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Towards a European harmonisation of criteria for combating coronavirus in the tourism sector

MEPs call for help for the tourism sector when 22 million jobs are at stake (photo: F.Dubessy)
MEPs call for help for the tourism sector when 22 million jobs are at stake (photo: F.Dubessy)
EU. Following its meeting on Wednesday 23 September 2020, the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism called for "coordination at European level" and "substantial support for SMEs" in the tourism industry to give them "a chance of survival".

In their statement published on Thursday 24 September 2020, the MEPs of this working group estimate that 22 million jobs are at stake in this sector, which is "on the verge of total bankruptcy". Describing the economic situation as "catastrophic", the text specifies that "this is not a threat to be taken lightly: depending on the country, tourism represents between 4.3 and 25% of GDP. In the current situation, hundreds of thousands of SMEs will not last until the end of the year".
More than six months have passed in this emergency situation, but there are still no common EU criteria on how to manage and live with this pandemic: no universal protocol on hygiene and health, no common rules on testing or on how to assess risks, and no respect for the principle of free movement", the text says. "Even when travel is partially authorised, the large number of rules makes it very complicated. Citizens get lost and have no guarantee that the trip they have booked will actually take place," the 19 members of the committee insist.

Harmonised EU-wide criteria are needed for tests, travel forms, quarantine times, health protocols for transport and public areas, they said. They also call for "concrete actions and guarantees for SMEs in the sector, clearer information for travellers", and say that "the creation of a common European policy for sustainable tourism is a necessity".

Frédéric Dubessy

Thursday, September 24th 2020

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