Launch of Joint European Tourist Portal

VIENNA, 21.3.2006.

Tourism is considered to be the key to growth and employment, so to achieve that goal a all European countries have to form a partnership when offering their tourist products and services to third markets. This was the conclusion of the tourism conference which ended on Tuesday in Vienna after being attended by EU ministers and state secretaries of tourism, accessing countries as well as representatives of the World Tourism Organization.

The European Commissioner responsible for tourism Guenther Verheugen used the opportunity to launch a unified European Internet portal www.visiteurope.com – which will provide tourist info on all European countries.

Verheugen also introduced the ' The New European Commission Strategy for Supporting the Development of Tourism', which includes the initiative for the development of 'sustainable tourism' in Europe, better coordination, optimal usage of European financial instruments, simplifying and improving of legal conditions for the area of tourism, promotion of tourism and the European partnership towards third markets (India, China, Japan), as well as the implementation of a European tourist destinations portal.

According to Zdenko Mičić, the State Secretary for Tourism who was in charge of the Croatian delegation, the new site seems to be successful. He said that the Conference had been short and informative. It had given many answers regarding the ongoing development of cultural tourism, the enhancement of information technologies in tourism, especially when it comes to the selling and promoting of tourist offers.