The Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament, today adopted its Position Paper on Tourism, focusing on the recovery plan from the COVID-19 crisis and on the future of this important sector of our economy which generated 9.5% of the EU GDP in 2019. Completely paralysed by the outbreak of the coronavirus, the travel and tourism industry could lose 6.4 million jobs in the EU, due to a reduction of bookings in the range of 60 to 90 percent compared to the previous years.
We believe that swift short-term support to the sector is necessary to ensure its survival, while implementing measures which give tourists the confidence to travel again to and within Europe is imperative for the long-term sustainability of the sector. The Renew Europe Group calls on the Commission to launch a dedicated EU Communication Campaign on Travel and Tourism aiming at promoting intra-EU travel, re-establishing citizens’ confidence in travel and tourism during COVID-19, educating tourists on the health and safety measures in place and building sustainable and cohesion values through an ‘EU Tourism Brand’.
With 90% SMEs in the sector, Renew Europe pays special attention to self-employed, family owned businesses, who should be able to benefit from the various measures taken by Member States to reduce their expenditure burdens. These measures could include commercial tax relief, value added tax suspensions, rental and utilities deferrals, debt moratoriums, and suspension of public rates liabilities.
MEP José Ramón Bauzá (Ciudadanos, Spain), Renew Europe Group’s coordinator in TRAN Committee, said:
“From the very beginning of this mandate, Renew Europe has been fully committed to work within European institutions and in close cooperation with the sector to find real solutions for businesses, employees and citizens. With the COVID-19 crisis, the tourism and travel sector has been seriously damaged. Though the European borders have been recently reopened and the mobility among Member States has been resumed, much more is needed from the European Commission to address the challenges which the sector faces in the near future.
This Position Paper of Renew Europe on Tourism proposes EU measures and ideas for the sector through a European approach. Our aim is to have an enhanced EU Tourism Policy and to adopt a European Strategy for Tourism in the coming months. Let’s work together in this mandate to build a EU Tourism Brand.”
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