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EU ministers of tourism: financial support at EU level is needed

At today’s video conference EU ministers of tourism exchanged views on how best to take forward the implementation of the guidelines and recommendations presented by the Commission on 13 May with a view to helping member states coordinate the gradual lifting of travel restrictions and allow tourism businesses to reopen while respecting the necessary health precautions.

Ministers broadly welcomed the Commission guidelines as a necessary first step for the recovery of the tourism sector.

More specifically, ministers expressed strong support for a number of principles that should govern such recovery, such as :

  • close coordination at EU level,
  • gradual, step-by-step approach,
  • decisions based on sound epidemiological data,
  • non-discrimination.

Considering that clear communication and full transparency are the necessary conditions for restoring trust in travel and tourism, ministers encouraged the Commission to carry out its plans to create an interactive website, which will make available to the public real-time information on the conditions and measures in place in each member state concerning tourists.

Several member states were of the view that the tourism sector needs a swift and targeted financial support at EU level to address the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including adequate financial support from the upcoming EU recovery plan, to be presented by the Commission on 27 May 2020.

Finally, as regards passengers whose flights were cancelled due to the pandemic, a number of ministers called upon the Commission to provide member states with additional flexibility in order to address liquidity problems of airline companies.