Friday, May 28, 2021

EU Council Sets Visions for Sustainable & Resilient Tourism Sector in Europe

The European Council has adopted a set of conclusions that establish its vision for an economically, environmentally, resilient, and socially eco-friendly tourism sector in Europe.

As preparations for the summer tourist season are in full swing, the Council urges the EU and its Member States to come up with a joint and coordinated response to the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis while using a general and integrated approach that would help the revival of the sector.

Under these circumstances, the conclusions from the Council call for efficient use of the existing funding opportunities under the European Union’s Multiannual Financial Framework and the “Next Generation EU” instrument in order to help revive the European tourism sector and help it become more resilient.

Furthermore, the EU encourages the Member States to support the development of voluntary standards regarding health and safety protocols by tourism services, reports.

“Tourism is hugely important for our regions’ sustainable economic, social and environmental development. It also contributes significantly to the preservation and promotion of European values and cultural heritage. But tourism is also the worst hit economic sector by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s conclusions are a clear signal of our commitment to revive European tourism,” Portuguese Minister of State for the Economy and Digital Transition Pedro Siza Vieira said.

The Council also calls on the Commission and the Member States to come with a mutual co-designed European Agenda for Tourism 2030/2050 to strengthen competitiveness and help the green and digital transitions of the tourism ecosystem in Europe.

According to the Council, tourism is an inclusive economic and social activity that significantly impacts economic growth, employment, and environmentally sustainable development that helps preserve and promote European values.

The same pointed out that the sector employs around 20.3 million persons in the EU and that in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the sector accounted for 9.5 per cent of the EU’s GDP. As for the figures during the Coronavirus pandemic, revenues dropped by up to 80 per cent, and around 11 million jobs in the EU were impacted.

Earlier in March, the Members of the European Parliament approved the resolution of the EU scheme for safe, clean, and sustainable tourism.

The Council and the EU further highlighted the importance of steady cooperation and exchanges of practices between the Member States on responsible and sustainable tourism policies.

Moreover, Google and the European Travel Commission decided to cooperate in order to provide help on the recovery of Europe’s tourism sector during 2021.

With the summer season around the corner, the EU Member States, especially those which rely on tourism, have started to prepare for the season. France, Spain, Greece, Iceland, Germany, Italy and Portugal are some of the destinations opening for summer 2021.

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