With the aim to combine forces of tourism stakeholders in the Baltic Sea region, the Baltic Sea Tourism Center (BSTC) presented its newly developed ‘Position Paper on sustainable tourism development in the Baltic Sea region post 2020’ at the 11th Baltic Sea Tourism Forum in Riga.
The paper is intended to serve as a basis for gathering voices of tourism stakeholders in the Baltic Sea region in order to present a stronger and more connected image, especially with regard to the new EU funding period starting in 2021. The paper calls on touristic actors to create more permanent cooperation structures, to approach politics jointly, and to establish more stable financing possibilities after 2020.
The need for international tourism cooperation is growing with a view to future developments in population, economy and the overall mounting desire to travel. The UNWTO anticipates that by 2030 the number of international travellers will reach 1.8 billion, an increase by 3.3 % a year since 2010. In order to best address the resulting challenges, more strategic cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region is required. International developments need to be addressed jointly, be it to monitor and control tourism flows, to improve touristic infrastructure, or to assure the availability of skilled labour force.
In addition, the position paper focuses on the importance of tourism as an economic sector. The BSR should support and further extent a strong strategic framework for a sustainable tourism development in the BSR. Within the field of Tourism Policy it is – among other things - crucial to raise awareness of BSR tourism, strengthen the Policy Area tourism of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region, exploit potentials and synergies with other Policy Areas and lobby the sector for the new funding period.
Finally, the paper asks for a stable Tourism Funding for border transgressing projects. Thus, long-term actions on international level will be enabled; the prolongation of projects lifetime assured and by this, sustainable and tangible results could be achieved more easily.
The position paper addresses regional, national, and EU decision makers and aims at intensifying the lobby work for the BSR tourism sector in the new funding period.
Therefore, the Baltic Sea Tourism Center asks stakeholders throughout the whole BSR to join forces and sign the letter of support. Both, the Position Paper and the letter of support can be downloaded here.