Study on specific challenges for a sustainable development of coastal and maritime tourism in Europe
Coastal and maritime tourism is an important subsector of tourism and the largest maritime activity in Europe. Employing over 3.2 million people, this sector generates a total of € 183 billion in gross value added and represents over one third of the maritime economy1. Building upon the sector’s capacity to contribute to a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy in Europe a number of actions were identified in the European Commission’s Communication on “A European Strategy for more Growth and Jobs in Coastal and Maritime Tourism” (COM(2014)86), aiming to help the sector grow sustainably and... provide added stimulus to Europe’s coastal regions. Three particular actions are taken up through this study: - Identification of ways to improve island connectivity and design innovative tourism strategies for (remote) islands; - The promotion of a diversified tourism offer, including by integrating coastal and inland attractors; - Innovative practices for marina development. Coastal and island tourism in Europe is affected by a number of exogenous trends such as growing global tourism and the emergence of new market segments, changes in demand patterns, ageing society, an increased awareness and search for sustainability and quality, geopolitical instability in parts of the world, and a growing role of ICT as a tool for information access and benchmarking. Against these trends, and taking account of the response capacity of the European tourism sector that is characterised by many local and regional structures and a large number of SME operators, challenges to be addressed include seasonality of demand and dependency on specific groups of tourists, the limited carrying capacity of facilities and environment, low added value generated in parts of the sector, the need for renewed marketing approaches and the upgrading of outdated infrastructures, for which however investment capacity is limited, but also the limited economic and social returns for local communities. In addition, for islands, the connectivity to tourist origin regions, seasonality of services, as well as inter-island connectivity, pose additional challenges on the accommodation of tourism demand and the competition with other tourism regions.
- Corporate author(s): ECORYS , Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (European Commission) , MRAG , S.Pro Themes: Tourism, Inland-waterway and sea transport
- Subject: coastal region, employment policy, environmental impact, environmental research, exploitation of the seas, innovation, job creation, leisure, maritime area, regional policy, sustainable development, tourism, tourism policy