EU support for public projects in the tourism sector
European Court of Auditors
he European Union is the world's most visited region. In 2019, the EU recorded 577 million international tourist arrivals, 39.5 % of the global total. In 2018, the EU's international tourism receipts stood at €407 billion1. Tourism has an impact on the local economy, population and resources as well as on the natural environment and available infrastructure at the places visited.The EU policy in this sector aims“to maintain Europe's standing as a leading destination while maximising the industry's contribution to growth and employment and promoting cooperation between EU countries, particularly through the exchange of good practice”2. In 2018, the direct contribution of the tourism sector to the EU economy was estimated at about 3.9 % of EU GDP and 5.1 % of its total labour force (around 12 million jobs). Furthermore, taking into account the spill over effects of tourism into the wider economy, those figures increase significantly to around 10 % of EU GDP and close to 12 % of total employment3. However, the tourism sector's economic impactvaries considerably between Member States, 5 % of GDP in the Netherlands, Denmark, Lithuania and Poland to over 20 % in Croatia, Greece and Cyprus.