The Conference of Ministers of Tourism (17-18 March 2022)

The Conference of Tourism Ministers will be held in Dijon on March 17 and 18, 2022. It will be chaired by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister Delegate for Tourism, alongside Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market. Together, we share common initiatives, with the aim of reviving the sector, increasing European tourism in Europe and moving to a more sustainable model.

Tourism is a driving force of the European economy, enhancing our values ​​and our cultural and natural heritage. Leisure and business tourism have been among the sectors hardest hit by the COVID crisis and may suffer further repercussions due to the war in Ukraine. After two years dominated by the pandemic, with the end of the COVID-19 crisis now on the horizon, Europe must rebuild a resilient and sustainable tourism industry, in line with the expectations of European tourists.

The French Presidency of the Council of the European Union proposes to promote European initiatives contributing to the development of the tourism sector towards a greener, more inclusive and more digital model. This conference will be an opportunity to discuss with European partners the best practices implemented by Member States while demonstrating the importance of action at EU level in order to support and transform the sector, encouraging the intra-European tourism and promoting the Europe destination in Europe and beyond. . The exchanges will make it possible to create joint projects in order to draw up a 2030 Agenda for tourism in Europe.

The day of March 18 will begin with a reception of the delegations at the Palace of the Dukes and States of Burgundy, a center of political and cultural life in Dijon.

The first round table will deal with European tourism in Europe. Firstly, the European Commission, the World Tourism Organization and the World Travel and Tourism Council will set out their vision for the recovery of international tourism and the opportunities offered by the increase in tourism by Europeans in Europe. At the end, the ministers of tourism and Mr. Thierry Breton, European commissioner in charge of the internal market, will discuss the work carried out by the European Commission in the context of the transition and transformation of the sector and will identify the good practices of each State. member to promote intra-European tourism and sustainable tourism.

The second round table will discuss the tools to be used to make Europe the global destination for sustainable tourism. The Presidency will mainly address this issue from the angle of transforming the industry and promoting sustainable transport.

The discussions that will take place during the Conference of Ministers of Tourism will be a continuation of those conducted more than two years ago. Since the beginning of the crisis, tourism has been the subject of particular attention at European level. European cooperation and coordination have been reinforced in order to support this sector, which represents nearly 10% of European GDP. European tourism ministers have held regular meetings and the work carried out at EU level since March 2020 has contributed to:

  • facilitate increased mobility: on May 13, 2020, the European Commission published the “Tourism and Transport” package, proposing a shared and coordinated approach for the gradual return of mobility within the European Union. Next, on 13 October 2020, Member States adopted a Council Recommendation on a coordinated approach to the restriction of free movement. This recommendation made it possible to adopt a mapping system and common criteria on whether to introduce travel restrictions. In addition, in order to facilitate travel, the Commission has created the platform, providing information on the health measures and travel conditions in force in each Member State. Finally, on June 14, 2021, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the EU COVID Digital Certificate Regulation. This certificate harmonises and creates interoperability between the documents proving vaccination, cure or screening required by Member States, according to their national policy. In addition, the European Tourism Commission’s “OpenUpToEurope” promotional campaign was launched to make Europe a more attractive destination;
  • strengthen support for businesses: During the crisis, the tourism sector has benefited from European economic support mechanisms, including the State Aid Temporary Framework, the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and the Investment Plus Initiative ( CRII+), Temporary Support to Mitigate Unemployment Risks in Emergencies (SURE), and the Next Generation EU fund. Eligible tourism stakeholders can also receive support under the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027, including EU funds managed by regions. In order to facilitate the process for companies, the Commission published in May 2021 a guide on the financing available for the tourism sector;
  • initiate the digital and sustainable transformation of the sector: the European Commission started discussions on the sustainable transformation of the sector on October 12, 2020, within the framework of the European Tourism Convention, with the aim of establishing a roadmap for tourism by 2030. Following consultations with representatives of the tourism industry, the Commission has drawn up a working document entitled “Scenarios towards the co-creation of a transition path for tourism towards a more resilient, innovative and sustainable ecosystem”, which should serve guide for the elaboration of a 2030 Agenda for tourism in Europe. This publication also follows the adoption of conclusions on sustainable tourism (“Conclusions on tourism in Europe for the next decade: sustainable, resilient, digital, global and social”) by EU Member States at the meeting of the Competitiveness Council on May 27, 2021.

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