International support for tourism

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Last week, both the EU and the G20 countries have announced their concern for the decline of tourism and are planning support measures.

How Britain tried to entice Chinese tourists. Now there are virtual tours

But whilst it is justifiable to support an industry that worldwide has about 100 million  people involved with it employees and is probably worth about 10% of the world’s entire GNP, it is another thing to instil confidence in the rest of us to want to travel again.

The OECD has forecast a drop of 45% in international tourism this year but that might be optimistic given that it looks unlikely that there will be much of a summer holiday season internationally. Many countries are just looking at domestic tourism for the summer and the hopeful re-opening of international tourism in the very late summer or autumn.

But for all the power that the G20 commands, its statements after the virtual meeting were long on words and short on action.  It said “We will explore opportunities such as capacity building programs in travel and tourism to help the world economy recover, and help the sector become more inclusive, robust, and resilient.”

To top it off, the G20 decided to set up a taskforce which will report back on October 7th. It will “identify challenges to the sector that have arisen from the crisis, to develop and share further targeted responses to stimulate recovery, and to identify ways to improve resiliency in the sector”.

Not much incentive there then either for destinations or travellers!

The EU, at its virtual meeting said that it would look to open what it called “tourist corridors” between different EU states but only after medical advice on how they should operate and what restrictions there might have to be.

Roughly three quarters of all tourist activity in the EU is within Europe and the UK and it looks as though the EU will try to establish some common rules which all member states can follow. Whether the UK will join in the measures is anyone’s guess.

Certainly having common action for airports, hotels, transport, restaurants, cafes, bars, attractions and tours will make it a lot easier for travellers to understand and follow.

But will any of this be in place on a pan-EU basis for there to be any international tourist activity this summer?

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