The European Tour Operators Case

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Study on the Competitiveness of
the EU tourism industry
- with specific focus on the accommodation and
tour operator & travel agent industries

Within the Framework Contract of Sectoral
Competitiveness Studies – ENTR/06/054

Final Report, September 2009

Client: Directorate-General Enterprise & Industry

Disclaimer: The views and propositions expressed herein are those of the experts and do not necessarily represent any official view of the European Commission or any other organisations mentioned in the Report

ECORYS SCS Group
P.O. Box 4175
3006 AD Rotterdam
Watermanweg 44
3067 GG Rotterdam
The Netherlands

T +31 (0)10 453 88 16
F +31 (0)10 453 07 68
E fwc-scs@ecorys.com
W www.ecorys.com
Registration no. 24316726

ECORYS Macro & Sector Policies
T +31 (0)31 (0)10 453 87 53
F +31 (0)10 452 36 60

FN97613 – FWC Sector Competitiveness – EU tourism-industry

Authors and contributors

Project team
Isabelle De Voldere, IDEA Consult – Project Leader
Raf Myncke, IDEA Consult
Griet Jans, IDEA Consult
Pieter Staelens, IDEA Consult
Céline Vincent, IDEA Consult
Cristina Nuñez, Ecorys Brussels Office
Michel Briene, Ecorys Netherlands
Esther Ronner, Ecorys Netherlands
Jenny Verheyen, Ecorys Netherlands
Jan Maarten Devet, Ecorys Brussels Office – Quality Manager

The authors would like to thank the academic focus group, the different interviewees, the Tourism Sustainability Group (Business Working Group), the Tourism Advisory Committee and the Tourism Unit of DG ENTR for their contribution and valuable feedback. We refer to paragraph 1.3.3 of this report for an overview of the different stakeholders involved.

FN97613 – FWC Sector Competitiveness – EU tourism-industry

Table of contents

List of abbreviations
Executive summary

I

PART 1: INTRODUCTION

1

1 Introduction
1.1 Background of the study
1.2 Aim of the study
1.3 Methodological approach
1.4 Structure of the report

2
2
3
3
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2 Key characteristics of the EU tourism industry
2.1 Europe as a tourism destination
2.2 Structure and economic importance of EU tourism industry 2.3 Impact of the financial crisis on the EU tourism industry

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10
19
22

PART 2: IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS

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3 Towards a workable definition of the tourism industry

36

4 Accommodation
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Structure of the commercial accommodation sector
4.3 Employment in the accommodation sector
4.4 Economic performance of Accommodation sector
4.5 Competitiveness analysis of Accommodation sector
4.6 Impact of the financial crisis on the accommodation sector

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61

5 Tour operators and travel agents
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Structure of tour operators and travel agents industry
5.3 Employment within tour operators and travel agents industry 5.4 Economic performance of tour operators and travel agents 5.5 Competitiveness analysis of the tour operators and travel agents industry 5.6 Impact of the financial crisis on tour operators and travel agents

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6 Developments in other relevant sectors
6.1 Transport sector
6.2 Attractions
FN97613 – FWC Sector Competitiveness – EU tourism-industry

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6.3 Restaurants and cafés
PART 3: REGULATORY AND OTHER FRAMEWORK CONDITIONS
7 Framework conditions affecting the competitiveness of the accommodation industry
7.1 Framework profile of the accommodation industry
7.2 Impact of the framework conditions on the competitiveness of the accommodation industry: the competitiveness grid
7.3 Relative importance of different regulatory and other framework conditions for the industry
7.4 Level of priority of different EU policy initiatives to enhance the competitiveness of the accommodation industry

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8 Framework conditions affecting the competitiveness of the tour operators and travel agents industry
8.1 Framework profile of the TO&TA industry
8.2 Impact of the framework...
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