The EC's recently published report takes stock of the results obtained since 2012 and looks forward to the next few years, hoping to elicit debate among citizens on the directions to take next.
MedCruise, which has played an active role in the EC's Blue Growth Strategy contributing within the dialogue process between cruise ports, cruise operators and destinations welcomes the EC's intension to undertake a series of steps to further translate this strategy to actions, especially the recognition that coastal and maritime tourism are among the sectors with potential for sustainable growth.
The coastal tourism industry is by far the largest employer in the blue economy, with 21% of the EU's population living in coastal areas. The industry offers good opportunities for new entrants to the labour market – the proportion of young people is higher than the average in the blue economy – but the work is often temporary, seasonal and poorly paid states the report.
Reducing precariousness and increasing the number of high value jobs are among the primary objectives of the EC's strategy for coastal and marine tourism, whilst at the same time reducing the environmental footprint of tourism, is a positive step forward.
MedCruise is actively contributing to the Maritime Skills and Careers in the Blue Economy experts panel aiming to limit any skills gap and the lack of attractiveness in maritime and port sector.
The port association says it will continue to provide policy makers first hand insights into skills and careers prospects that are present in the provision of port and related services to cruise lines and passengers – so that cruise activities will be among the key options to increase the number of people who might be interested in a blue economy job.