EU tourism issues will be discussed at the highest level

16 October 2013, Last updated at, 09:15 EET
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author: Olga Khoroshunova/Scanpix

On 17-18 October, the 12th European Tourism Forum ‘Tourism – a Force for Economic Growth, Social Change and Welfare’ is to be held in Vilnius. Forum participants will discuss the benefits of tourism for the European Union (EU) economy and competitiveness, the diversity of tourism products, closer cooperation, the future of tourism and tax issues in the tourism business. The Forum is organized by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania, in cooperation with the European Commission.

The Forum will start with the Informal Ministerial meeting, where Vice President of the European Commission Antonio Tajani, ministers and representatives from the EU Member States in charge of tourism are going to discuss visa policy, senior tourism initiatives and tourism related funding under the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020.

‘We have a great opportunity to discuss the EU tourism issues at the highest level and present the Lithuanian tourism opportunities as well as show our country as an active European and global tourism policy actor’, - said Minister of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania Evaldas Gustas.

During the Forum, Minister of Economy Evaldas Gustas, Latvian Ambassador in Lithuania Mārtiņš Virsis and Estonian Ambassador in Lithuania Toomas Kukk will sign the Protocol on Amendments to the Agreement among the Governments of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on co-operation in the field of tourism. According to the Minister of Economy, this amendment will enable the Baltic countries to cooperate more closely in joint tourism projects.

The private sector representatives are going to sign the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Code for Ethics for the Private Sector, which has already been signed by more than 150 global tourism business associations.

The European Tourism Forum is an annual Presidency of the European Union (EU) Council event held since 2002. The event aims to contribute to the development of tourism policy and sharing of experience between tourism policy makers, implementers, and social and economic partners.

The event will convene delegates from all 28 Member States, candidate countries, Eastern partnership countries, and countries looking for closer cooperation with the EU, representatives from the EU institutions and the United Nations World Tourism Organization, European and national tourism associations leaders and academics.

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