Tourism: making the crisis an opportunity for renewal

by Yannick Laude

Of all the sectors of economic activity in the European Union, tourism is undoubtedly the one that has suffered the most from the pandemic crisis, not sparing any of the Member States, but even more for those which usually welcome millions of European holidaymakers. The European tourism ecosystem is thus going through the worst difficulties in its history and its survival requires a strong political response. The sector employs 22.6 million people across Europe, or 11.2% of the labour market. Renew Europe considers that it is urgent not only to support the recovery of the myriads of SMEs that make up the continental tourism fabric but to help them modernize to face the challenges of globalized tourism in the 21st century and find their place in the global competition. This is the whole point of the report on sustainable tourism, adopted today in the plenary session of the European Parliament, which urges the European Commission to take the initiative.

Nicola Danti (Italia Viva, Italia), Renew Europe spokesperson for tourism, said: “The tourism sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic: we need to support businesses, in particular micro and SMEs, both financially and with practical measures such as the digital green certificates, to re-establish freedom of movement and to ensure a gradual return to normality. Likewise, the sector needs to embrace fully digitalisation and the green transition to ensure Europe’s competitiveness and to maintain its position as the world’s top destination”.

Renew Europe strongly supports the prospect of creating a digital green certificate, which can reassure the public on their leisure travel. Renew Europe further believes that the Commission and the Member States must fully recognize the importance of the tourism sector, incorporate it into national and European recovery plans, improve the quality of its offer, make it more sustainable and accessible to all and to encourage public and private investments, too long delayed in the digital transformation and the general modernization of the sector.

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