European Tourism Forum

14th Aug 2009

European tourism in the economic downturn is the theme of a one-day conference in Brussels on 9 October. The opening session of the 2009 European Tourism Forum will be devoted to a study on EU tourism and the global economic crisis. The forum is part of two days of talks beginning with a conference on regional tourism, specifically relating to the activities of the Network of European Competitiveness and Sustainable Tourism Regions, on 8 October which is European Tourism Day. Both events will be held at Square Brussels Meeting Centre, 8 rue du Musée, Brussels.

The European Tourism Forum, organised by the European Commission’s Tourism Unit, 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 Hervé Novelli, the French Minister for Tourism.

The first panel session will be on consumer behaviour, sustainability and the economic downturn. Speakers include:

  * Tom Mikael Selanniemi, chairman of the Tour Operators Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development;
  * Kees-Jan Van Ginkel, Vice-President of the FIA Tourism Commission;
  * Elisabeth Udolf-Strobl, Director General for Tourism and Historical Objects in the Austrian Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth.

The second Panel Session is devoted to employer-employee relations in tourism, moderated by Franco Ianniello, head of the Tourism Unit, and confirmed speakers include:


  * Martin Couchman, Chair of the HOTREC Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee;
  * Emilio Fargnoli, President of the EFFAT Tourism Sector.

The third panel session, on the regulatory framework for tourism will include contributions from:

  * Kent Nystrom, president of HOTREC;
  * Zsuzsanna Varnai, president of Visz Hungary;
  * Daniel John Winteler, CEO of Alpitour and President of Italy’s national industrial federation for travel and tourism.

The fourth panel discussion, on a 2020 perspective for promoting competitive and sustainable European Tourism, will include contributions from:

  * Tom Jenkins, Executive Director of ETOA;
  * Werner Sulberg, Vice-President, corporate development and market research at REWE Touristik, a sustainable tourism specialist operator;
  * Federico Costa, from Turismo de Portugal.

The closing session will be led by a summary report-back on the panel sessions by Malcolm Bell of South West England and an address by Joan Mesquida, Spain’s State Secretary for Tourism. The session moderator will be Pedro Ortun, director for tourism at the European Commission.

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