EU ministers in charge of tourism agreed at a virtual informal meeting on Tuesday (16 November) that the green and digital transition must form the core of the tourism sector’s post-pandemic recovery if the industry is to be put on a sustainable footing.
“I’m glad that we have the same general positions on the recovery of the tourism ecosystem,” said Slovenian Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, who chaired the session.
He said short-term measures taken since the start of the pandemic, such as aid to the sector and relaxation of cross-border mobility, had shown how successful the bloc could be by working together.
Long-term measures are now required. “The tourism ecosystem must be transformed so that it becomes more resilient, sustainable, and ready for new challenges and patterns of behaviour of tourists.”
The ministers highlighted the need for the involvement of all stakeholders in the recovery process, sufficient time for preparation of measures, and the exchange of practices.
The EU’s digital Covid pass plays the central role in safe travel, and this system must be expanded to non-EU countries, he summed up the talks.
Multiple ministers said it was necessary to accelerate the digitalisation of small and medium-sized companies and boost innovation. Infrastructure for connections with more remote regions must be improved as well.
“It is necessary to consider the differences in the level of development between member states and regions. Remote and island regions need sustainable and digital solutions as well,” according to Počivalšek.