Parliamentary Watch: developing senior tourism in Europe

With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the importance of tourism is recognised at EU level. Article 195 of the EU Treaty indeed offers the possibility to take European or multinational actions while respecting the principle of subsidiarity and the competence of the Member States.

The Commission has given new impetus to tourism policy with a main initiative undertaken in 2010, the Communication ‘Europe, the world’s No 1 tourist destination a new political framework for tourism in Europe’ which has set out a new consolidated policy framework and an action plan for tourism. With 21 actions, the Commission set itself a very ambitious objective against the background of a desirable contribution to growth and employment in Europe.

The European Parliament asked the Commission to deliver a comprehensive implementation report on actions taken, including the use of financial resources, in the frame of this initiative.

What is there for older persons?

The Parliament recognised several times in its report the relevance of addressing specific needs, notably those of older persons, when developing touristic products.

It welcomed the Calypso social tourism initiative, which allows seniors, young people, people on lower incomes and people with disabilities to go on holidays outside the high season and stressed that this initiative has the potential to overcome the problem of seasonality, particularly in less well-known destinations.

It called to strengthen the ‘tourism for all’ principle which allows and empowers people, particularly those with specific needs (such as people with disabilities or reduced mobility, young people, the elderly, low-income families, and families with children), to enjoy their rights as citizens, and to make it the reference for any national, regional, local or European tourism-related action.

Last but not least, it underlined the need to place particular emphasis on the use of new technologies when developing tourism concepts for senior citizens and people with specific disabilities.

Read the full report here.

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