘Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit’, which aims to make destinations better places to visit, live and work for residents, businesses and visitors.

Examples of some of the investment proposals included in the paper by Europa Nostra relate to the reuse and valorisation of heritage buildings, monuments and sites to develop a greener and more sustainable tourism infrastructure; the reuse and valorisation of heritage travel infrastructure to promote innovative and sustainable forms of tourism; and the development and enhancement of online platforms to share the value of cultural heritage to increase awareness of nearby cultural heritage and make adaptive re-use more frequent.

It is estimated that cultural tourism accounts for 40% of all European tourism and that 4 out of 10 tourists choose their destination based on its cultural offering. Cultural tourism is one of the largest and fastest growing tourism segments worldwide; but due to lockdowns, border closures and other restrictive measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19, the tourism sector, including heritage sites, has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic crisis, putting some 13 million European jobs at risk and, according to the European Commission, requiring €161 billion worth of investment to bounce back to pre-crisis levels.

 

As stated in the European Heritage Alliance Manifesto, Europa Nostra is convinced that we have to recover from this crisis by using it as an opportunity to promote more innovative and sustainable forms of tourism. For this reason, Europa Nostra also joined the #Tourism4Recovery campaign launched to support the alliance’s Call to Action with the aim of raising awareness of the devastating impact of the COVID-19 crisis on European tourism and showcasing how investment in sustainable tourism can be a key driver for the EU’s recovery. The campaign features a dedicated website with user-generated content as well as social media videos presenting tourism as a force for sustainable development.

Don’t hesitate to join the conversation online and promote the key investments required for sustainable tourism recovery across Europe.

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