The European Travel Commission (ETC) has published an announcement addressed to lawmakers in regulating EU bodies in an attempt to sway them towards investing financially in the tourism industry. The investment would help businesses in the tourism industry recover from COVID-19 and would be similar to investment that EU bodies have made with other industries, such as airlines.
According to the announcement, the travel and tourism industry in Europe needs € 161 billion in order to recover to its pre-pandemic level of operation. It also mentions that the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility offers an “unprecedented opportunity” to support the industry.
The Recovery and Resilience Facility is a program created by governing EU bodies to provide financial support on a large scale, with the goal of minimizing some of the possible economic and social ramifications of COVID-19.
According to the announcement, the tourism industry must be an essential part of these recovery plans. This is not only because the sector has suffered more than almost any other, but also because the industry can help to drive economic recovery with short-term investments turning into long-term job creation.
“Tourism must be firmly incorporated in the recovery and resilience plans. Meanwhile the sector needs continued support to survive and help to drive recovery. Tourism is micro/SME dominated, a composition on which Europe’s distinctiveness and appeal as a destination depends. Smaller businesses always return employment to the economy faster than larger corporations: access to short-term funding means long-term job generation,” the announcement reads.
In addition, if investment is made specifically in the travel and tourism sector, it will also drive recovery for other sectors as well. This is because for every € 1 generated by the industry, there are 56 cents generated for other industries.
“The European economy and social wellbeing are clearly in danger if we do not take urgent action in building and financing the recovery of the travel and tourism sector: 1 EUR of value generated by tourism results in an additional 56 cent of added value in indirect effect on other industries. Investing in tourism will provide long-term benefit to communities, visitors and business throughout Europe,” the announcement reads.
According to the announcement, the European Tourism Manifest alliance is ready and willing to assist Member States to create the plans for assisting the tourism sector to recover in a “sustainable and resilient way, and continue to create jobs, fostering cohesion and building the path towards a sustainable recovery from the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The ETC and European Tourism Manifesto alliance are the voice of the travel and tourism industry in Europe. Their primary role is to advocate for individual businesses and the industry as a whole to EU governing bodies and Member States to ensure that the industry thrives in any environment.
The travel and tourism sector has suffered heavier financial losses than almost any other industry in Europe since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It has still not been announced whether or not any Member States have begun working with the ETC to incorporate the travel and tourism sector into recovery plans on a large scale.