Today the European Commission presented its strategy on Tourism and transport: “Commission's guidance on how to safely resume travel and reboot Europe's tourism in 2020 and beyond”.
With this package of guidelines and recommendations the Commission aims at supporting the member states to progressively open borders ad lifting the travel restrictions imposed by the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, enabling the resume of the tourism business and relaunch the internal mobility between the EU in the respect of some indispensable health precautions.
Commission's guidance on how to safely resume travel and reboot Europe's tourism in 2020 and beyond
The Commission aimed at building confidence back to travellers and tourists enabling a “deserved break” after weeks of confinement to travel within Europe while proposing targeted support to tourism business in relaunching its activity this summer season and beyond. The whole operation must be done safely and in respect of the non-discrimination and proportionality principles and stays as recommendations while the final decision depends on the Member States which are called to coordinate their response.
Therefore the Commission proposed the following measures:
1. Safely restoring freedom of movement and lifting internal border controls.
2. Restoring transport services across the EU while protecting the health of transport workers and passengers.
3. Safely resuming tourism services.
4. Ensuring cross-border interoperability of tracing apps.
5. Making vouchers a more attractive option for consumers.
With regard to the measures enabling the resume of the businesses the Commission aims at tackling the liquidity crunch, of the SMEs in particular, through the temporary state aid framework, the SURE programme offering up to €100 billion in financial relief to protect workers and connecting citizens to the local tourism offer, promoting local attractions and tourism and Europe as a safe tourist destination.
The Commission has elaborated these guidelines in cooperation with the member states – weekly coordination meetings made it possible – and the tourism ecosystem stakeholders.
A double press conference
During two consecutive press conferences, 5 commissioners came to the stage to present the recovery strategy for travelling and visiting in Europe: Margrethe Vestager, the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Europe fit for the Digital Age and Commissioner Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market on the strategic orientations of the Tourism and Transport Package first. Commissioner Stella Kyriakides (health), Ylva Johansson (home affairs), and Adina Vălean (transport), followed on the practical recommendations of the Tourism and Transport Package.
This is the first tourism-focused communication released by the Commission since the 2010 Communication “Europe the number 1 tourist destination” promoted by the former Commissioner Tajani.
including the European Commission's Tourism and Transport package documents with:
- The overall strategy towards recovery in 2020 and beyond.
- A common approach to restoring free movement and gradually lifting restrictions at EU internal borders in a coordinated way.
- A framework to support the gradual re-establishment of transport means ensuring the safety of passengers and workers.
- A recommendation which aims to make travel vouchers an attractive alternative to cash reimbursement for consumers.
- Criteria for restoring tourism activities safely including specific health protocols for crucial tourism businesses such us hotels.
Relive the video of the press conference with Margrethe Vestager and Thierry Breton. You can read the whole press release here. We will be sharing a more detailed analysis in the coming days.
Read more on EU Response to Coronavirus Outbreak - What Support to Tourism? (Briefing 20/05/2020)