The resumption of tourism will trigger economic growth and revival in the 33 European countries. Says Luís Araujo, the European Travel Commission. He agrees that a thoughtful responsibility in leading ETC in a period when European tourism faces one of its biggest challenges is needed.
European countries need to ensure that tourism has a strong voice in Europe. Due to its better coordination among other continents, it could and does have the potential to quickly sustain its recovery in the tourism sector. Being fully aware of the challenges the world faces today is not enough, acting based upon this knowledge matters the most. Araujo believes that the long track record of ETC, with the commitment of its members, will help to reconstruct the confidence in tourism Europe.
The continent is now under a virtual lockdown and has restrictions for travel, mostly travel between the U.S. and Europe. Both countries missed the summer travel season, and now, with upwelling in COVID-19 cases the distress shifts to winter and its holidays.
Europe tends to draw many American tourists who enjoy traveling overseas, particularly for the numerous Christmas markets. Now governments have been prompted to re-impose curfews and travel restrictions while bars and restaurants sit empty in most affected areas, Araujo noted.
Tourism, everywhere, is getting back to the situation it had during the spring, with no income, while they still suffer fixed costs. It is only a matter of time until the cash runs out. “It is crucial now to aid and assist tourism enterprises throughout the entire travel ecosystem to save millions of livelihoods that depend on the sector. European governments should prolong state aid programs launched earlier this year and not spare financial support for workers and businesses,” mentioned Araujo.
However, he has his reasons to be optimistic as well. “There is a real opportunity to reinvent the tourism sector of tomorrow, we have been talking for too long about sustainable growth, climate change, digitalization, and innovation and now more than ever it is time to take action.”