European Tourism Sector Demands Urgent Supportive Measures to Reduce Devastating Impact of COVID-19

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The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, the voice of the European travel and tourism sector, has issued the following statement on the implementation of urgent measures to limit the COVID-19 outbreak’s impact on the sector.

European Tourism Manifesto alliance logoThe European Tourism Manifesto alliance, the voice of the European travel and tourism sector, has issued the following statement on the implementation of urgent measures to limit the COVID-19 outbreak’s impact on the sector.

The effects of the outbreak are already being felt throughout the global economy. Economic activity has dropped, and all evidence points towards a significant downturn in areas affected by the virus. The tourism and travel sector is particularly hit. Millions of jobs are currently at stake, while many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) risk closing their business. Support for tourism must be a priority in the crisis response, recovery plans and actions of affected economies.

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance welcomes the immediate response presented by the European Commission on 13th March to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. We call for immediate implementation of these measures, which should be reinforced by additional instruments focused on the tourism sector. Action is required now to strengthen the resilience of the sector in the long run and prepare the ground for a swift recovery from this unprecedented crisis.

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance calls upon the European Commission and national governments to swiftly implement the following urgent measures:

  • Temporary state aid for the tourism and travel sector from national governments
  • Fast and easy access to short- and medium-term loans to overcome liquidity shortages, including funds made available by the EU through the Corona Response Investment Initiative
  • Fiscal relief (both at source market and destination level), starting with SMEs and extending to economic operators of all sizes
  • Protection of workers from unemployment and loss of income (short-time work schemes, temporary leave, upskilling and reskilling programmes) and support for self-employed tourism stakeholders
  • Fast launch of the European Unemployment Reinsurance Scheme
  • Deferment of fiscal and social contributions
  • Immediate passing of temporary airport slots waiver
  • Support action for the wider field of culture (arts and heritage)
  • Better coordination between national authorities in terms of alignment of travel advice to affected regions and requirements on travellers returning from those areas.

In order to guarantee a full-speed recovery in the aftermath of the crisis, we call for the implementation of the additional following measures:

  • Simplification of visa rules for long-haul markets
  • Reducing or waiving travellers’ taxes (passenger duties, city taxes, etc.)
  • Supporting destinations, by increasing their budgets for promotion, marketing and product development purposes as soon as they are ready to welcome visitors again.


The European Tourism Manifesto alliance gathers more than 50 European public and private organisations, covering the whole tourism value chain and beyond. The alliance calls on the European Union for action on key policy priorities for the tourism sector.

Further information: European Tourism Manifesto alliance

List of European Tourism Manifesto Supporting Organisations ▪ A4E (Airlines for Europe) ▪ ACI EUROPE (Airports Council International Europe) ▪ Amadeus (Multinational IT Provider for the Global Travel and Tourism Industry) ▪ CIFFT (International Committee of Tourism film Festivals) ▪ CLIA EUROPE (Cruise Lines International Association) ▪ Confturismo Confcommercio (Unified Grouping of Italian National Organisations Representing Enterprises and Professions in Tourism) ▪ EAAM (European Association for Aquatic Mammals) ▪ EARTH (European Alliance for Responsible Tourism and Hospitality) ▪ ECF (European Cyclists' Federation) ▪ ECTAA (The European Travel Agents' and Tour Operators' Association) ▪ ECTN (European Cultural Tourism Network) ▪ EDEN (European Destinations of Excellence) ▪ EFA (European Festivals Association) ▪ EFCO & HPA (European Federation of Campingsite Organisations and Holiday Park Associations) ▪ EFFAT (European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions) ▪ EGWA (European Greenways Association) ▪ EHTTA (European Historic Thermal Towns Association) ▪ ENAT (European Network for Accessible Tourism) ▪ ERA (European Ramblers' Association) ▪ ERF (European Union Road Federation) ▪ ERRIN (European Regions Research and Innovation Network) ▪ ESPA (European Spas Association) ▪ ETC (European Travel Commission) ▪ ETF (European Transport Workers' Federation) ▪ ETLC (European Trade Union Liaison Committee on Tourism) ▪ ETOA (European Tourism Association) ▪ eu travel tech (EU association representing global distribution systems and travel distributors) ▪ EUFED (European Federation of Youth Hostel Associations) ▪ Eurail BV (The Organization Marketing and Managing the Eurail Pass) ▪ EuroGites (European Federation of Rural Tourism) ▪ Europa Nostra (The Voice of Cultural Heritage in Europe) ▪ European Boating Industry (The voice of the recreational boating industry in Europe) ▪ Federturismo Confindustria (National Travel and Tourism Federation) ▪ FEG (European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations) ▪ FEST (Foundation for European Sustainable Tourism) ▪ Global Blue (Tourism Shopping Tax Refund Company) ▪ HOTREC (Hotels, Restaurants and Cafés in Europe) ▪ HTI PARTNER Ltd. (Health Tourism Industry) ▪ IAAPA (The Global Association for the Attractions Industry) ▪ IATM (International Association of Tour Managers) ▪ IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism) ▪ IRU (International Road Transport Union) ▪ ISTO (International Social Tourism Organisation) ▪ Leaseurope (European federation representing leasing and automotive rental industries) ▪ Mad’in Europe (The European portal of Craftsmen and Cultural Heritage Restorers) ▪ Mirabilia European Network of Chambers of Commerce (to promote UNESCO sites) ▪ NECSTouR (Network of European Regions for Sustainable and Competitive Tourism) ▪ OTIE (Observatory on Tourism in the European Islands) ▪ Pearle*-Live Performance Europe (European federation in the Performing Arts and Music Sector) ▪ spiritsEUROPE (represents Spirits Producers) ▪ Startup Turismo (Italian Tourism Startup Association) ▪ Tourism Society Europa (Membership Body for People Working in all Sectors of the Visitor Economy) ▪ Travelport (Technology Company) ▪ TUI GROUP (The world's leading tourism group) ▪ UNI Europa (European Trade Union Federation for Service Workers) ▪ WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council)