EU must work for a safe recovery of the tourism sector

04/06/2020

PES tourism ministerial

The PES tourism ministerial meeting by videoconference

The European Union must use its unique position to safely restart the tourist season, protecting citizens and tourism workers and allowing safe air and cross-border movement between Member States, ministers from the PES said today at an inaugural tourism ministerial meeting.

Ministers from PES member parties convened digitally to discuss how to revive Europe’s tourism industry, which is still ‘on ice’ as coronavirus restrictions are eased across the continent.

Meeting Chair and Spanish Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto Illera, said:

“The tourism sector needs support and it needs it now. The businesses, workers and countries which rely on holidaymakers have been impacted hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Progressives want to see common European approaches when it comes to relaunching tourism in Europe while keeping the spread of COVID-19 under control.  The problems facing this sector bring together so many areas where the EU has expertise – economic support, health and safety, consumer protection, travel, free movement and more. Now it is time to put that into practise and deliver the support needed for the tourism industry and its workers to recover in a safe and sustainable way after months of hardships.

“We must look at short and longer term measures which can return Europe to the safe and great summer destination it has always been. Together we must work towards tackling the barriers standing in our way and ensure that all European citizens will have the possibility to safely travel this summer.

“The European tourism sector needs a confidence boost and consumers must regain trust in the knowledge that public health will never be put at risk. Maintaining jobs while supporting economies and guaranteeing the health of our citizens needs to be our goal. We back the establishment of common rules inside the European Union as one way to achieve this.”

The EU is uniquely placed to coordinate Member States to safeguard the health of tourist and local populations, and to support the tourism sectors and the millions of jobs which rely upon it. Short-term measures must be complemented with longer-term ones, to build up trust for travel and tourism at European level, to protect workers and consumers, and to help the sector - one of the pillars of the European economy.

The PES Tourism Ministers agreed to further continue their work by developing common positions in the field of tourism.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Reyes Maroto Illera, Chair of the PES Tourism Ministerial Network and Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Spain
  • Dario Franceschini, Minister of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Italy
  • Rita Marques, Secretary of State of Tourism, Portugal
  • Ismail Ertug, S&D Group Vice-President, Member of European Parliament, SDP Germany
  • Yonnec Polet, PES Deputy Secretary General