As Europe is gradually deconfining, the European economy is also gradually recovering. However, sectors such as tourism, which have been hard hit, require accompanying measures and measures to safeguard employment.
The Commission had defined three main objectives to boost the touristic economy:
– Ensuring the liquidity of tourism businesses, especially SMEs
The increased flexibility of the budgetary rules governing State aid, decided by the Commission at the beginning of the crisis, already allows States to support the stakeholders in the sector. States can redirect part of the European funds still available to guarantee the credit balances or reimbursements due to customers who had their bookings cancelled during the period of containment. At the same time, the Commission encourages the system of credit notes, which are preferable to refunds.
Other European funds are being used, such as the Global Coronavirus Response Instrument and, more recently, the European Investment Fund. The Fund has 8 million euros to finance 100,000 small businesses hard hit by the crisis.
– Safeguarding jobs
This objective will be achieved through the European SURE programme, the programme for financing short-time working launched by the Commission on 1 April. The programme has been allocated €100 billion to cover part of the costs incurred by Member States in connection with short-time working and to help companies maintain the jobs of their employees. Other strategies are favoured by the Commission, such as the retraining of seasonal workers.
– Connecting citizens with the local tourism offer, promoting local attractions and tourism and making Europe a safe tourist destination
To achieve the latter objective, the Commission plans to organise communication campaigns and wishes to promote, together with the Member States, a partnership system enabling customers to support businesses in the tourism sector.
This action plan is fully in line with the Union’s other commitments, such as the European Green Pact, in which the Commission has committed itself to promoting sustainable tourism.