Press Release

Innovation and technology, keys to increasing the competitiveness and sustainability of tourism in Europe

PR No.: 
PR 17034
23 Mar 17

Europe is the most visited region on the planet. However, European tourism is undergoing significant changes brought about by the digitalization of the economy. Today's traveller demands new experiences, new products and greater connectivity, factors that determine the competitiveness of tourist destinations. In order to meet these challenges, it is necessary to define a common ground for the future of tourism based on competition, sustainability targets, information security and the use of big data. To discuss this issue and share experiences, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Amadeus IT Group and the European Parliament will hold a conference on 24 March at the Office of the European Parliament in Spain.  

Achieving more accessible, inclusive and sustainable tourism is one of the objectives of sectoral policies on the European continent, but also one of the challenges for Europe to remain competitive and maintain its status as the world’s most visited destination. The working session organized by UNWTO, the Amadeus IT Group and the European Parliament aims to analyse current and future ways of working to help travel and tourism companies meet the challenges of this new paradigm through innovation.

“2016 has been the seventh consecutive year of tourism growth and we expect this trend to continue in the future. This means that we will have to work to make the sector more sustainable, more accessible and more inclusive and for this, technology and innovation are the most useful key tools,” explained UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

“The European Parliament is working intensively to develop innovative but also competitive solutions that place the traveller in a more integrated and connected Europe,” said Claudia Tapardel, MEP and Co-Chair of the Intergroup on European Tourism Development and Cultural Heritage.

“At the Amadeus IT Group, we are proud to work with the European Parliament and UNWTO to open up a space for discussion to help the sector respond to the challenges the new digital environment brings to the tourism sector. We put at the service of this excellent initiative our knowledge of technology and the experience of working with tourism companies in 195 countries,” said Juan Jesús García, head of Institutional Relations for Europe at the Amadeus IT Group.

This event takes place within the framework of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, a global campaign led by UNWTO. The Organization recently held the First World Conference on Smart Destinations, which addressed the need to move towards more accessible environments that respect natural and cultural heritage as the main asset of the tourism sector.

Additional information:

Programme of the event

Website of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development


UNWTO Media Officer Rut Gomez Sobrino

Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60 /

UNWTO Communications & Publications Programme

Tel: (+34) 91 567 8100 / Fax: +34 91 567 8218 /