On Friday May 14th, EU Commissioner for the internal market Thierry Breton said that the European Union already has the right conditions in place for a safe reopening of tourism in the summer, but he warned that “the full recovery of the tourism ecosystem will still take time.” Breton spoke in the opening session of a High-Level Forum on Sustainability and Tourism organized by Portugal, the country holding the seat of the presidency of the Council of the EU.
It is clear that the situation remains difficult. However, I am sure that we finally see light at the end of the tunnelThierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the internal market
According to news outlet Euractiv, Breton underlined that there was “considerable increase in production capacity” of vaccines, leading him to believe that “by mid-July enough doses would be delivered to vaccinate 70% of the population” in the EU. Breton leads the working group on the EU’s strategy for vaccination against Covid-19.
The High-Level Forum on Sustainability and Tourism took place in Portugal on Friday May 14th, bringing together Ministers responsible for Tourism with public and private players in the sector to debate their medium-long term strategic vision, focused on three policy areas: environment, the digital transition, and skills, education and training.
We have to lay the foundations for real change in the tourism sector in the medium and long term, enabling it to attain a higher standard of development on a more sustainable and responsible basis, capable of generating more added valueRita Marques, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Tourism
The debates involved top stakeholders, members of Governments, international organizations and the European Commission and addressed strategies and methodologies for finding common denominators to underpin consistently the process of recovery in tourism in the European Union and to lay the foundations for a joint aspiration: the European Agenda for Tourism 2030-2050.
A number of events focusing on tourism have been organized as part of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union: the International Forum on Education, Employment and Training in Tourism, the Meeting of Directors-General for Tourism devoted to Innovation and Big Data Management, the Extraordinary Meeting of European Union Tourism Ministers and the High-Level Forum on Sustainability and Tourism.
In view of the characteristics of the sector and the high quality of its entrepreneurs and workforce, I believe that now is the time to prepare for the future and to do things differently through work that has to bring together citizens, businesses, organizations and GovernmentsPedro Siza Vieira, Portuguese Minister of State for the Economy and the Digital Transition
Breton talked about the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Fund and multi-year framework for 2021-2027. Consisting of a total of €1.8 trillion, the fund is meant to offer “an unprecedented opportunity” for member states’ tourism officials in strengthening the sector.
The Commissioner stressed that the tourism industry as a whole ought to “seize the opportunities of the green and digital transition.” He noted that people are increasingly looking for “greener holidays, destinations with fewer people, and that are closer to nature to leave a smaller environmental footprint.”
Another topic that has been talked about is the the EU’s digital certificate. The pass is is meant facilitate movement within the EU by certifying that someone is immune to or has recently tested negative for Covid-19. Breton underlined that the pass will also ensure that safe travel and tourism are possible. “The European Parliament and the Council are now ready to finalize the negotiations on the certificate by the end of May,” he concluded.