The plenary of the European Parliament approved today a joint resolution signed by all political forces to boost tourism and transport in 2020.
The text includes recommendations aimed at helping the two sectors that have been most seriously affected by Covid-19, as well as to regain the confidence of travelers to restart vacations to Europe as soon as possible. Furthermore, the resolution stresses the need to minimize losses, always by guaranteeing health security.
Socialist MEP Isabel García, member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism, has linked the promotion of tourism to the recovery of the transport sector, since “improving the accessibility, sustainability and connectivity of all means of transport will have a very positive impact for the tourism sector. García has indicated that this crisis can become “an opportunity” to invest in more sustainable transport infrastructure and that it can help to redesign the tourism industry “to make it more innovative, sustainable, and resilient.”
The PSIB-PSOE MEP, Alícia Homs, Garcia’s partner, has stressed the importance of this resolution for the Balearic Islands. “Our autonomous community is a welcoming region, where many Europeans enjoy their holidays. For this reason, now is the moment for the European Union to help tourist territories like ours.”
For Homs, in addition, to help our touristic sector to overcome the current crisis, EU aid “has to promote the necessary transformations so that the sector adapts to ecological and digital transition, to the new sanitary security measures and to improve workers’ conditions.”
In this sense, the socialists MEPs have positively valued the Recovery Plan proposed by the European Commission because it recognizes tourism as one of the sectors that has suffered the most from the impact to the pandemic. However, García has regretted that this plan “doesn’t establish specific financing for the sector, which needs immediate aid.”
For this reason, they considered it essential “to know the specific amount of European funds that small and medium-sized companies and workers will have,” since it is necessary to have “clear guidelines and information from Europe to facilitate that SMEs and companies in the tourism sector can access to this fund more easily and whit the less bureaucratic burden, while benefiting from programs such as SURE, ReactEU or InvestEU, among others.”
Finally, García and Homs stressed that the resolution approved today by the European Parliament includes “important socialists demands such as a European Travel Guarantee Fund that ensures the financial stability of the tourism and transport sector in the long term and that guarantees the rights of passengers.” Likewise, socialist MEPs have called for measures to develop “a European framework for the protection of workers in both sectors, as well as passengers and tourists, to restore their confidence.”
For all these reasons, both MEPs have concluded that “a sustainable tourism roadmap is needed, as well as concrete measures to revive tourism, such as a European certification with an eco-label that indicates minimum sanitary standards to help revitalize tourism.”