In 2008, the Ministry for Economy, Employment and Tourism at that time and the Tourist Board of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern initiated the first Baltic Sea Tourism Forum (Summit) which took place in Rostock / Germany. Core aims of this touristic rapprochement process were to develop forms of collaboration which complement the countries' and regions' own marketing strategies in a meaningful way and give the Baltic Sea as a tourism brand a better place on the market. During recent years, the Baltic Sea Tourism Forum has become the communication and exchange platform for transnational initiatives in the Baltic Sea region. It aims to promote dialogue, consensus building and a shared vision on the key challenges of tourism development around the Baltic Sea.
Since 2012, the annual forum has been closely linked to the implementation process of Policy Area Tourism in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. It contributes strongly to the aims of the macro regional strategy, the revised action plan and defined actions adopted by the European Commission in 2015.
The Baltic Sea Tourism Forum attracts key tourism stakeholders from around the Baltic Sea and contributes significantly to transnational exchange and cooperation in the region. In 2018, around 400 participants followed the invitation to the 11th joint Baltic Sea and Latvian Tourism Forum in Riga / Latvia. Last year, in November 2019, the BSR tourism community met in Brussels for the very first time.
The 13th Baltic Sea Tourism Forum will be hosted from 11-13 November 2020 in Palanga (Lithuania).