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Maritime Forum

Map of the Week – Developing Skills for the Blue Economy – Coastal Tourism

This map shows employment in the coastal tourism sector in the European Union.


Organised by the Blue Generation Project, the Blue Generation Conference was held on 5 July 2023 in Brussels. The Blue Generation project aims to empower and engage young people in pursuing a blue career to support the sustainable development and conservation of marine and coastal environments in Europe. It focuses on creating opportunities, raising awareness, and building skills among the youth to develop a career in the blue economy. The blue economy refers to economic activities related to the ocean, seas and coasts and covers a wide range of interlinked established and emerging sectors, including coastal tourism, aquaculture, ocean energy, marine biotechnology, shipbuilding, maritime transport and fisheries. In 2020, the European Union (EU) blue economy established sectors contributed to €129.1 billion Gross Value Added (GVA) to the EU-27 economy, and directly employed almost 3.34 million people (with a decline compared to 2019 due to the impact of pandemic) [1].

Among the established sectors, coastal tourism keeps generating the largest share of employment and GVA in the EU blue economy [1]. In this sector, there are thousands of job opportunities offered by businesses such as accommodation, nautical sports, recreational activities, logistics, etc. [2] The Map of the Week shows information on the percentage of people employed in the coastal tourism sector compared to the overall employees in the blue economy per EU Member State in 2017. Click on the countries to see more information regarding the employment in each sub-sector (accommodation, transport and other), the evolution of the overall employment in coastal tourism since 2009 and the exact number of persons employed in coastal tourism each year.

To sustain a sustainable coastal tourism industry as well as other blue economy sectors, it is important to develop relevant blue skills. Echoing the European Year of Skills, which focuses on equipping people with the right skills for quality jobs and supporting sustainable growth of companies, the EU4Ocean Coalition dedicates its 2023 Challenge of the Year to strengthening skills in ocean literacy. The EU4Ocean Coalition’s Call for Collective Action is currently open. Interested? Submit your proposal before 21 July!

Are you interested in pursuing a career in the blue economy?

  • Watch the Blue Generation Project video to take a glimpse into the Ocean of opportunities!
  • Discover the Blue Generation MOOC platform to learn about the blue economy sectors and to check what might inspire you!
  • Explore their Blue Economy Career Guide to learn more about blue economy career pathways.
  • Search for opportunities that may interest you in the Career Platform!

The Map of the Week will be on a summer break in the coming three weeks. We will be back with new ocean and seas updates on 4 August 2023. Happy holidays! Follow us on Twitter for estival highlights!

Access the map

The data in this map are provided by the European Commission.


[2] Generation_CG-2022_A4_EN_web.pdf