European Tourism Forum
Krakow is hosting the 10th European Tourism Forum and the most important event of the Polish presidency - an informal meeting of Ministers for Tourism of EU member states. The theme of this year's Forum is stimulation of competitiveness in the European tourism sector, and an important part of the meeting is the initiative under the 50,000 tourists banner. The Forum is being held in the Auditorium Maximum of the Jagiellonian University, and the Krakow Festival Office also has a presence there, presenting Krakow's range of cultural opportunities and the InfoKraków urban information network and ICE Congress Centre.
The discussion will be divided into two thematic panels devoted to key competitiveness themes, namely the consolidation of socio-economic knowledge for tourism and development of innovation, information technologies and communication in tourism. The forum will be followed by an Informal Meeting of EU Member States' Ministers of Tourism, which will be primarily devoted to the issue of promoting Europe in third countries.
One highlight of the Krakow meeting will be the signing of an agreement with the European Commission, thanks to which Poland will join the 50 000 tourists project, aimed at developing tourist traffic between Latin America and the European Union. The initial phase of the project aims to encourage 25,000 Latin Americans to travel to Europe between October 2012 and March 2013 and 25,000 Europeans to travel to Latin America between May and October 2013.
Additionally, during the Forum the European Commission and European Travel Commission will sign a declaration on cooperation in the field of tourism and promoting the European brand as a balanced set of tourist destinations. With this agreement, the European Commission of Tourism will expand its previous degree of engagement in the implementation of such tasks as promotion of Europe as a tourist destination in third countries' markets, in particular North America and the BRIC countries; development and promotion of Pan-European tourist products such as the European Cultural Routes; the use of information technology in tourism promotion; promotion of "the European brand", joint promotional campaigns at events organized by the tourist industry; cooperation in the research field and dissemination of good practice guidelines.
Organised annually since 2002, the European Tourism Forum is a response to the EU Council's call for promotion of a dialogue between the public sector and the tourism industry and other stakeholders. The Forum is a platform for discussing issues of crucial importance for tourism and is attended by representatives from the European Commission, national tourism administrative bodies of the central and regional level, territorial and economic self-government, and enterprises working in the tourism sector.