Council adopts its vision for tourism in Europe for next decade
It urges for moving towards a collective and well-coordinated response to the current pandemic crisisEuropost , Brussels
The Council adopted on Thursday a set of conclusions setting out its vision for an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable and resilient tourism sector in Europe, taking into account that this sector, severely hit by the pandemic, employs around 20.3 million people in the EU.
In 2019, the last year before the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, tourism accounted for 9.5% of the EU's GDP, with a 7% value of overall EU exports.
With preparations for the summer touristic season, the Council urges the EU and its Member States to move towards a collective and well-coordinated response to the current pandemic crisis with a common and cohesive approach, including by supporting the development of voluntary standards for health and safety protocols by tourism services and establishments.
In this context, the Council conclusions call for the smart use of existing funding opportunities under the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework and the "Next Generation EU" instrument for reviving the ailing European tourism ecosystem and make it more resilient in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The conclusions urge EU countries and the Commission to come forward by the end of 2021 with a jointly co-designed European Agenda for Tourism 2030/2050, in order to support the green and digital transitions of the European tourism ecosystem and strengthen its competitiveness.
Tourism is hugely important for our regions’ sustainable economic, social and environmental development and it also contributes significantly to the preservation and promotion of European values and cultural heritage, stated Pedro Siza Vieira, Portuguese Minister of State for the Economy and Digital Transition.
He emphasised that tourism is also the worst hit economic sector by the Covid-19 pandemic and the current conclusions are "a clear signal of our commitment to revive European tourism".