Peter De Wilde and Breton

NECSTouR President, Peter De Wilde meets EU Commissioner Thierry Breton during the European Tourism Day 2023 in Brussels




NECSTouR President, Peter De Wilde meets EU Commissioner Thierry Breton during the European Tourism Day 2023 in Brussels

After a few weeks of taking the presidency of the NECSTouR Peter De Wilde,  had a fruitful encounter with EU Commissioner Thierry Breton at the European Tourism Day 2023 organised in Brussels by the European Commission.

During the meeting, they exchanged views on supporting the European Tourism Policy to tackle the sector challenges and opportunities through multilevel tourism governance. They shared a common belief in the positive power of tourism, and they discussed the main tourism territorial challenges, such as how to retain the workforce in our sector and the need to offer jobs that respond to customers’ needs and employees’ values, especially focusing on young generations.

Optimising the collaboration between ‘nations, regions and cities’ and the EU is crucial to tackling European tourism's governance fragmentation. By creating a coalition of the willing and bringing together public forces from different levels, the tourism transition pathway will become more effective in inspiring and sustaining all the SMEs, professionals, volunteers, and all those who believe in tourism as one of the means to facilitate 'Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit'.

Yesterday we celebrated Europe Day, unity in Europe. The tourism industry is responsible for 27 million jobs in Europe and it must be at the core of the EU Policy and Funding. At NECSTouR, the Community of European Regions for Sustainable Tourism, representing 43 regions from 21 countries, we stress the importance of EU Tourism as a crucial driver for our society’s well-being and we believe regions play a crucial role in tourism. Tourism can be part of the solution to climate change. Investing in sustainable tourism experiences is a positive means, not just an end. But for that to happen, there needs to be a paradigm shift in tourism, moving away from the low ambition of just doing less harm and into the regenerative mindset of contributing through the wellbeing of communities, visitors, entrepreneurs,….

In the framework of the Board of Directors Meeting and the European Tourism Day NECSTouR organised a thematic workshop 'Empowering Destination Leaders to Deliver Sustainability' in Visit Flanders house in Brussels on scaling-out regenerative tourism governance and learning effective approaches to decarbonizing tourism activity. Participants came from all over Europe.


“It’s not by big statements we are going to change things, but through these small significant actions”.

Cristina Nuñez, Managing Director of NECSTouR


Thematic Workshops

Photo Credits: Julie Vervenne


Note to editors

NECSTouR is the Network of European Regions for Sustainable and Competitive Tourism. Based in Brussels, it develops Interregional Projects to improve Tourism Governance in Europe. Since 2007 it has undertaken a unique journey, representing today more than 70 organisations around Europe and connecting Regional Tourism Governance with European levels of government, EU financial instruments, Academic Organisations (Universities and Research Institutes) and Private Sector (Representatives of Tourism Enterprises, Associations, and Networks). For more information, visit and follow @NECSTouR. 

Visit Flanders is the regional DMO (destination management organisation) in Flanders. They want to strengthen the positive power of tourism, so that Flanders can flourish as an innovative, inspiring and qualitative travel destination. They support the tourist sector to further develop Flanders as a travel destination in a sustainable way. Their efforts benefit both the place and its inhabitants, entrepreneurs and visitors. For more information, visit and follow @toerisme_vla






MEDIA CONTACT: Irene Paolinelli, NECSTouR Marketing & Communications Manager | | +32 471412314