In wake of the economic horror of recent times, Europe is turning to tourism to speed up and increase its recovery. Tourism continues to rise even in countries where the recession hit the hardest.
The figures from this year have brought smiles to the faces of many individuals in the European tourism market. Tourism is growing throughout the EU, mostly in its established giants and also in the developing markets of the ascension states.
Indeed, as the clouds of economic recession continue to recede, Europe is relying even more on the old breadwinner of tourism to blow them away even quicker.
Tourism adds EUR 500 billion to the EU’s GDP on an annual basis, in fact double that amount once transportation, culture and construction have been taken into account. 10 million EU citizens work directly in tourism, whereas another 10 million work in tourism-related sectors.
In other words, tourism is big business within the EU. The giants and classic destinations are France, indeed the most visited country on the planet, Spain, the UK and Germany, the latter being the business tourism capital of Europe. Spain is particularly keen on increasing its revenue from tourism due to massive unemployment. One in five Spaniards are now unemployed.
The figures above and the Lisbon treaty have emphasized the importance of tourism to the EU. The most crisis-hit countries of recent times, notably Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland have all experienced increases in tourism since 2010. It doesn’t take a genius to conclude why Greece is desperate to reinstate itself as a tourism hotspot in Europe.