After COVID, MEPs want safe & sustainable tourism

Published on : Monday, March 22, 2021

By the pandemic, tourism is one of those heavily affected sectors that’s yet to bounce back normally. It employs more than 27 million people and represents around 10% of the GDP of the EU. At present, six million jobs are at jeopardy. The top tourist destination of the world, Europe, has welcomed 66% fewer foreign tourists in the first half of 2020 and 97% fewer in the second half.

MEPs are all prepared to call for a new European strategy. This strategy would make tourism even cleaner, safer and sustainable and get it back once again, after COVID, including a common vaccination certificate.

To quote Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, “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.”

Financial Support
Continued short-term financial support is necessary to keep the sector afloat, the report says, requesting the EU countries to take in travel and tourism in their COVID recovery plans. Also, it has requested for public and private investment in terms of digitalization and modernization of the sector in general. It also says that countries should think of reducing VAT rates temporarily on travel and tourism services.

Common vaccination certificate
To reinstate freedom of movement, the report has requested for a common vaccination certificate. Once vaccines are available for everyone, this certificate could become an alternative to PCR tests and quarantine requirements and there is sufficient scientific proof that vaccinated people do not spread the virus. According to the report, quarantine should remain the instrument of last resort.

On 17 March the European Commission put forward a digital green certificate in line with the suggestion in the report.

Making tourism more sustainable
The report mentions that the pandemic has changed consumer mindset as well as 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.

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