As the latest data shows an 85% fall in tourist arrivals across Europe at the start of 2021, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has noted Europe can set a global example by restarting the sector. Given tourism’s huge socio-economic importance, the benefits that will accompany the return of tourism in time for the peak European season will be felt well outside of the sector itself.
“Today’s visit of Vice-President Margaritis Schinas is testament to the importance of tourism to economic and social wellbeing across the European Union. Now more than ever, tourism needs strong political support and joined-up action. Harmonized travel and health rules are essential to restore confidence and restart tourism.” said Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General.
Across Europe, millions of people and businesses are depending on the right decisions to be made so that tourism can restart.Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General
UNWTO has congratulated the European Commission for taking the lead and advancing plans to launch its Digital Green Pass, recognizing its potential to restart tourism in a number of destinations. At the same time, the UNWTO leadership also credited the Commission’s intentions to support national recovery and resilience plans, as well as the recent launch of the ‘Re-Open EU’ website and mobile app, both of which effectively complement UNWTO’s own global #RestartTourism campaign.
Towards a better summer?
Vice-President Margaritis Schinas adds: “With vaccinations and better management of the crisis, there is no doubt this summer will be better than last. Reopening borders will have an impact beyond tourism. It will drive Europe’s overall recovery. And Europe will not return on its own. Europe is part of the world and we are ready find a way that the European Green Pass works with solutions provided by countries or groups of countries from outside the EU.”