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Tourism Around Europe
jlag newsletter issue n. 22 - April 2018 Friday 27 April 2018
A Conversation With...
Tourism Observatory
Funding Opportunities
On Our Bookshelf
PM4SD news
The Tourism Agenda

Welcome to the 22nd issue of Tourism Around Europe, a quarterly newsletter supporting the development of competitive and sustainable tourism.

For this issue, I had the pleasure of interviewing Helene LloydDirector of TMI and independent Tourism Marketing Consultant. We talk about skills in marketing and innovation, key destination  trends and the link between marketing and sustainable tourism.

The key topic this quarter is "skills development". "Skills are a pathway to employability and prosperity. (...) In a fast-changing global economy, skills will to a great extent determine competitiveness and the capacity to drive innovation." ( "A new skills agenda Europe*'). This is particularly true for the tourism sector as a people-oriented industry.

Within this context I am pleased to lead The Next Tourism Generation Alliance (NTG), on behalf of Federturismo Confindustria. This is a  project funded by the European Commission. NTG will establish a BluePrint for Sectoral Skills Development. The main scope is to encourage cooperation between  industry and education in five key tourism sub-sectors: hospitality, destination management, food and beverage operations, travel agencies and tour operators and visitor attractions.

NTG will follow PM4SD methodology. A training course was held in Brussels, to co-incide with the project kick-off meeting in March and was supported by the training platform developed by TrainingAid. The next PM4SD online course will take place from May 8 - June 1 2018. This is a great opportunity for professionals and partners interested in applying for upcoming funding opportunities which have deadlines in June (Life, Interreg Europe, Interreg Adrion, Erasmus). See the newsletter section dedicated to Funding Opportunities for more information.

Confirmed guest speakers for the upcoming PM4SD course are:

  • Amanda Charles, Sustainable Tourism Specialist, Caribbean Tourism Organisation
  • Ioannis Pappas, Co-Founder And CEO, Green Evolution SA
  • Kelly Galaski, Director of Global Programs, Planeterra Foundation / G Adventures
  • Seleni Matus, Executive Director, International Institute of Tourism Studies, GWU
  • Shaun Mann, Senior Tourism Specialist, IFC / World Bank

I hope you enjoy reading this issue, we also talk about the European Union Tourism Trends, the EU Visa Policy, the risks to the tourism industry from climate change, key governance reforms. Before you go, don’t miss this Awards news. You will find news and opportunities about three European awards for destinations: European Capital of Smart Tourism, Sustainable Cultural Tourist Destinations, and Green Destinations.

Happy Spring Season,

                                                                                                                                                                                                Silvia Barbone
                                                                      Jlag Managing Director

«Tourism Around Europe» is a quarterly newsletter for competitive tourism in Europe. Our aim is to disseminate European tourism policies and practices. We wish to encourage the exchange of knowledge regarding European tourism themes, actions and challenges. Each issue includes a conversation with influential leaders and thinkers within the sector.

A Conversation With...

For this issue I had the pleasure to interview Helene Lloyd, Director of TMI and independent Tourism Marketing Consultant. Through her experience of marketing a variety of destinations and other hospitality products (cruises, Luxury hotels and designer shopping outlets), she has gained expertise in both the luxury sector and the MICE segment. Her most recent area of focus is the digitalization of the travel sector and the disruption this has caused the whole distribution system, as well as the growing influence of opinion leaders via social media.

SB: Which are the key destination marketing trends for destinations in 2018?

HL: The rapid digitalization of the travel sector, means that we are working in an ever-changing environment which is hard to catch up with, but is challenging and exciting. If once Destinations had mainly B2B conversation with a limited number of Tour operators, who in turn sold packages to their travel agency network, today’s DMO’s have to be prepared to speak to consumers directly via the online as well as traditional media including the social media. Both digital technology, but also highly professional communication are the key issues that any destination has to focus on. However, although digital technology will enhance the marketing capabilities of any destination, it will not answer all of their needs, as the travel industry is based on personal relationships and recommendations.

But the overall trend for 2018 is a continuation of the previous years, and DMO are becoming highly professionalized organisations. They are much less likely to have their own office in a foreign country and more likely to out-source communication and increasingly their marketing and branding to professional agencies who work to agreed KPIs. This allows them to complete in an increasingly crowded area and at the same time allows them to achieve their targets within the limits of their budget.

Apart from the professionalization of the sector and the increase in out-sourcing, destinations are also increasingly focusing less on mass tourism and developing niches that will allow them to compete in the future, as travelers themselves are becoming increasingly selective. In Mature markets, like much of Europe, visitors develop not only niche interests, but also ‘causes’ so the environment sustainability of a destination and other social and political issues are increasing important and need to be considered in the marking strategy.

SB: How to combine marketing and sustainable tourism? 

HL: Increasingly up- market travel destination and product not only understand the visitors concern for the environment and the sustainability of a destination, but the clever ones make this an integral part of their being. A great example of this is the newly created destination in Greece called Costa Navarino, which was created in the Greek mainland (Peloponnese) which has been largely untouched and un-spoilt by tourism. The aim of this project is not just to create a resort but to create a new destination in Greece and incorporates the very best practices of sustainability, not only did they move and replant over 4000 olive trees whilst building the resort, but their aim is to provide employment of the local people, living in this region and train them up to be professionals. The numerous food and beverage outlets at the resort, are mainly provided with organic and locally grown food and they have been so successful at it that they have now developed their own Costa Navarino brand of organic food. We are likely to see more of these synergies in the future, rather than cheap and unplanned tourism destinations.

Full interview here

Tourism Observatory

Joint EU-UNWTO Report Provides Better Understanding of Tourism in the European Union

The new report ‘European Union Tourism Trends’, prepared by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in cooperation with the European Commission, underscores tourism’s major social and economic benefits for 28 countries comprising the European Union (EU). EU destinations welcomed 538 million international overnight visitors in 2017, 40% of the world total. EU accommodation establishments provide over 3 billion nights a year, half of which to domestic guests (residents) and half to international guests. Tourism accounts for 6% of the EU’s overall exports, while the direct contribution of tourism to individual EU economies reaches up to 11% of the GDP.

Preliminary results for 2017 indicate that international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) grew by 8% in the EU last year, to reach 538 million, or 40% of the world’s arrivals. The EU has enjoyed continued growth in international arrivals following the global economic crisis of 2009, with annual growth rates exceeding 4% in the last five years.

The UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili stated that “Sustained growth in tourism has been instrumental  in the economic recovery of many countries in Europe and around the world, contributing to job creation, economic growth and a healthy balance of payments”

Over two million businesses dedicated mainly or partially to tourism operate in the EU, most of them small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), employing some 12 million people. For individual EU economies, the direct contribution of tourism to GDP is as high as 11%. EU tourism is driven by both domestic and international visitors. Accommodation establishments in the EU offered 31 million bed-places in 2016. Guests spent a total 3.1 billion nights, half of which were by domestic visitors (residents) and half by international visitors. Of the 1.5 billion international nights, 1.1 billion were spent by guests from EU countries and 413 million by guests from outside the EU.

Download the full report European Union Tourism Trends

EU Visa Policy: Commission puts forward proposals to make it stronger, more efficient and more secure

The Commission is proposing to reform the EU's common visa policy to adapt the rules to evolving security concerns, challenges linked to migration and new opportunities offered by technological developments.

The proposed changes to the Visa Code will make it easier for legitimate travellers to obtain a visa to come to Europe, facilitating tourism, trade and business, whilst strengthening security and mitigating irregular migration risks.

The tourism and travel industry plays a key role in the European economy, representing around 10% of the EU's GDP. Whilst EU Member States are among the world's leading tourist destinations, lengthy and cumbersome procedures can deter tourists from travelling to Europe, redirecting investment and spending to other countries and affecting the EU's economy negatively. 

Faster and more flexible procedures:

1. The decision making time for visa applications will be reduced from 15 to 10 days. It will be possible for travellers to submit their applications up to 6 months in advance of their planned trip, instead of the current 3 months, and to fill in and sign their applications electronically.
2. Multiple entry visas with longer validity: Harmonised rules will apply to multiple entry visas to better prevent "visa shopping" and to reduce costs and save time for Member States and frequent travellers. Such multiple entry visas will be issued to trusted regular travellers with a positive visa history for a gradually increasing period from 1 up to 5 years. Travellers' fulfilment of entry conditions will be thoroughly and repeatedly verified.
3. Short-term visas at external borders: To facilitate short-term tourism, Member States will be allowed to issue single-entry visas directly at external land and sea borders under temporary, seasonal schemes subject to strict conditions. Such visas will be valid for a stay of a maximum of 7 days in the issuing Member State only.
4. Additional resources to reinforce security: In view of significantly increased processing costs over the past years, a moderate increase of the visa fee (from €60 to €80)– which has not increased since 2006 – will be introduced. This moderate increase is meant to allow Member States to maintain adequate levels of consular staff worldwide to ensure stronger security screenings, as well as the upgrading of IT equipment and software, without representing an obstacle for the visa applicants.
To know more click here

Making skills and qualifications more visible across the EU: Statement by Commissioner Thyssen following the adoption of the revised Europass framework

In April 2018, EU countries adopted the Commission's proposal to revise the Europass framework. The new framework will offer intuitive, modern tools that reflect people's needs in the context of today's labour market and education and training systems.
The new Europass will offer services to enable people identify and communicate their skills and qualifications, such as an enhanced tool for creating CVs and portfolios, as well as self-assessment tools to help individuals understand the value of their skills also include a range of relevant information on learning opportunities, qualifications and guidance.
The result will be that users can access a full range of services on skills and qualifications in a single location. 
The new Europass Framework will work with other services across the labour and education and training systems to allow an easier exchange of information and data. Europass will continue to evolve over time in line with users' needs and make best use of technology.

The Commission has now delivered on all ten actions announced under the Skills Agenda for Europe, launched in June 2016.

Tourism and Climate Change Mitigation: Embracing the Paris Agreement 

Climate change is a significant risk for the tourism industry, and the report commissioned by the European Travel Commission provides a first global analysis of the risks to the tourism industry from climate change. While it draws on high-level climate change expertise, it also contains the views and experiences of 17 travel and tourism leaders, who acknowledge that the viability of some destinations is seriosly threatened, and investigates ways in which tourism can become part of the global solution to tackle the risks of climate change. The research was published in March 2018 and is available for free download.


The Next Tourism Generation Alliance (NTG) 

The Next Tourism Generation Alliance (NTG) is a four year project just funded by the European Commision.

NTG will establish a Blue Print for Sectoral Skills Development in Tourism to:

  1. strengthen the relationship between Industry and Education
  2. respond to the skills needs of the Tourism sector
  3. offer concrete, innovative skills solutions.

It will focus on the skills gaps in digital, green and social skills and in fuve specialist sub-sectorsn five key tourism sub-sectors: hospitality, destination management, food and beverage operations, travel agencies and tour operators, visitor attractions. Flexible learning and training methods will enhance skills responses and provision to ensure a competitive, sustainable, contemporary and authentic visitor experience. 

The consortium, led by Federturismo Confindustria, comprises: 7 Tourism Sector Representatives (UnionCamere; Eurogites; IHK Academy Chamber of Commerce; Federturismo Confidutria; People 1st; VIMOS; CEHAT); 6 Universities (Dublin Institute of Technology, University of Sopron, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Alicante University, NHTV Breda Applied Sciences University, Varna University) and ATLAS-Europe, the Association of Tourism Lecturers and Students in Tourism in Europe.

All Stakeholders including businesses, employees, students, trade associations, local and regional authorities will be tasked with dissemination and integration.

We had the kick off meeting combined with the PM4SD certification training to initiate the project. 

For more information drop me an email, there will be several oppotunities to cooperate.

IdEATE – Improved Employability and Apprenticeship in the Tourism Sector

IdEATE-project is an European wide EU-funded project that aims improving employability of young Europeans aged 16-35 years, fostering and improving the image of careers in the tourism sector and promoting open dialogue and cooperation among training providers, tourism SMEs and public players by creating training content and using strongly online tools and channels. Activities are carried out by 10 project partners from six European countries, namely Italy, Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, and Spain. Read more about the project:

The tools and materials developed benefit different stakeholder groups such as jobseekers and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism sector.
The toolkit includes the following tools:

  1. Six Tourism Career Pathway profile cards
  2. Six videos with example profiles of Tourism Career Pathways
  3. Two videos about funding and mobility opportunities offered by the EU for SMEs and young jobseekers
  4. Three online training modules for tourism jobseekers
  5. Three online training modules for SMEs

The digital revolution is not only about large tech companies but essentially about start-ups and SMEs that provide or use digital solutions. SMEs compose 95% of the European economy. The variety is huge, from innovative and fast-growing companies that provide or use digital solutions, to those that face significant challenges such as acquiring the necessary skills to benefit from digital technologies. Addressing hard to fill digital skills' requirements will allow SMEs to continue to push the European economy forward.

European DIGITAL SME Alliance

The main objective of a new European Commission initiative is to research, design, test and validate specific measures supporting specialised skills development related to Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Cybersecurity for SMEs in Europe. The work is based on a demand-led, pragmatic and results-oriented approach with a view to proposing concrete measures. This includes:

A shared vision for skills development for SMEs on Big Data, Internet of Things and Cybersecurity for the coming years until 2023;
A toolbox with tailored solutions for SMEs;
A roadmap to support countries in the implementation of supporting measures;
A monitoring mechanism to monitor skills gaps and to track progress of the implementation in the coming years until 2023.

Your expertise and experiences are important. Are you an IT professional, advanced user or manager in an SME who made a start in applying Big Data and/or IoT, while addressing Cybersecurity challenges? Or are you preparing these steps? You can help by participating in our survey, an interview, or one of our workshops.

Please visit our project website or contact

Funding Opportunities

Social Inclusion and Common Values: the Contribution in the Field of Education, Training and Youth

This call for proposals under the Erasmus + programme will support transnational cooperation projects in the fields of education, training and youth. Projects are encouraged to include activities related to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

Deadline May 22,2018
Guidelines here


LIFE Environment projects - 2018

The Commission invites legal persons (entities) registered in the European Union (EU) to present proposals for the 2018 Call for proposals for LIFE Action Grants. The call covers proposals for both LIFE sub-programmes. For the sub-programme for Environment, this call will cover action grants for "Traditional" projects, Preparatory projects, Integrated projects, Technical Assistance projects. For the sub-programme for Climate Action, this call will cover action grants for "Traditional projects", Integrated projects, Technical Assistance projects.

Deadline: June 12, 2018
Guidelines here


Interreg Europe

The fourth call for project proposals opens on 7 May and closes on 22 June 2018. All the remaining European Regional Development Fund will be available for this fourth call.

The application pack for the fourth call includes:

  1. Terms of reference
  2. Programme manual (version 5 of 13 April 2018)
  3. Letter of support template
  4. Partner declaration template

Get ready for the fourth call for project proposals.


Interreg V-B Adriatic- Ionian Programme – ADRION 2014 -2020

The Interreg V-B Adriatic-Ionian 2014-2020 (hereinafter ADRION), set up in the framework of the European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) - one of the objectives of the cohesion policy - is launching its second call for proposals for Priority Axis 2 Sustainable Region, and invites all interested eligible public and private applicants to submit project proposals.

Deadline: June 26, 2018
Guidelines here


European Capital of Smart Tourism

The European Commission is launching a competition to award the title of European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019 to 2 European cities with the most smart, innovative and inclusive approaches to their tourism development.

The competition is open to cities in the EU with a population over 100,000 inhabitants. In EU countries where no city has more than 100,000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply.

Apply via the online application form before 30 June 2018.



New tourism awards scheme launched as a contribution to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 by European Travel Commission, Europa Nostra and the European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN).

2018 marks the European Year of Cultural Heritage, an EU initiative which aims to celebrate and engage more people to discover Europe’s diverse cultural heritage, and to reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European space. Thus, ETC has joined forces with ECTN and Europa Nostra, from the heritage sector, to address one of the 10 initiatives of the Year: ‘Tourism and Heritage: Responsible and Sustainable Tourism around Cultural Heritage’.

Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony to be held during the 11th International Conference for Cultural Tourism on 25-27th of October in Pafos, Cyprus. Applications are open to all tourist destinations across Europe, local and regional authorities, tourism boards and associations, destination management organisations, and cultural NGOs.

Download the detailed description
Download the application form


European Green Capital 2020 and European Green Leaf 2019

The European Green Capital and European Green Leaf (for smaller cities) Awards showcase cities that have made outstanding progress in reconciling environmental, social and economic pressures. t’s that time of year again! The finalists for the 2020 European Green Capital Award (EGCA) and 2019 European Green Leaf Award (EGLA) have been announced!

Ghent (Belgium), Lahti (Finland), and Lisbon (Portugal), have made it to the final of the EGCA 2020. This is the second time these three cities will be in the same final, having all been shortlisted for 2019 competition!
The five cities shortlisted to compete for the European Green Leaf Award 2019 (EGLA) are Cornellà de Llobregat (Spain), Gabrovo (Bulgaria), Horst aan de Maas (Netherlands), Joensuu (Finland), and Mechelen (Belgium).

Stay tuned for the announcement of the winners of the European Green Capital 2020 and European Green Leaf 2019 Award in June 2018.

European Green Capital Award 2021 Applicant Workshop, 2 July 2018, Brussels

The Applicant Workshop for the 2021 European Green Capital Award will take place on 2 July 2018 in Brussels. The Workshop will provide cities with an overview of the 2021 Evaluation Process along with helpful tips and advice on what makes a successful application.
Participants are required to register in advance as space is limited. If you would like to attend, or would like more information, please contact the EGCA Secretariat at the email address


On Our Bookshelf

OECD Tourism Trends and Policies 2018

Tourism in OECD countries continues to perform strongly and remains a major contributor to national economies, accounting for, on average, 4.2% of GDP, 6.9% of employment and 21.7% of service exports. However, sound and integrated policies are needed to ensure that tourism remains a competitive, sustainable and inclusive sector in the years to come.

According to OECD Tourism Trends and Policies 2018, OECD countries experienced strong growth in 2016 (3.9%) and accounted for over half of total global arrivals (55%) and travel receipts (60.4%). For the period 2012 to 2016, average annual growth in the OECD area (4.9%) was higher than global growth (4.4%). However, the longer term trend is for slower growth relative to emerging economies.

OECD Tourism Trends and Policies 2018 focuses on key policy and governance reforms in tourism and provides a global perspective with the inclusion of 49 OECD countries and partner economies. Two chapters analyse the role of megatrends in shaping the future of tourism, and the need for greater investment and financing for sustainable tourism.

The tourism economy is evolving rapidly, and sustainable development of the sector will depend on its ability to adapt to emerging economic, social, political, environmental and technological trends. 

The report highlights the need for tourism policy makers to build strategic approaches and modernise regulatory frameworks, to adapt to an increasingly dynamic environment. 

OECD Tourism Trends and Policies 2018 is undertaken in co-operation with the European Union.

Download here

PM4SD news

PM4SD online

As Jlag, we are delivering PM4SD (Project Management for Sustainable Development) training online courses in partnership with TrainingAid. 

The second edition of the PM4SD online course (PM4SD-1802) is scheduled for May 8 – June 1, 2018.

Confirmed guest speakers for the upcoming course are:

  • Amanda Charles, Sustainable Tourism Specialist, Caribbean Tourism Organisation
  • Ioannis Pappas, Co-Founder And CEO, Green Evolution SA
  • Kelly Galaski, Director of Global Programs, Planeterra Foundation / G Adventures
  • Seleni Matus, Executive Director, International Institute of Tourism Studies, GWU
  • Shaun Mann, Senior Tourism Specialist, IFC / World Bank

​The first course (February 19 – March 16, 2018) was attended by 33 tourism industry professionals from 15 countries, representing various sectors and diverse perspectives.

We are offering the online courses  in collaboration with  supporting organization such as:

  • Caribbean Tourism Organization
  • The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
  • The Travel Foundation
  • Blue Community

Info and registration here.

Cardiff Metropolitan University delivers PM4SD

Cardiff Metropolitan University has become the first university in the UK to become an Accredited Training Organisation (ATO) for APMG’s Project Management for Sustainable Development (PM4SD) Certification.

Dr Sheena Carlisle, Senior Tourism Management Lecturer, is the key person leading this process.  For further information about forthcoming courses in Cardiff, send an email to

The Tourism Agenda
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