Before the summer season, EU countries are struggling to find a common line to allow holidays in Europe again.
“We now need a strategy for a joint relaunch of the tourism sector in the EU,” stressed Thomas Bareiß, the German government’s tourism representative, after a video conference with his EU colleagues on Monday. There is also no uniform approach to compensation and vouchers for cancelled package holidays.
Due to the pandemic and closed borders, bookings have collapsed everywhere, and it is still unclear whether one can go to the holiday areas of Europe in the summer. EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen had recently advised that she would wait for the planning. The commission is now working on a plan for a joint action, as von der Leyens spokesman Eric Mamer said.
In Germany alone, according to Bareiß, more than three million people are employed in the industry. Across Europe, tourism contributes ten percent to economic output and employs almost twelve percent of the workforce, croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli added. Croatia currently holds the presidency of THE EU countries before Germany takes over from 1 July.
Before opening up so-called tourist corridors, epidemiologists would have to be consulted in order to establish criteria for the safety of holidaymakers. “There seems to be enough goodwill and a desire to find a way to reconnect countries,” Cappelli continued.
Ministers also stressed the importance of a harmonised solution for compensation for travel, including vouchers. The EU Commission was also asked to quickly develop a legal framework that would temporarily ensure flexibility and liquidity, as well as a fair balance of interests between tour operators and consumers.