The European Union is the largest region in the world in terms of international tourism receipts. In 2019, tourism-related spending in the EU reached 427 billion Euros, representing 6.2% of the EU’s total exports. Last year, the Travel & Tourism sector was responsible for more than 27 million jobs, showing how intrinsic and important the sector is to the European economy.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Travel & Tourism sector is going through an unprecedented crisis. Increased support from governments now is fundamental and must be a priority to save millions of livelihoods that depend on our sector. An estimated 13 million jobs in Travel & Tourism are at risk in Europe.
We have recently seen some excellent individual initiatives and leadership from countries and governments around the world, and we believe that full and swift recovery will only be achieved through common efforts and strong public-private collaboration. Therefore, we call on EU Member States to lead and drive a united and coordinated recovery response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Together, the European Travel Commission (ETC) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) propose EU Member States to jointly commit to four key principles to achieve a faster recovery:
The EU Member States have the power to influence and drive forward a coordinated recovery effort needed to preserve the sector. Once the COVID-19 pandemic has been put under control, governments should focus on attracting visitors back and offering reassurance to travellers that the time is right once more to explore and visit. The Travel & Tourism sector will be key to powering the recovery of the EU economy, generating new jobs and fresh income much needed in the prospected economic downturn.