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Tourism Committee MEPs: EU must act, 22 million jobs are at stake

Members of Parliament’s Tourism Task Force reiterate that the tourism sector needs EU-level coordination and substantial support to give SMEs a chance of survival.

  • Uniform EU-wide criteria needed for testing, travel forms, quarantine terms, health protocols for transport and public spaces
  • Concrete action and guarantees for tourism SMEs, travellers must get clearer information
  • Creating a common EU policy for sustainable tourism is a must

The Transport and Tourism Committee met on Wednesday with travel and tourism stakeholders to take stock of the dire situation facing the sector and to discuss ways to overcome this unprecedented crisis. (Catch up with the debate here.)

The Tourism Task Force MEPs issued a joint statement after the meeting, acknowledging the tourism sector’s disappointment that the EU has done little to help:

“More than six months have passed in this emergency situation, yet there are still no common criteria in the EU on how to handle and live with this pandemic: no universal hygiene and health protocols, no common rules for testing or on how to assess the risks, no adhering to the free movement principle.

Even when travelling is partially possible, the wide array of rules make it extremely difficult. People are confused and have no guarantees that their planned trips can and will go ahead.

The tourism sector, that employs 22 million people in Europe, is on the verge of collapse. This is no small threat: depending on the country, tourism accounts from 4.3% to 25% of the GDP. As things stand, hundreds of thousands of SMEs will not survive until the end of this year.

It is still not clear which crisis management tool can be used by the tourism sector, besides the “European instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE)”. We insist on urgent concrete action from the European Commission and the member states. A well-defined crisis management mechanism is needed; the sector is fighting to survive.

Click here for the full press release


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