European initiatives in tourism

  • Transition pathway for tourism
The European Industrial Strategy was adopted in March 2020 as a support to digital and green transition, and it was updated in spring 2021 so that it would also ensure an adequate response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The EU decided to develop Transition pathways for every industrial sector to speed up the twin transition. The tourism sector has been given priority due to the challenges it has to face.
The European Commission, in cooperation with Member States and stakeholders, has drafted a document called Transition pathway for tourism (TPT) that will be the backbone of the European Tourism Agenda until 2030 and 2050 (Agenda 2030/2050). The TPT document is structured in five topic areas: regulation and public governance; green and digital transition; resilience, investments and finances. Each of these units addresses one or more building blocks that cover key aspects of twin transition and desirable steps that lead to greater resilience. There are seven building blocks in total: regulation and public governance; R&I, techniques and technological solutions; infrastructure; skills; social dimension; investments and funding. The Transition pathway for tourism considers each of these elements from the perspective of: green transition (environment sustainability and climate neutrality), digital transition and focusing on greater resilience. Ultimately, TPT sets 27 topic areas with related activities that need to be implemented (a total of 70 activities). Some topic areas fall within the scope of tourism, others are horizontal and fall within the scope of different bodies (such as matters of transport, environmental protection, education and other).
  • EDEN

The European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) is an initiative started in 2007 that aims to encourage, award and promote best achievements in sustainable tourism and green transition in less known tourist destinations. Tourist destinations change in accordance with the European Green Deal and circular economy, so initiatives such as this one award efforts and innovations and are an example of good practice that aspires toward more green and sustainable tourist destinations.
The EDEN initiative includes EU Member States and countries outside the EU that participate in the COSME programme.

  • European Capital of Smart Tourism

The European Commission is implementing an initiative called European Capital of Smart Tourism that recognises four categories of exceptional achievements of cities in their role as tourist destinations: sustainability, accessibility, digitalization, cultural heritage and creativity. The goal of the initiative is to promote smart tourism in the EU, networking and destination strengthening, as well as to facilitate the exchange of good practice. 

  • EU Tourism Dashboard
The European Commission developed the EU Tourism Dashboard to improve the knowledge database on tourism, environment monitoring and digital and socio-economic effects of tourism, and to support the green and digital transition of tourism. The platform is an online tool for collecting, publishing and clearly visualizing indicators in tourism - it also takes into account the objectives of tourist policies and thus identifies problems and provides support for new policies and action plans. The platform will enable comparison of Member States and monitoring of the progress of green and digital transition of the tourist ecosystem to achieve better resilience and sustainability. The platform includes basic tourism indicators such as the number of overnight stays, average length of stay, tourist arrivals and other. In addition, it includes indicators divided into three main groups: impact of the environment (the intensity of emissions from air traffic; emission intensity; intensity of energy use, share of tourist arrivals by rail, quality of bathing water, dependence on tourists from distant destinations), tourism digitalization (e-commerce and sales, companies that use social networks, digital skills of tourism employees, internet speed in tourist destinations, list of accommodation units on the Internet) and the socio-economic impact (intensity of tourism/dependence of economy on tourism, seasonality, dependence on the top three destinations, offer diversity, shares of persons employed in the tourism sector, average spending of tourists).
  • The EU Pact for Skills in Tourism Ecosystem
The European Commission launched the EU Pact for Skills in November 2020. The Pact is firmly anchored in the European Pillar of Social Rights and falls under the European Skills Agenda (2020). It is a shared engagement model for skills development in Europe that will provide the right skills for jobs, support people on their path of lifelong learning and provide a framework that will unlock investments in skills.
The EU Pact for Skills in Tourism Ecosystem was launched in December 2021. The Covid-19 pandemic jeopardised two thirds of jobs in tourism when the sector was already struggling to attract and employ persons qualified for certain jobs. The Pact strives to seize the opportunity to restart the tourism sector and prepare it for a future in which new frameworks for acquiring new and improving existing skills will maximise the sector’s potential, build its resilience and allow it to meet the challenges of green and digital transition.
  • Short-term rental regulation Initiative
The Short-term rental regulation Initiative aims to develop a responsible, fair and reliable growth of short-term rentals as part of a well-balanced tourism ecosystem. Moreover, it aims to ensure equal conditions for all accommodation service providers and respond to numerous requests of parties that are interested in doing business in this segment throughout the EU. The initiative was launched to achieve balanced solutions for cities, historic and professional accommodation service providers and short-term rental platforms, which would especially benefit small and medium-sized enterprises. The regulation proposal is expected in June 2022.
  • Virtual Tourism Observatory
The Virtual Tourism Observatory provides collections of information, data and analysis on current trends in the tourism sector, economic and environmental impact of tourism, and tourist profiles. It is designed to support the creation of better policies and strategies in tourism in the public and private sector to make the European tourism sector as competitive as possible. 
  • Guide on EU funding for tourism

The European Commission has published a Guide on EU funding for tourism in May 2021 that contains all the possible financing activities from the field of tourism as part of different EU programmes and funds in a multiannual financial period 2021-2027. The new, updated Guide with information on 17 different financing sources with links to tender documentation is available at