Tourism – towards a recovery and growth path | 14 October 2020, 14:30 – 16:00 | online

14 October 2020 - 14 October 2020


In many EU countries and regions, tourism significantly contributes not only to their GDP and employment[1], but also boosts a range of sectors in its value chain, providing necessary income to the local communities.

In the face of global trends and evolving consumer patterns, the long-term future of European tourism is built on the twin transition towards green and digital transformation of the tourism ecosystem. Businesses, SMEs in particular, and tourism destinations face challenges in building capacity to succeed in this transition, in addition to the other challenges they face such as seasonality, unbalanced growth, and global competition. These efforts have been undermined, as the tourism ecosystem is struggling with the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, trying to keep the lifeline of SMEs and maintain the jobs, precious skills and know-how that are needed to address the long-term challenges.

The tourism and travel industry is among the most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. According to the World Travel Organisation, international tourism traffic will have reduced by 20-30% this year (representing 300 – 450 billion US$), while the OECD predicts a fall in the global tourism economy by as much as 45-70%, depending on the duration of the health crisis and the speed of recovery of travel activities.

The EU tourism industry is confronted with an unprecedented reduction in international arrivals, aggravated by a massive drop in intra-EU and domestic tourism (representing 87% of tourist arrivals). Tourism and travel businesses of all sizes are faced with acute liquidity problems.

Although there is much uncertainty about how this health crisis will evolve in the coming months, the European Commission, together with the Member States, is working to protect businesses and jobs and set out the roadmap towards a sustainable recovery.

The objective of this workshop is to provide an opportunity for stakeholders (destination management organisations, Member States, regional and urban public authorities, tourism businesses and SMEs) to exchange their experiences – successful tools and lessons learned in addressing this unprecedented crisis and its impacts on tourism and, more importantly, to discuss the recovery strategy in the context of the long-term sustainable and digital transformation of  European tourism.

DG GROW.F4 is organising and moderating this workshop.

[1] Tourism generates, directly and indirectly, ca. 10% of GDP and represents nearly 12% of total employment in the EU.

Anna Athanasopoulou, Head of Unit, DG GROW, European Commission, Belgium.
Ramune GENZBIGELYTE-VENTURI, Policy Officer, European Commission (GROW.F4), Belgium.

Massimo Caccia, Director of Research, National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Italy.
Françoise Guaspare, Partnership coordinator, S3P-Industry Safe and Sustainable Mobility Partnership, France.
Zuzana Pastrňáková, Spokeswoman, PR Specialist, City of Znojmo, Czechia.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive, VisitScotland, United Kingdom.
Sille Talvet-Unt, Partner, coordinator of CBC projects, Gravitas Consult OÜ, Estonia.

 Cohesion and Cooperation
 European Commission
 English (EN)

More information on the EWRC‘s website.