The European Tourism Forum will gather in Helsinki on 9-10 October to discuss how digital transformation can be harnessed to create sustainable growth in the EU’s tourism sector. In this 18th edition, the event will be attended by tourism experts from EU Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament.
According to the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, discussions will focus on three key topics: impact of digital transformation for tourism businesses, innovation agility and data management. Among the objectives of the forum is to discuss how tourism businesses can respond to digital transformation in their strategic planning and activities and which policy measures could be used to boost tourism businesses at national and EU level.
Finland, the country currently holding Presidency of the EU Council, believes digital transformation has a strong impact on the tourism sector, and this can boost sustainable growth in the EU and create new jobs. Globally, tourism is growing at an annual rate of 5%.
Tourism accounts for more than 10% of GDP in the EU and for nearly 12% of the total workforce. As a place-based industry, tourism has great regional importance. Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union stresses the importance of digital transformation for increasing sustainability in tourism.
“Digital transformation opens up new opportunities for innovation with potential to promote sustainability, respond to travellers’ needs and ensure the competitiveness of the tourism sector. However, digital transformation is an underused resource in European tourism,” says Chief Specialist Sanna Kyyrä from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
“The tourism sector needs more cross-sectoral innovation ecosystems and a higher level of skills and competence. This we can achieve through closer cooperation between the private and public sectors,” explains Kyyrä.