Portugal calls for "action without delay" to save European tourism

By TPN/Lusa, in News, Tourism, Politics · 29-04-2021 10:00:00 · 13 Comments

The Portuguese presidency of the European Union (EU) has urged member states and EU institutions to "act without delay" to support European tourism to recover from the crisis, also calling for rapid progress in the creation of the digital vaccine passport.

"The Covid-19 crisis has put the sector under severe economic pressure and has had a particularly severe impact on small and medium-sized enterprises, which make up the vast majority of businesses active in tourism, and we must therefore act without delay in order to provide the necessary financial support to alleviate the lack of liquidity of many tourism businesses, to prevent major job losses and to help the sector out of the recession," said Ana Paula Zacarias, Secretary of State for European Affairs.

Speaking on behalf of the Portuguese presidency of the Council in a debate on "Saving the summer tourist season - EU support for the hotel sector," at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels, she noted that the discussion was "timely" as it was "a critical moment to take decisive action in favour of tourism, just before the start of the summer season in Europe.

"We must take into account that, for the tourism ecosystem, recovery from the crisis will take longer than for other sectors, since a large number of companies - as I said, mostly SMEs - were not prepared," added Ana Paula Zacarias.

To enable this recovery, the Secretary of State also urged the European assembly to move forward on the creation of the digital laissez-passer proving recovery, testing or anti-covid-19 vaccination, a day before MEPs discuss the European Commission's proposal for the digital green certificate, a step after which talks with member states begin.

"The European Parliament has an important role to play in approving, together with the Council, the regulation on the digital green certificate to facilitate the free movement of travellers within the EU, as soon as possible and in safe conditions", said Ana Paula Zacarias.

At stake is the legislative proposal presented by the EU executive in mid-March regarding the creation of a bilingual document and with QR code that should come into force by June to allow the resumption of free movement within the EU in the summer.

In mid-April, EU member states approved a mandate for the Portuguese presidency of the Council to negotiate the proposal with the European Parliament.

On Thursday, 29 April, it will be up to the European assembly to vote and adopt its negotiating position, after which interinstitutional negotiations can begin.

"I am confident that this certificate, if properly equipped with the necessary guarantees of non-discrimination and personal data protection, will greatly contribute to this goal," she said.

On travel restrictions, the Secretary of State defended a "coordinated approach to travel restrictions within the EU and in relation to third countries".

Equally crucial for the recovery of tourism is, according to Ana Paula Zacarias, the achievement of "rapid progress in reversing the epidemiological situation and reducing the spread of coronavirus, accelerating the vaccination process.

"This requires increasing the production capacity of vaccines and ensuring their availability in all Member States, which will result in a faster resumption of safe mobility across Europe," she told MEPs.

The tourism and travel sectors account for about 10 percent of European GDP.

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My yellow vaccination passport is full of stamps which I needed to travel to many countries in the world. What's so special now?

By Gerhard Bechtold from Algarve on 30-04-2021 07:43

Socialists, am I right?

By Daco from Algarve on 30-04-2021 05:27

Loved Portugal when I visited in October and would love to go back, but I don’t support this vaccine passport.

By Karen from Other on 29-04-2021 11:22

Personally none of my family will be travelling to any country which requires a "vaccine" especially since they are still in experimental stages until 2023. Take a look at the European database of adverse reactions to COVID-19 ‘vaccines. Still want the "passport" then check out Bitchute.com and search out Geert Vanden Bossche and Dr Mike Yeadon before taking any MRNA Messenger RNA vaccine. Sending out my love to everyone.

By John Richmond from UK on 29-04-2021 07:07

Vaccine passports will largely destroy tourism from abroad for Portugal. Covid has been downgraded to the level of the flu. A holiday in Portugal is not worth injecting my healthy kids and family for possible blood clots and death. There are plenty of nice locations abroad outside Portugal.

By Michael Wayne Knight from UK on 29-04-2021 07:03

I will never step foot in a country that requires a vaccine or vaccine passport. Goodbye to Portugal forever

By Latoysha Adams from USA on 29-04-2021 03:46

Portugal and its 11.5 million citizens thinks very highly of itself. considering all of the damage they have done to their citizens and their economy these genius politicians should be running the EU.
A tiny country too chicken to side with the west in WW2. preferred to be a home for spies and germans. socialism in all its glory.

By rod from USA on 29-04-2021 02:50

more idiocy from "elected" leaders. the scamvirus is a favorite tool of politicians to keep the riffraff in line. BTW:you are the riffraff.

By rod from USA on 29-04-2021 02:43

Bring on the digital green certificate. The idea of a laissez-passer proving recovery, testing or vaccination is an excellent idea. Don't have proof of one of the above... apologies.

By Will Woods from Other on 29-04-2021 01:54

Agree totally with Linda and Philip.

By Diana from Beiras on 29-04-2021 01:51

The proposed 'Green Pass' will be the problem, not the solution.

By Linda from Lisbon on 29-04-2021 12:37

A strange article. I thought free movement within the EU meant, you know, free movement without the need to show documents. Now the Portuguese presidency of the EU want to restore free movement by requiring a vaccine passport to be shown. Is that really restoring free movement or is it a con?
I would love to visit Portugal as a tourist this summer. Vaccine passports are a disincentive to visit so don’t help the tourist industry in my case. Also the outdoor mask mandate has to end before I can visit. And my understanding is that the science does not support outdoor (or indoor really) masks as being effective.

By Philip from Other on 29-04-2021 10:55

For Portugal's economy it would be good to reconsider the ridiculous and discriminating "no sleeping" law for motorhomes, that has come into effect at the worst imaginable time. Portugal needs tourism, motorhomes bring money. And there's not nearly enough official parks in Portugal to solve the problem. Most of the free/cheap Aires have even closed since the lockdown and not reopened....

By Fred Doe from Algarve on 29-04-2021 10:10
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