European Parliament: Coronavirus crisis has paralyzed the tourism sector in the EU

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The resolution on the EU strategy for sustainable tourism, which was adopted by 577 votes to 31 with 80 abstentions on Thursday, notes that the coronavirus crisis has paralyzed the EU tourism sector, with 6 out of 27 million people the sector is at risk of losing their jobs. MEPs stress that tourism and travel account for 10% of total EU GDP. Member States should therefore include these sectors in their recovery plans and consider temporarily reducing them. VAT on related services.

“Safe and clean” tourism
The EP emphasizes that travelers want “safer, cleaner and more sustainable tourism” and calls on Member States to apply common criteria for safe tourism without delay. These criteria should include a European Health and Safety Protocol for pre-departure testing, and quarantine should only be institutionalized as a last resort.

A common vaccination certificate would facilitate travel and be an alternative to molecular tests and quarantine, MEPs say. The new certificate should comply with personal data protection rules and could be used as soon as there is clear evidence that vaccinated people do not transmit the virus.

The European Commission should establish an EU health certification seal. The seal will be issued when minimum hygiene standards are met to prevent and control the COVID-19 virus, while also helping to restore consumer confidence in the tourism and travel sectors.

Beyond the pandemic
The EP welcomes the “Re-open EU” portal and urges EU Member States to send clear information to the Commission when applying or removing restrictions on the free movement of citizens.

The EP also stresses that the Commission must “look beyond the pandemic” and replace the 2010 tourism strategy in order to maintain its position as a top tourist destination. The resolution calls on the Commission to set up a European Tourism Agency to support tourism ecosystems, promote the image of Europe and the European “brand”, provide up-to-date information on the tourism sector, and help small businesses acquire access to European funding, but also the tourism sector to be prepared to face future crises.

Statements
“The resolution calls for a genuine European effort to restart tourism in the worst-hit areas within Europe. The vaccination certificate and health stamp have been taken into account, but what is needed now is proper European coordination to try out ways. “The EU urgently needs to speed up the distribution of vaccines in Europe and put in place the appropriate financial instruments to support the green and digital transition,” said rapporteur Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar. EPP, Portugal).

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