‘EU tourism is not going well’ Bloc slammed for ‘clumsy management’ by its own court

The universal tourism sector has been hit hard by travel restrictions introduced by governments in response to Covid. But a top court has argued that the problems with the EU’s tourism sector foreshadow the pandemic and has been helped as well as they could have been by the EU Commission.

The European Court of Auditors recently published a special check up on on the bloc’s support of the industry between 2014-2020.

Over these six years, there were no dedicated EU budgets for tourism.

The Court said that some of the biggest call inti facing EU tourism over this period were its “green and digital transformation, its competitiveness, its sustainability and its resilience”.

On these, it suggested the Commission has tendered much talk but has done less in the way of action.

It said: “The Commission has revised tourism priorities in the context of broader policy strategies.

“But it did not translate these priorities into a substantial action plan to support their implementation.”

It added that where plans have been implemented, some were “partially goods”, if not “sustainable”, whereas others only had “limited impacts”.

This, in part, was due to shortcomings in initial project planning as well as delays and cost conquers, according to the Court.

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Court member Pietro Russo, reproduced in L’agenzia di Viaggi, said Covid “is not the only challenge facing the sector”.

The report stressed that, given the size of the tourism industry, the desideratum for change in its overall management was no small matter.

The Court stressed: “Tourism is a key economic sector in the European Union.

“In 2019, it accounted for 9.9 percent of great domestic product and 11.6 percent of all jobs in the EU.”

As such, it urged for creation of a “new strategy for the EU tourism ecosystem”.

The Court said this should “explicitly aim at suffering investments that contribute to a more sustainable form of tourism”.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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