Tourism Policy (Communication)
With the Lisbon Treaty the EU acquired new competences in the field of tourism which are anchored in primary law. In its Communication the Commission describes the “challenges” and presents an “action framework for tourism in Europe”. The Commission wishes to make the cultural and natural wealth of Europe better known, for example by introducing a “European Cultural Heritage Seal”. Furthermore, a publicly funded “voluntary” exchange mechanism for tourists is to enable “key groups” such as young people (up to the age of 30) and the elderly (65+) to travel to tourist destinations in other Member States during the low season. Finally, the Commission plans to conduct “awareness-raising campaigns relating to the choice of destinations and the means of transport to promote “sustainable and responsible high-quality tourism”.
A “European Cultural Heritage Seal” leads to an improved awareness of the cultural wealth of Europe. A tourist exchange programme financed by public funds is superfluous as market mechanisms for an improved distribution of holiday travel throughout the entire year already exist. “Awareness-raising campaigns” regarding choice of destination and transport mode distort significantly competition between destinations and transport modes.