The upcoming summer season offers Europeans the chance to get some much-needed rest, relaxation and fresh air, and to catch up with friends and family. To make this happen in a safe way, there is a need for strict health and safety protocols. The Commission proposes a coordinated approach to allow a gradual restoration of mobility and connectivity as soon as the health situation allows, to support tourism’s recovery and enable a more sustainable industry in the future. EU tourism is one of the ecosystems most affected by the coronavirus.
Importance of tourism ecosystem in Europe
Europe is the leading tourist destination in the world. Tourism is at the centre of a huge ecosystem of businesses that contribute substantially to prosperity and jobs in all Member States.
10% of EU
over 90% of
with 40% of
in the EU
€ 0.56 of added
value for every
€1 generated in
Member States most dependent on tourism are (as % of GDP):
Employment in tourism
- 12% employment
direct and indirect jobs
37% of tourism workers
are under 35 years old
Impact of the coronavirus crisis
The coronavirus outbreak is putting the EU’s tourist industry under unprecedented pressure. It has led to the suspension of most domestic and international travel, causing a significant reduction in revenue and creating liquidity issues for all tourism operators. Travellers and businesses alike face uncertain prospects.
Impact on global tourism
UN World Tourism Organisation estimates a 60% reduction in international tourism
EUR 840-1000 billion in losses
for global travel industry
Impact on EU tourism
60% to 90% reduction in
bookings compared to similar
periods in previous years
Estimated loss of 6 million
Significant estimated loss of
• 85% hotels and restaurants
• 85% for tour operators
• 85% for long distance rail
• 90% for cruises and airlines
The tourism ecosystem
The EU tourism ecosystem encompasses many types of business. off-line and on-line information and service providers, travel agents and tour operators, accommodation suppliers, destination management organisations, visitor attractions and passenger transport operators. Large multinational corporations operate alongside the SMEs.
EU support to get tourism back on track
The EU is proposing a series of guidance documents to ensure a gradual and coordinated reopening of travel and tourism services and facilities as soon as the health situation allows, while respecting strict conditions to protect the health and safety of travellers and tourism workers across Europe.
- Safely reopening our borders and restoring unrestricted free movement
- Restoring transport services of all kinds across the EU while protecting the health of transport workers and passengers
- Safely resuming tourism services
- Using digital technologies to give our people sufficient information to be able to plan for trips
- Protecting consumer rights.
For tourism business
Providing liquidity for tourism businesses, in particular SMEs through:
- Vouchers as an attractive and secure option to cash reimbursement
- Saving jobs with up to €100 billion in financial relief from the SURE programme
- Connecting citizens to local tourism offer, promoting local attractions and tourism and Europe as a safe tourist destination
- Financial support through the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, EIF loans as well as flexible state aid rules.
Towards sustainable tourism
|The current crisis is an opportunity to make the tourism industry more resilient and strengthen the green and digital transformation of EU tourism, maintaining Europe’s standing as a leading destination and maximising the industry’s contribution to growth and employment. A sustainable recovery needs affordable and more sustainable transport and improved connectivity, smart management of tourism flows, diversification of the tourism offer, the development of sustainability skills for tourism professionals and more effort to raise awareness of the variety of landscapes and the cultural diversity across Europe.|