The European Tourism Forum Focuses on the Economy

By Shirley MakBrussels, Belgium, is preparing for the eighth annual European Tourism Forum to be held this year on Oct. 9 at the Square Brussels Meeting Centre. This year’s forum is titled “EU Tourism and the Economic Downturn New Opportunities

By: By Shirley Mak

Brussels, Belgium, is preparing for the eighth annual European Tourism Forum to be held this year on Oct. 9 at the Square Brussels Meeting Centre. This year’s forum is titled “EU Tourism and the Economic Downturn: New Opportunities for a Sustainable and Prosperous Future” and will revolve around the topics of tourism in the European Union, as well as the global economic crisis.

Several hundred leading tourism representatives are expected to be in attendance.
According to the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA), the forum is part of two days of talks and workshops beginning with a conference on European Tourism Day (Oct. 8). The conference will focus on key areas in the Europe tour industry, including sustainable tourism in Europe, the Baltic Sea strategy, cultural itineraries and the use of local products by restaurants in Europe.

The European Tourism Forum is organized by the European Commission’s Tourism Unit and will open with a keynote speech by Gunter Verheugen, vice president of the commission, an address by Brian Simpson, chairman of the European Parliament’s transport and tourism committee and a speech by Herve Novelli, the French Minister for Tourism, according to ETOA.

Four different panel sessions will also be held over the course of the two-day forum. Panel 1 will discuss consumer behavior, sustainability and the economic downturn. Panel 2, moderated by Franco Ianniello, head of tourism unit for the European Commission, will focus on employer-employee relations in tourism. Panel 3 will discuss the regulatory framework in tourism, while Panel 4 focuses on promoting competitive and sustainable European tourism from a 2020 perspective.

Each panel will feature a debate involving three speakers and one moderator. The forum will close with a summary report of the four panel discussions. The forum lasts from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

European Commission Tourism Unit
www.ec.europa.eu/enterprise/tourism/index_en.htm

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