Sassoli: Tourism must be at the heart of Europe’s recovery

Extracts of the speech of President Sassoli to the Global Tourism Forum 2021

“As you know, we live in a time of great challenges. The dramatic crisis caused by the pandemic was a watershed moment, a devastating and unexpected event. This has led to major changes not only on an economic and social level but also to our lifestyles and our routines. In this sense, tourism – which represents one of the major sources of income for the EU – was undoubtedly one of the most affected sectors. In fact, it is estimated that due to the pandemic, some areas of tourism faced losses between 70-80%, affecting 11 million jobs. 

“Europe is the number one tourism destination in the world and it is therefore vital to support this sector because, as well as strengthening our competitiveness, it can significantly relaunch our economic and social recovery. To do this we need to build new alliances, identify new tools to help facilitate mobility, all while making it more sustainable, resilient and with a lower environmental impact.

“Tourism is an important tool to promote the cultural richness of our countries and regions, and to enhance further the idea of a global citizenship based on solidarity, which is the basis of an open and inclusive society.

“If we want to revive the entire tourism ecosystem and make it more effective and resilient after this pandemic, we must use the existing funding opportunities in the EU budget and Next Generation EU intelligently. However, above all we must work together on a European agenda for tourism in 2030/ 2050, in order to strengthen its competitiveness in the medium and long term.”

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