“Covid-19 accentuated pre-existing weaknesses in some parts of our tourism sector. We have to diversify activities to move tourism away from low-paid seasonal employment, increase the value chain and develop a sustainable tourism model suited to the digital world”, she defended.

Elisa Ferreira, who spoke at the opening session of the High Level Forum on Sustainability and Tourism, organized by the Ministry of Economy and Digital Transition, under the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), stressed the need to “better rebuild” the tourism sector, orienting it “towards the future”.

"In particular, we want to support digital solutions and environmentally friendly projects, including the circular economy and carbon neutral solutions, as well as initiatives that welcome the sector's diversification", she said.

The EU's multi-annual budget for 2021-2027 and the Recovery and Resilience Fund, which represent a total of 1.8 billion Euros, are, according to the Commissioner, "an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in the future of this sector".