Network for the European Private Sector in Tourism

NET is a network of large trade associations for the private sector in European tourism. Our purpose is to develop common goals for industry and work with policy makers and other partners to achieve them. Tourism's contribution to EU employment and GDP is crucial. It contributes more than 10% of GDP and provides c.12 million jobs largely in small and medium sized enterprises. This represents the third largest socio-economic activity in the EU. Its potential for growth will only be realised with coordinated support from policy makers and other stakeholders.

Our vision is for Europe to be:

  • An attractive and sustainable destination for visitors from Europe and worldwide. 
  • A competitive place for tourism businesses to establish and operate.
  • A strong contributor to growth and jobs.

Continued success in European tourism will require:

  • An open market in services.
  • A competitive regulatory and fiscal environment for business. 
  • Continued improvement in applicable visa regimes and border crossings. 
  • Transparency and informed choice for consumers. 
  • Improved infrastructure and service for visitors.
  • Smart regulation and digital uptake. 
  • Raised awareness of the social, cultural and economic benefits of tourism.

The sector's economic contribution is at risk from competitive pressure and complacency about Europe's continued appeal. There are a diverse number of policies affecting tourism, which include: visa regimes; security; taxation; consumer protection and passenger rights; jobs and growth; transport infrastructure; environmental management; energy; foreign relations; inward investment. Progress is difficult because competence for tourism is shared at local, national and EU level. 

Current challenges: 

  1. Legislative, administrative and fiscal burdens inhibit performance and make EU establishment uncompetitive.
    Over-regulation impedes consumers’ choice of service providers.
  2. Europe welcomed 68% of global international arrivals in 1970. This fell to 50% in 2016 of which less than one in five came from outside the region. 
  3. International arrivals in Asia Pacific and the Americas are growing at a faster rate.
  4. Service levels and product range, offered on and offline, must continue to adapt to emerging market needs. 

Tourism must be an EU priority at a senior level in order to succeed. The interests of industry and policy makers must be aligned so that tourism's potential may be fulfilled. This will entail effective policy development and coordination that involves proper consultation with industry.

To this end NET works closely with the EU institutions and supports the following:

  1. At the Commissin level: The Commission sould (i) carry out a thorough policy review and industry consultation and (ii) create a budget line or fund dedicated to tourism.
  2. At Council level: The Council of Minister should meet at least once during each Presidency to identify and review the impact of EU measures on tourism.
  3. At Euopean Parliament level: The EP Tourism Task Force and the Tourism Intergroup should involve all relevant stakeholders and should monitor all political developments likely, to have an impact on tourism sectors.