Tourism will need help to become cleaner, safer and more sustainable after the pandemic, according to MEPs. They will vote on a report on this on 25 March.
Tourism and Covid-19
Tourism is one of the sectors affected the most by the Covid-19 pandemic. It employs about 27 million people and represents around 10% of the EU’s gross domestic products. Six million jobs are currently at risk. Europe, the world’s top tourist destination, welcomed 66% fewer international tourists in the first half of 2020 and 97% fewer in the second half.
Need for a new tourism strategy in Europe
MEPs are set to call for a new European strategy to make tourism cleaner, safer and more sustainable as well as get it back on its feet, after the pandemic, including a common vaccination certificate.
“With summer just around the corner, we want to avoid past errors and put in place coordinated and uniform EU measures, such as a protocol of tests before departure, a certificate of vaccination, a sanitary seal, to facilitate travel, with no costs for citizens.“ said report author Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar (EPP, Portugal) .
Continued short-term financial support is essential to the survival of the sector, the report says, urging EU countries to include travel and tourism in their Covid recovery plans. It also calls for public and private investment in the digitalisation and overall modernisation of the sector and says countries should consider temporarily reducing VAT rates on travel and tourism services,
Common vaccination certificate
In order to re-establish freedom of movement, the report calls a common vaccination certificate, which could become an alternative to PCR tests and quarantine requirements once vaccines are available for everyone and there is sufficient scientific evidence that vaccinated people do not transmit the virus. Quarantine should remain the instrument of last resort, according to the report.
On 17 March the European Commission proposed a digital green certificate in line with the suggestion in the report.
Making tourism more sustainable
The report says the pandemic has shifted consumer preferences to greener options that bring them closer to nature. It calls for a roadmap to develop more sustainable forms of tourism to reduce the environmental footprint of the sector.
Other proposals in the report include:
- An EU hygiene certification seal, certifying minimum Covid-19 virus prevention and control standards to help restore consumer trust in tourism and travel
- A new EU gency for tourism.
Press Release, European Parliament, Press room , March 19, 2021. Source: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/society/20210311STO99736/meps-want-a-safer-and-more-sustainable-tourism-after-covid
Covid-19: EU support for the tourism industry
Tourism is one of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Read more on how the EU is protecting businesses, workers and passengers.
Travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic have decimated the tourism industry, a major player in the EU’s economy. Revenue is expected to drop 50% for hotels and restaurants, 70% for tour operators and travel agencies and 90% for cruises and airlines. Europe accounts for half of the world’s tourist arrivals and the situation is particularly hard for European countries that are dependent on tourism, such as Spain, Italy, France and Greece.
On 19 June, Parliament voted on a resolution on transport and tourism in 2020 requesting further action to support small and medium-sized enterprises hit by the crisis and funding to help the sector. MEPs said that the crisis should be considered as an opportunity to modernise tourism in the EU by making it environmentally friendly and socially responsible.
Republished by Intell News Romania in English, March 20, 2021
Similar article in Romanian: Parlamentul European: Eurodeputații doresc un turism post-Covid mai sigur și mai sustenabil, Intell News, March 20, 2021. https://www.intellnews.ro/parlamentul-european-eurodeputatii-doresc-un-turism-post-covid-mai-sigur-si-mai-sustenabil/