In a Communication on ‘Blue Growth’, the European Commission has presented promising indications for economic growth and employment prospects in the marine and maritime economy to help Europe’s economic recovery.
Reading these documents It looks as if the EU may be trying to draw together a strategy for developing coastal tourism, and that might mean new initiatives, resources and or money being spent on yacht harbours as well as the marine and the cruise industry
These economic sectors provide jobs for 5.4 million people and contribute a total gross value added of around 500 billion euros. By 2020, these should increase to 7 million and nearly 600 billion euros respectively
To realise this potential, the Commission establishes that obstacles hindering growth have to be removed and smart solutions to boost new sectors need to be implemented. By promoting marine research and innovation, by supporting innovative SMEs, by addressing skills needs and by encouraging innovative products and solutions, Europe can unlock the untapped potential for growth in its blue economy while safeguarding biodiversity and protecting the environment
Traditional sectors such as maritime transport and maritime and coastal tourism will gain in competitiveness. Growing and emerging sectors, such as ocean renewable energy and blue biotechnology, can become a key to creating more jobs, cleaner energy, and more products and services.
Based on its Blue Growth Study, the Commission has built a comprehensive picture of the economic size and employment of marine and maritime sectors in Europe, and has also looked at where these sectors could realistically be heading in the coming years and where there is a particular potential for innovation and new jobs.
The study found that coastal and maritime tourism is the biggest maritime sector in terms of gross value added and employment and is expected to grow by 2 to 3% by 2020, while cruise tourism is expected to create 100,000 new jobs by 2020 compared to 2010.