Gvernment ministers from around Europe will meet today to discuss EU plans to encourage year-round tourism in places like Devon and Cornwall.
The Lisbon Treaty enables the EU to ‘complement the action of the member states in the tourism sector’.
Officials hope to use the new powers to introduce schemes such as an Erasmus for Students. This would involve providing financial support to the young, old and persons of reduced mobility from all around Europe, so that they can holiday in low season.
European Commissioner Antonio Tajani said: “Seasonality represents a significant issue for the competitiveness of tourism. In this context, I plan to promote concrete initiatives in order to prolong the high season.”
Other plans being considered include a scheme to highlight destinations and resorts that offer high quality, sustainable breaks.
South West Lib Dem MEP Graham Watson told the Devon Week: “I am proud to represent one of the most beautiful constituencies in Europe. This is a great opportunity to market the area as a year-round holiday destination. Tourism provides vital jobs and income to many communities here in the South West.”