Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC said:
“WTTC welcomes the outcome of the latest meeting of EU Tourism Ministers as they seek to find ways to support and protect the embattled Travel & Tourism sector in each of their home markets and across Europe. Reigniting Travel & Tourism across Europe is vital to power the EU’s economic recovery.
“We are deeply encouraged that Ministers representing key tourism markets of Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain, recognise that while each Member State is responsible for its own response to control the pandemic, a European-wide coordinated approach is critical, to preserve the freedom of movement between all Member States, while at the same time protecting public health. Now is the moment to act – to allow EU citizens to travel again.
“We applaud the call for establishing standardised criteria for risk areas and coordinated measures in the control of the departure and arrival of travellers, providing mutually recognised tests, with the overall aim to avoid indiscriminate measures such as quarantines and travel restrictions.
“During this important meeting, Tourism Ministers agreed to urgently conclude negotiations and a coordinated response to allow free movement, which is very encouraging and will be a huge step towards recovery.
“WTTC would like to thank Reyes Maroto, Spain’s Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, for leading this important effort, her continued support and determination to drive forward the EU wide coordination. We also recognise all of the EU Tourism Ministers involved for their support in this, and we hope more governments will consider a similar approach, to speed up the recovery and bring back millions of jobs to our sector.
“Our Economic Impact Report reveals that during 2019, the Travel & Tourism sector was responsible for 22.6 million jobs, or 11.2% of the EU’s total workforce. It also generated €1,319 billion to GDP, or 9.5% to the EU economy, demonstrating how crucial the Travel & Tourism sector will be to the EU’s economic recovery.”