European tourism needs 375 bln euros to recover: ETC

The European Travel Commission (ETC), a European tourism organization, has said that the European tourism sector needs 375 billion euros to recover from the crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic and to restore operations, Portuguese Lusa News Agency reported on Sunday.

“The European Union (EU) estimates are around 255 billion euros to help Member States recover the industry, and around 120 billion euros more for extra investment to help entrepreneurs and operators to restore operations,” ETC Executive Director Eduardo Santander said in an interview with Lusa.

With European tourism stagnating, due to restrictive measures adopted by EU Member States to try to contain the pandemic, including with limitations on travel between countries, “tourism has gone from 100 percent to zero” and today is “reduced to practically 10 percent of what it was,” given the total losses, Santander was quoted as saying.

“Everything is equally affected by the tourism value chain being interconnected,” he said.

“From cruise lines, to other operators and, in particular, to airlines, everyone has huge losses, with drops between 45 percent for air carriers… and 70 percent for hotels and restaurants,” he explained, according to Lusa.

Santander estimated that the crisis “is reflected in high unemployment” in the sector at European level, adding that “losses of 10 million jobs in Europe may be at stake if the situation continues in the coming months.”

Most affected, according to the ETC director, will be “the countries where the GDP is more dependent on tourism, as is the case of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy.”

Headquartered in Brussels, ETC is a non-profit organization consisting of 33 national tourism promotion bodies from European countries.