EU countries signing declaration to save the European tourism sector


EU tourism ministers from nine countries signed the Declaration Common Position EU Tourism Ministers in order to save tourism sectors as it represents one of the main industries of the European economy.

Tourism Ministers from nine European countries such as Italy, France, Spain, Malta, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria have all signed Declaration on the Common Position of EU Tourism Ministers. The official signing of the declaration was held yesterday.

In that declaration, the European tourism ministers highlighted what urgent measures must be taken to save European tourism, which is severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The European Union is the world’s leading tourist destination, with more than 40% share of the global tourism market in 2018 and 562 million international arrivals, after nine years of consecutive growth. Tourism in EU countries is a strategic industry.

Below you will find the declaration and ministers who signed it.

Croatia to open borders with Slovenia in May

The Croatian government is currently debating on opening Croatian borders with Slovenia in the middle of May. More specifically the aim is to open Croatian borders with Slovenia on May 18, 2020. The Croatian borders have been closed down due to the Coronavirus epidemic. Prime Minister Andrej Plenković announced a few days ago that he had instructed the ministries to set priorities as to which measures would serve economic growth and also make the daily lives of citizens easier.

The declaration for saving the tourism sector was not signed by Croatia or Slovenia

Croatia, as the country holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, must be neutral, therefore it cannot sign statements and initiatives of this kind, “the Ministry of Tourism’s said yesterday.

They point out that the EU must set up funds to help companies in the tourism industry to remain competitive in a new, dynamic, and changing environment.

Since tourism is one of the major industries of the European economy, accounting for more than 10% of EU GDP and employing almost 12 % of the total workforce, it is strongly needed, the declaration states, to take the same measures as regards travel and passenger mobility.

Declaration Common Position EU Tourism Ministers

We, the Ministers of Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Malta, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain, highlight that tourism is one of the main industries of the European economy, as it represents more than 10% of the EU’s GDP and employs almost 12% of the total labor force. The European Union is the world’s leading tourist destination, with more than a 40% share of the world´s tourism market in 2018 and 562 million international arrivals after nine consecutive years of sustained growth.

In our countries, tourism constitutes a strategic industry. We would like the EU
Recovery Plan to include strong support for tourism and to recognize the existence of certain territories with specificities that must be met. We also agree in expressing the need to establish homogeneous rules for both air and sea or land mobility to guarantee a “safe and seamless travel” in the European area.
For all of the above, we propose a European recovery plan for the tourism
an industry that integrates coordinated and differentiated measures in the short and
medium-term aimed at economic support for the industry. This plan would also meet the specific needs of certain territories including outermost regions and
islands and ensure intra-European mobility by supporting airlines and
establishing common safety standards.
The first set of measures must be those directed at supporting the most affected
sectors. In order to limit the destruction of tourist productive activity and
employment and ensure a rapid recovery, we must put in place economic
measures to maintain and ensure the survival of the business fabric and
employment, thus preventing a liquidity crisis from becoming one of solvency.
It is urgent that the European Union supports, through the SURE program
launched by the European Commission and the pan-European guarantee fund
created by the European Investment Bank, the strategy of maintaining productive
structures and employment in the tourism industry, during the entire duration of
the crisis.
In addition, the EU needs to set up funds to help companies in the tourism
industry learn to stay competitive in a new, dynamic and changing environment.
As Commissioner Breton advanced, these funds should make up a very
significant amount of the future European Recovery Program.
Secondly, we must jointly support our regions most affected by the crisis. The
recovery of these territories must be consistent with the principle of sustainability:

  • Economic and social sustainability, promoting innovation and digitalization in
    tourist destinations.
  • Environmental sustainability, promoting the efficient use of resources by moving
    to a clean and circular economy, ensuring GHG emissions reduction and
    protecting biodiversity particularly in oceanic areas, as is specified in the
    European Green Deal.
    Within the framework of this strategy and with the aim of ensuring its survival, we
    must also consider direct aid to tourist destinations that are part of a strategy of
    tourism product diversification, such as mountains, inland and rural areas and
    Finally, the recovery of transit and mobility is essential, first between the Member
    States and then with the rest of the world. Air transport is key for tourism and for
    our economies, for its contribution to economic activity and employment.
    Therefore, we must facilitate access to liquidity to airlines.
    Mobility must guarantee safety and generate confidence in travelers. Therefore,
    it is necessary that there are homogeneous measures at the European level, so
    that they are implemented in all Member States. By implementing these
    measures evenly throughout the EU territory, we will achieve the same “safe and
    seamless travel” for everyone.
    Ms Nikolina ANGELKOVA,
    Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria
    Mr. Savvas PERDIOS
    Deputy Minister for Tourism, Cyprus
    Mr. Harry THEOHARIS,
    Minister for Tourism, Greece
    Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection
    Mr Jean Baptiste LEMOYNE
    State Secretary to the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs
    Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities and for Tourism, Italy
    Mrs Rita Marques,
    State Secretary for Tourism, Portugal
    Mr. Virgil-Daniel POPESCU
    Minister of Economy, Energy and Business Environment, Romania.
    Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Spain

Source: Declaration Common Position EU Tourism