High Level OECD Tourism Committee Meeting


The Tourism Economy and Globalisation:
An Engine for Innovation, Growth and Employment

9-10 October 2008, Riva del Garda (Italy)

Governments need to put in place comprehensive strategies to make their tourism industries more competitive and work with industry and regional and local authorities to promote sustainable tourism development. This was the message from the high level meeting was attended by 134 high level delegates representing 39 countries at the invitation of the Italian authorities.

The Riva del Garda Action Statement for enhancing competitiveness and sustainability which was issued at the meeting, called on countries to consider a range of policies to help develop their tourism industry. Among the recommendations:

  • Policy framework - Implementing evaluation and performance assessment of government policies and programmes affecting tourism, such as promotion, innovation or education and training.
  • Sustainable development - Stimulating investments in energy efficient travel and tourism facilities and services in order to minimise costs and increase profitability of tourism-related enterprises and industries, while minimising potential negative effects to the environment.
  • Innovation - Promoting the sharing of innovative practices in terms of organisation, entrepreneurship or process (e.g. new distribution channels) development for a better use of existing capacities, higher labour productivity and a rejuvenation of the tourism supply (e.g. new products).
  • Employment - Increasing the entrepreneurial/management capacity of tourism small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through appropriate support and training programmes.
  • Authenticity - Developing long term programmes that promote the authenticity of tourism experiences, through the preservation and enhancement of natural and cultural resources and local cultures.
  • Accessibility - Suppressing unnecessary regulatory and administrative impediments to travel and tourism mobility and simplifying and harmonising them.
  • Knowledge - Developing and promoting a system of information and statistical tools, such as the Tourism Satellite Account, which cover the wide range of economic, social and environmental tourism-related questions, meet the demand of tourism stakeholders and support business and policy-decision making.


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