European Commission guidelines are paving the way to recovery for the European tourism sector from the COVID-19 crisis

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, the voice of the European travel and tourism sector, has issued a statement on the European Commission’s guidance on how to safely resume travel and reboot Europe’s tourism in 2020 and beyond.

European travel and tourism is one of the ecosystems most affected by the coronavirus crisis. The European Tourism Manifesto alliance welcomes the European Commission’s adoption of a comprehensive package on Tourism and Transport on 13 May 2020 which acknowledges the importance of the travel and tourism sector for the economy and employment in Europe, and it proposes a coordinated approach to the lifting of travel restrictions and safely and gradually re-establishing transportation links and tourism activities.

This package represents a first and important step to facilitate travel in Europe, support the sector’s recovery from this unprecedented crisis and enable a more sustainable tourism ecosystem in the future.

Our main messages are:

– We call on national governments to urgently follow the European Commission’s recommendations to lift travel restrictions in a coordinated way and implement harmonised health and safety protocols.

– We ask governments to carefully reflect before deciding whether all arrivals need to self-isolate and before encouraging domestic tourism only.

– We welcome the Commission’s proposal to set up a dedicated website with a map combining real-time information related to tourism and we call for its swift launch.

– We welcome the Commission’s proposed financial measures which shall be adapted to the needs of players of all sizes and made available to all types of workers.

– We urge EU, national and regional governments to continue to aid and assist the tourism ecosystem to overcome this crisis and strengthen its resilience in the long run. Support for leisure and business travel must be included in recovery plans and actions of all affected economies.

– We applaud the European Commission’s vision to create a sustainable future for the travel and tourism ecosystem, which is in line with our long-established policy priorities.

– We are ready to work with the European Commission to accelerate the transformation to the tourism of tomorrow.

Tourism is an engine for economic recovery. However, it needs continuous support and strategic policy integration in order to contribute to the recovery and growth of economies. Working together is key to ensure that we have common rules and offer certainty to travellers.