According to Reuters, Europe is the leading destination for international travellers. In an effort to capitalize on this, the European Union (EU) is discussing plans to market the continent as a single, unified destination to international travellers in order to maintain this position. For some travellers, this could mean an increasing number of high-value packages being offered by vacation companies.
The European Travel Commission estimates that tourism contributes around €500 billion to Europe's GDP, and almost 10 million EU citizens are employed in the tourism industry.
In a report that was approved by the European Tourism Committee last week, Italian European Parliament member Carlo Fidanza said "this lead position must be reinforced by tackling the challenges created by, firstly, greater global competition and a market demand that is continually changing and, secondly, the need to ensure increased sustainability."
Europe travel figures peaked in 2008, when 370 million international tourists visited the continent. Reuters reports that the European Tourism Committee expects that figures will improve between 3 and 4 per cent in 2012.
Plans to make Europe a more attractive destination include making member states' travel websites multilingual by translating them into languages such as Chinese. Travellers who are looking for bargains may see that tour operators and vacation companies are offering higher value Europe travel packages to some destinations.