Thomas Bareiß, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and Federal Government Commissioner for Tourism, is chairing the informal exchange via video conference of EU Ministers responsible for today. The focus of the video conference is on an exchange of views on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector and the related challenges for European tourism policy.
Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Bareiß said: “The tourism industry is particularly badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, more than almost any other sector of the economy. Today, I will talk with the EU Ministers responsible for tourism about how we can tackle the severe consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and make the tourism sector more resilient for the future. In particular, we want to make more private and business trips in Europe possible again. The health aspect of course has priority for us. But we still want to limit travel restrictions to what is necessary and permit the freedom to travel for people in Europe as far as possible without neglecting health protection.”
Tourism is an important driver of economic growth in the EU, and its impact extends to other sectors. Before the crisis, more than 12% of Europe’s inhabitants depended on tourism for their livelihood, and 10% of the EU’s gross domestic product was directly or indirectly generated by the tourism industry.