The need to reinforce coordination between Member States, on issues such as the movement of people and health, in the areas that have an impact on the Tourism sector and associated sectors was one of the conclusions reached by the Ministers of the 27 Member States in the first informal video conference of European Union Tourism Ministers under the aegis of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Chaired by the Portuguese Minister of State for the Economy and the Digital Transition, Pedro Siza Vieira, accompanied by the Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques, the objective of this meeting was to discuss the current situation in the sector in the EU and reflect on a set of measures aimed at its recovery. Concluding that the strategic focus on recovery in the sector should include digitalisation and mobility, as well as sustainability, the meeting also deemed it appropriate to make Tourism more dynamic in the European framework.
The Ministers believe promoting consumer trust is essential to the re-opening and recovery of the entire EU economy in general and Tourism in particular. As such, they believe that special attention should be paid to cross-border cooperation and the creation of instruments that include common criteria and requirements, such as a health certificate or travellers' app.
Another of the recommendations of this meeting is related to financial support, which is considered crucial not only for preserving the sector, but also for promoting far-reaching modernisation, in order to assure the leadership position in Europe and in world tourism in the coming years. The Member States asked the Commission for greater flexibility in the different financial instruments supporting the sector, particularly the temporary support framework. The Member States also referred to the enormous contribution that Tourism can and should make to the recovery of Europe, a contribution that should be made clear in the Resilience and Recovery Plans.
The future of Tourism was also one of the topics discussed at the meeting, with the Member States signalling their commitment to defining a 2030/2050 Agenda for the sector together, expressing their availability for strengthening cooperation and the sharing of best practices, driving the green and digital transition of the Tourism ecosystem and bolstering its competitiveness and sustainability.
Also taking part in the meeting were the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Zurab Pololikashvili, and the President of the World Travel and Tourism Council, Gloria Guevara Manzo.