“If I am selling to you, then I speak your language, aber wenn du mir etwas verkauft, dann musst du Deutsch sprechen”. Willy Brandt
In the EU, selling to visitors who speak many diverse languages is vital, but challenging. Growing tourism in the EU is a key objective, it is the 3rd largest sector, employing 17 million people. The European Commission communication ‘Europe, the world’s No. 1 tourist destination — a new political framework for tourism in Europe’ (COM(2010) 352) was adopted in 2010.
It demands a coordinated approach for initiatives linked to tourism and defined a new framework for action to increase the competitiveness of tourism and its capacity for sustainable growth. Missed business opportunities due to language skill shortages are magnified by the huge scale and growth of the tourism sector. This is particularly a problem for niche sector tourism companies.