European Interparliamentary conference on Sustainable Tourism in the Croatian Parliament

Zagreb, September 10, 2014 - The Challenges of Sustainable Tourism: Promoting  Cultural Heritage and Environmental Protection is the topic of the first European Interparliamentary Conference on Tourism which started in the Croatian Parliament on Wednesday. The Conference is being held in Zagreb and Mali Lošinj from September 10 to September 13 and is organized following the initiative of the Tourism Committee of the Croatian Parliament.

The Conference was opened by Josip Leko, the Speaker of Croatian Parliament, who stated that Croatia’s intention is to facilitate the exchange of opinions and good legislative practice experiences regarding tourism with other EU members with the aim of protecting and preserving national particularities of each country. Leko stressed that the Croatian Parliament wishes to contribute to the continuation of developing tourist offer of the European continent in line with the aims of sustainable tourism, and concluded that tourism is the strength of Europe in the global market.

The Chair of the Conference, Goran Beus Richembergh, stated that the purpose of the Conference was to highlight the role of tourism in developing national economies, the need of constant strengthening of the concept of sustainable tourism as well as the affirmation of real practices in responsible exploitation of the cultural heritage and environment protection as parts of that concept. – Cultural heritage needs to be protected. The “small” Croatia has 7 protected sites included in the list of World Heritage Site and 14 goods on the UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity stated Beus Richembergh and added that Croatia pays special attention to nature protection, especially in the context of economic development. Through this Conference we want to learn about the experiences of other countries and see if we can improve our practices based on the examples of the other countries. It is necessary to pool knowledge and experiences to establish European standards for protecting heritage and environment, stated Beus Richembergh among other things. 

The Conference Co-chair Ettore Guglielmo Epifani, the Chairman of the Committee on Production, Commerce and Tourism of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Republic, stated that tourism is the vitality factor of the EU as a whole and that national policies should work in synergy in the context of the scenario foreseen by the Lisbon Treaty, promoting special activities which can enhance the effects of development of tourism whether on European or local level. – It is also very important to bypass the fragmentation, certain ambiguities and insufficient coordination which often pressures this sector thereby decreasing the market value and above all the cultural offer, stated Epifani. – Many activities should be pushed forward in the pre-defined frameworks which implies using new technologies and big  data platforms for the target and selective offers, digital and infrastructural networks, etc. Tourism is the driving force of economic development in the area which can facilitate the growth of other related sectors, concluded Epifani.

The participants in the Conference are chairmen and members of the parliamentary committees for tourism of the EU Member States and Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, FYRM, Serbia, Turkey and Morocco, representatives of the European Parliament, European Commission, international tourist organizations and the ambassadors accredited in Croatia. 

The opening ceremony was attended by Vesna Pusić, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Darko Lorencin, Minister of Tourism, Andreja Zlatar Violić, Minister of Culture, representatives of the Croatian Tourist Board, The Croatian Chamber of Economy, Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts, Association of Croatian Travel Agencies and Association of Employers in Croatian Hospitality.


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Autor: Hina