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Tourism Around Europe
jlag newsletter issue n. 15 - april 2015 Tuesday 14 April 2015
A Conversation With...
Tourism Observatory
Funding Opportunities
On Our Bookshelf
PM4SD Training Courses
Join us at the 2015 Summer School
The Tourism Agenda

Welcome to the 15th issue of Tourism Around Europe, a quarterly newsletter for competitive and sustainable tourism in Europe.

In this issue, we focused on culture and heritage, on the occasion of the first UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture, held in March. I had the pleasure to interview Kishore Rao, director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre
We asked Mr. Rao how can governments, visitors and the local communities be involved in heritage and culture preservation.

In the “Tourism Observatory” section, you will read about the WTTC positive forecast for tourism growth in 2015, as well as a new report by the European Travel Commission – “Marketing Strategies for Tourism Destinations”. On the “Projects” section, we present the Izmir Jewish Heritage project that aims to save Izmir's (Turkey) unique synagogues, and create a living cultural monument to the rich Jewish heritage of the city. In this section we present also the NEZEH project that aims to accelerate the renovation process of existing hotels so that they become Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB), and the "Europe Without Borders" project designed to create a network of entities able to promote and sell tour packages accessible to everyone. Regarding the funding opportunities you will find the link to the application pack to submit a project within the Interreg Europe programme.

I am proud to announce that FEST Foundation for European Sustainable Tourism, founded by Jlag - will participate in the European Development Days 2015, taking place in Brussels on the 3rd and 4th June. Together with the African Diaspora Network, FEST will present the topic “Culture and Development: How to leverage the benefits of culture for sustainable development?”. Migration, global citizenship, inclusion & inequality etc... Specifically, FEST’s role will be to present how tourism is crucial in culture and sustainable development.

Finally, I wish to invite you to join the third edition of the Summer School in Leadership and Governance for Sustainable Tourism. As you may know, this year the event is hosted by Basquetour and will take place in Vitoria-Gasteiz, between the 30th June and the 3rd July. The Summer School is organised by FEST in partnership, for the first time, with the European Travel Commission .

The Summer School has received, for the second year in a row, the high patronage of the European Parliament. You will find more information in our special section “Join the Summer School”.

A Conversation With...

I had the pleasure to interview Kishore Rao, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre . He talks about the highlights and outcomes of the first UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture, recently held in Cambodia. Mr. Rao also talks about how can tourists be educated on the local community’s culture, presenting the concrete case of the World Heritage site of Vigan. Asked about what kind of opportunities can be created by national governments to enable local governments and local communities to preserve their culture, Mr. Rao presented us the successful case of the Land of Frankincense World Heritage site, in Oman.

S.B. Which are the most important outcomes from the recent UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture in Cambodia?

K.R. The conference achieved an important milestone with ministers of tourism and culture coming together for the first time on a global scale to discuss news ways of cooperation. The Declaration that emerged from the discussions will guide our efforts going forward with a focus on policy advocacy that strengthens and promotes culture and the creative industries, while safeguarding and protecting the heritage assets which tourism relies upon.

Read the full interview

Tourism Observatory

New report “Marketing Strategies for Tourism Destinations”

The European Travel Commission has released the executive summary of the report “Marketing Strategies for Tourism Destinations: A Competitive Analysis”, based on a set of six reports that provide insight into the strategic vision and the operational actions tourism destinations are developing to attract visitors.
The purpose of this executive summary, which focuses on six high potential markets Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, is to support both private and public organisations in the tourism sector to achieve a better understanding of the environment in which they operate.
This project has been carried out within the framework of the ETC-EC “Destination Europe 2020” initiative.

Download the executive summary here.

WTTC predicts that Travel and Tourism will grow faster than the global economy in 2015

Every year, the World Travel and Tourism Council forecasts the economic impact of the Travel & Tourism sector in 184 countries and 24 regions. For 2015, these forecasts show a sector that is again growing strongly, creating jobs and driving growth.

In 2015, the industry’s contribution to global GDP is forecast to grow by 3.7% and employment by 2.6%, while the global economy is due to growing by 2.9% in 2015. This, once again, demonstrates the sector’s resilience during economic volatility. By the end of 2015, the Travel & Tourism sector will contribute US$7,860 billion, 10% of global GDP, once all direct, indirect and induced impacts are taken into account. The sector will account for 284 million jobs, 9.5% of total employment, or one in eleven of all jobs on the planet.

According to the WTTC, the United States and China will retain their rankings as the two biggest Travel & Tourism economies, while Germany has overtaken Japan to rank as the third largest Travel & Tourism economy.

Read the full article here.


OECD issued a new tourism paper “A Review of Effective Policies for Tourism Growth”

This OECD report sets the context of the current project within the OECD’s wider work to enhance the resilience of economies after the global financial crisis and the associated policy challenges that have emerged as a result. It examines the changing global trends and inter-linked policy chal-lenges, then reviews the policy framework supporting tourism growth and presents various policy perspectives, detailing how they inter-connect and support tourism growth. The report explores ways for closer policy integration between tourism and related policy areas and suggests new pol-icy approaches to more effectively support tourism growth.

The report builds on previous work developed by the OECD Tourism Committee, Members, Part-ners, and other international organisations, taking stock of recent reforms carried out in the field of tourism, and learning from policy experience and research.

Download the full report here .


Eurobarometer: “Preferences of Europeans Towards Tourism

Every year, Eurobarometer carries out a survey of the travel intentions of EU citizens. The survey identifies trends in travel – not only where people intend to go and how long they plan to stay, but also how do they find out about transport, accommodation, sites to see and places to eat, and how they go about arranging their trips. Results show that Europeans are planning to travel more in 2015, with four out of ten people (43%, + 1% compared with 2014) say they plan to spend their main holiday in their own country.

The survey can be downloaded here.


Nearly Zero Energy Hotels: NEZEH

NEZEH, Nearly Zero Energy Hotel, is a European project that aims at accelerating the rate of refurbishment of existing hotels into Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB) by:

  • Providing technical advice to committed hoteliers
  • Demonstrating the profitability, feasibility and sustainability of investments towards nearly Zero Energy
  • Undertaking training and capacity building activities
  • Promoting front runners at national, regional and EU level, to increase their market visibility.

NEZEH is a response to the European Directive on the energy performance of buildings (2010/31/EU, EPBD recast), contributing directly to the EU 2020 targets and supporting EU Member States to their national plans for increasing the number of nZEBs.

The NEZEH initiative will run for three years (2013-2016) and is co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme (IEE) of the European Commission.

Find out more about this project here .


Europe Without Borders: Accessible Tourism & Itineraries & Training (EWB)

The general objective is to create a network of entities able to promote and sell tour packages accessi-ble to everyone. All services will be provided in a context where needs of people with special requirements should be attended to and resolved. The project seeks to achieve the following objectives: the creation of a network of professionals able to pursue the project; educate local administrators and business about the concept of Accessible Tourism; create services that are totally barrier free and could then allow people with disabilities and particular needs to join attractive destinations, create social inclusion. The project will create organised tours, training for tourism providers and dissemination activities for professionals, helping to develop the spread of qualified accessible tourism offers in Europe.

The project is coordinated by Sclerosi Multipla Italia Societià Consortile ARL (Italy). Partner organisations are:

• Accessible Poland Tours, Poland;
• Comune di Riccia (CB), Italy;
• Centro Servizi Foligno, Italy;
• ENAT (European Network for Accessible Tourism), Belgium;
• Christravel, Denmark.

Find out more about this project here.

Izmir Jewish Heritage

The Izmir Project is an international initiative led by the Kiriaty Foundation to save Izmir's (Turkey) unique synagogues, and create a living cultural monument to the rich Jewish heritage of the city.
The Izmir Project cooperates with the local Municipality and the Jewish community to restore and recon-struct seven of Izmir's synagogues and historic community buildings, and construct a museum with a cul-tural center.

The aim of this project is to turn the old Jewish quarter of Izmir into an exciting historical, cultural, educa-tional and touristic site as a tribute to Turkish history and world monuments, and an accolade to the rich architectural legacy of the Jewish community that once flourished in Izmir.
The Izmir project involves synagogue restoration, creation of a “Living Museum of Jewish Heritage” and a cultural center to cover 2000 m2 of built area with additional adjacent courtyard areas. The Living Museum of Jewish Heritage will serve as an academic center for multi-cultural research and dialogue.

Read more about this project here.

Funding Opportunities


Key Action 1: Mobility of Individuals

Mobility for Young People and Youth Workers
Deadlines for application: 30/04/2015; 01/10/2015

Key Action 2: Co-operation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Strategic Partnerships in the field of education, training and youth
Deadlines for application: 30/04/2015; 01/10/2015

Capacity Building in the field of Youth
Deadlines for application: 02/09/2015


Support to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan for the modernisation of its policy and management system in the culture sector
Deadline for application: 20/04/2015


INTERREG Europe First Call
Deadline for application: to be announced


HORIZON 2020 Cluster facilitated projects for new industrial chains
Deadline for application: 30/04/2015

Overcoming the Crisis-New Ideas, Strategies and Governance Structures for Europe: ERA-NET on Smart Urban Futures
Deadline for application: 28/05/2015

The Young Generation in an Innovative, Inclusive and Sustainable Europe: The young as a driver of social change
Deadline for application: 28/05/2015

Disaster-resilience: safeguarding and securing society, including adapting to climate change
Deadline for application: 27/08/2015

European cultural and science diplomacy: exploiting the potential of culture and science in the EU’s external relations
Deadline for application: 28/05/2015

Re-invigorating the partnership between the two shores of the Mediterranean
Deadline for application: 28/05/2015

The cultural, scientific and social dimension of EU-LAC relations
Deadline for application 28/05/2015


Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2015, by the World Travel and Tourism Council

The World Tourism and Travel Council, Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are aimed at recognising best practice in sustainable tourism within the industry globally, based upon the principles of environmentally friendly operations, support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage and direct benefits to the social and economic well-being of local people in travel destinations around the world. Winners will be officially announced during the Awards Ceremony taking place in Madrid, Spain on 15th of April 2015 dur-ing WTTC’s Global Summit.

Read more about this award here.

World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015, by Responsible Travel

The Awards rest on a simple principle, that all types of tourism can and should be organised in a way that preserves, respects and benefits destinations and local people. Their aim is to celebrate the individuals, organisations and destinations working innovatively with local cultures, communities and biodiversity. The Awards are organised by Responsible Travel in association with the International Centre for Responsible Tourism, and take place at the World Travel Market in London as part of World Responsible Tourism Day. Deadline: 6th of April 2015. 

Find more information here.
Apply here.

The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC), “Irish Tourism Industry Award 2015”

The biennial Irish Tourism Industry Awards showcase the country’s most successful and innovative tourism products, services and experiences. They are organised and presented by the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, ITIC’s industry members, Fáilte Ireland, and Tourism Ireland. The inaugural 2015 Irish Tourism Industry Awards will be presented in Dublin on 24th April 2015. The categories they are divided into are the following: International Initiatives, Tourism Innovation and Tourism Experiences.

Read more about this award here.


European Sport Tourism Awards, sponsored by Shannon Group

The inaugural Shannon Group European Sport Tourism Awards aim to recognise and reward innovation and achievement in sport tourism from across Europe. Events, destinations and venues which have made outstanding contributions to the sport tourism industry will be acknowledged in front of a global audience of sport tourism influencers and practitioners. The 2015 Awards Presentation will be hosted on the evening of Thursday 14th May in King Johns Castle, Limerick, during the European Sport Tourism Summit .

Learn more about the European Sport Tourism Awards .
Apply here .


Sustainable Tourism Award 2015, by Skål International

Skål International is an Affiliate Member of the World Tourism Organization and is a powerful force in the travel and tourism industry to initiate change and encourage the conservation of the environment in order to promote tourism and travel. The awards presented also serve the purpose of acquainting the world with this new concept that puts emphasis on the importance of the interaction of the physical, cultural and social environment the traveller 's responsibility and the need for active community participation for Sustainability. Deadline: 30th June 2015.

Find more information here.


Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), “The 2015 Canadian Tourism Awards”

The Canadian Tourism Awards are presented annually by theTourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) to recognize success, leadership and innovation in Canada's tourism industry, and to reward those people, places, organizations and events that have gone above and beyond to offer travellers superior tourism experiences in Canada. Deadline: 15th June 2015.

Read more about this award 2015 Canadian Tourism Award.
Learn more about how to nominate/apply.

On Our Bookshelf

Hotel Classification Systems: Recurrence of criteria in 4 and 5 star hotels, UNWTO and Norwegian Accreditation

The new UNWTO report Hotel Classification Systems: Recurrence of Criteria in 4 and 5 Star Hotels, identifies the common criteria among 4 and 5 star hotels, providing valuable insights for destinations wishing to revise existing or establish new hotel classification systems.
Benchmarking international accommodation standards can help destinations establish hotel classi-fication systems which are more relevant and useful to consumers, hotels, intermediaries and des-tinations alike. Against this backdrop, the new UNWTO report Hotel Classification Systems:  Recur-rence of Criteria in 4 and 5 Star Hotels compares criteria recurrence in 30 European destinations and six destinations in other regions.
The report reveals that despite the existence of many types of classification systems across the globe, there are more similarities than differences, both between geographic groups and between 4 and 5 star categories.

Download the full report here.

Towards Measuring the Economic Value of Wildlife Watching Tourism in Africa – Briefing Paper, UNWTO

Set against the backdrop of the ongoing poaching crisis driven by a dramatic increase in the illicit trade in wildlife products, this briefing paper intends to support the ongoing efforts of African governments and the broader international community in the fight against poaching. Specifically, this paper looks at the wildlife watching market segment within the tourism sector and highlights its economic importance with a view to encouraging tourism authorities and the tourism industry to collaborate in strengthening anti-poaching measures and raising awareness of these issues among tourists. The analysis identifies key economic indicators and characteristics of wildlife watching tourism in African countries. This paper acts a first step towards a more systematic measurement of the economic value of the wildlife watching tourism market segment in Africa and in defining the role of the tourism sector in the fight against poaching.

Download the full report here.

PM4SD Training Courses

The PM4SD™qualification is the next step for anyone involved in this growing industry looking for further demonstrate their commitment to sustainable tourism.

Here are the dates for the next training courses:

  • Brussels, BE: 8-12 June;
  • London, UK: July (dates to be determined);
  • Rome, IT: 28 September - 2 October

Visit to learn more about the course and register.

Join us at the 2015 Summer School

Save the date!

The third edition of the Summer School will take place in the beautiful Vitoria-Gasteiz, the 2012 European Green Capital. The event, taking place between June 30th and July 3rd, is organized by FEST and the European Travel Commission and hosted by Basquetour in partnership with the Vitoria–Gasteiz Council .

The Summer School, which had its first edition in 2013, is an annual European event that takes place in a different European country every year. This year, it will once again bring together key representatives of the tourism sector: donors, policy makers, industry representatives, project management practitioners, academics and entrepreneurs to share practices on how to plan and manage tourism funding with sustainability, and also to improve project management and effectiveness in the tourism sector. The Summer School is the PM4SD™ annual event, promoting it as the methodology to apply in tourism projects and to discuss the professionalization of project management in sustainable tourism.

Confirmed key note speakers include Dr. Harsh Varma, from the UNWTO; Deirdre Shurland, from UNEP, Eduardo Santander from the European Travel Commission and Luigi Cabrini, from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Download the tentative programme.


Call for Abstracts for the Summer School in Leadership and Governance for Sustainable Tourism

There is still time to submit your paper for the Call for Abstracts. The Organizing Committee of the Summer School is inviting professionals to submit extended abstracts covering the following themes:

  • Stakeholder Management for Sustainable Tourism – Methods and Tools
  • Successful Entrepreneurial initiatives for Sustainable Tourism
  • Best Practices for monitoring the benefits of funded initiatives in Tourism

The deadline to submit the abstracts is April 24th, while the full papers are requested by May 22nd.
Selected papers will be published in conference proceedings with ISBN number.

Download the Call for Abstracts .

Find out more about the 2015 Summer School .

The Tourism Agenda

Adriatic Sea Forum 2015 Edition , Dubrovnik Port Authority (Partner of), organized by Risposte Turismo, 23-24 April 2015, Dubrovnik, Croatia

GROW your REGIOn: delivering smart specialisation and economic transformation through clusters, organised by DGs GROW and REGIO of the European Commission, 27-28 April 2015, Brussels, Belgium

Kos Tourism Conferences, organised by the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence, 1-8 May 2015, Kos Island, Greece

European Sport Tourism Summit 2015 , 14-15 May 2015, Limkerick, Ireland

Global Growth Agendas: Regions, Institutions and Sustainability, Regional Studies Association (RSA) Annual Conference, 24-27 May 2015, Piacenza, Italy

1st UNWTO World Forum on Food Tourism , organised by the UNWTO, 27-29 April, San Sebastián, Spain

European Development Days, organized by European Commission, 3-4 June 2015, Brussels, Belgium

Sustainable Energy Week 2015, organised by the European Commission, 15-19 June 2015, Brussels, Belgium

Sustainable and Competitive Hotels through Energy Innovation , the Nearly Zero Energy Hotels 2015 International Conference, 24 June 2015, Acropolis Nice, France.

Summer School in Leadership and Governance for Sustainable Tourism, organized by FEST – Foundation for European Sustainable Tourism, 30 June-3 July 2015, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

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