The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, has participated in the high-level meeting of representatives of Tourism of the European Union (EU) convened by the German presidency of the Council of the EU to analyze the impact of the pandemic on the tourism sector and discuss the challenges of tourism policy and decisions to be made for the future. Maroto promoted an agreement that provides a European response to the tourism crisis in which "the general rule must be to guarantee safe travel between our States" and advocated "putting in place the necessary measures to make it effective." The final declaration led by Spain obtained the support of nine member countries: Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal.
The head of Spanish Tourism highlighted the need to establish homogeneous criteria for the treatment of risk areas and coordinated measures in the control of the departure and arrival of travelers, providing "mutually recognized tests" in order to "avoid indiscriminate measures such as quarantines and travel restrictions ”. "The objective is to put Europe back as a safe travel destination". The minister insisted on applying these criteria of free movement in a regionalized way, not nationally as before, so that the flow of visitors in the regions or islands is allowed. that meet the agreed sanitary standards.
Maroto explained to his colleagues the ambitious aid plan that the Government of Spain has implemented to support the tourism sector since the pandemic began, which has already mobilized more than 25,000 million euros, mainly aimed at protecting tourism companies and their workers and workers. But he insisted that it is not enough and now "it is urgent to adopt measures to recover the demand of both domestic and international travelers, which is affected by mobility restrictions and a lack of confidence."
Along with the new criteria for safe travel, Maroto insisted on the need for a European Shock Plan to rescue the sector that includes "specific lines of support for tourism" in the new EU budget, including a European Guarantee Fund for travel that ensures the financial liquidity of tourism and aviation, guarantees payment of reimbursement claims and enables companies to offer flexible credit bonds. "Now more than ever we have to work together and in a coordinated manner on a more resilient, competitive, safe and sustainable European tourism model that helps Europe continue to be the world's leading tourist destination," the minister advocated.