Huge losses for tourism in the EU.
Last year, due to the pandemic, Member States witnessed huge losses in tourism. This was different from one Member state to another. For instance, we saw a 48% drop in international arrivals in Austria, while for Cyprus it was 84%.
What is even more tragic is that up to 60% out of approximately 2.4 million EU tourism jobs are at risk. The study relieving the numbers was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee.
Travel restrictions and vaccination certificate still in place in 2022
Experts are already talking about the third wave of the pandemic. EU-wide travel restrictions will most likely be extended until at least the middle of next year. This is the view of USRPLUS MEP Vlad Gheorghe in the context of the “green certificate” discussions. The form proposed by the European Commission will be presented publicly on Wednesday.
“In Romania, the overall number of tourists in 2020 decreased by more than 50% compared to the previous year. International arrivals fell by 80%. The same dramatic declines were recorded across the EU. But the impact is huge for those countries where tourism plays a major role for the GDP. For instance, we can think of Greece or Italy. Another summer season, another year with the same figures would have disastrous consequences,” the MEP points out.
The certificate will mention data on vaccination against Covid19, a negative RT-PCR test or evidence of recovery from infection with the new coronavirus.
“Around 10% of the European Union’s Gross Domestic Product comes from tourism. The aim of this document is not to make mobility in the EU more difficult. On the contrary. All economies have suffered losses as a result of the pandemic and tourism is one of the hardest hit industries. A single green certificate that is agreed and recognised at European level would be a measure that would simplify travel within the countries of the Union. Especially as the new coronavirus does not seem likely to allow us to return to normality any time soon. Surely the decision of the Member States will be sovereign and freedom of movement will not be conditioned by this document. However, it must be said that for citizens who cannot or do not want to present one of the three options (vaccination, test, proof of health), the restrictions we are already familiar with will continue to apply, such as quarantine for 7-14 days, depending on the rules of each European country in this regard,” says Vlad Gheorghe.
USRPLUS MEP Vlad Gheorghe is an alternate member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism, a member of the Committee on Budgets and an alternate member of the Committee on Petitions and the Special Committee on Cancer.