The tourism sector contributes to 6.5% of GDP in Luxembourg
The European Commission on Wednesday presented a list of recommendations to help kick-start the tourism sector, which accounts for 10% of EU GDP.
In addition to restoring freedom of movement and gradually reopening borders between member states in a coordinated approach in-line with the health situation with each country, the guidelines say any approach must be flexible and non-discriminatory.
This means that it should be possible to quickly deploy measures in the event of a second wave and that if an EU country allows movement within its territory for one member state with similar epidemiological conditions, it must do so for all of them. Furthermore, it stressed there should be no exclusion of movement of citizens based on their nationality, age or region.
Luxembourg airline Luxair is to resume operations from 1 June after the pandemic forced it to ground flights from 24 March. But flying may be a very different experience if it follows the commission’s transport recommendations. These call for operators wishing to reopen to limit contact between passengers and workers, by reducing passenger density. The use of protective equipment such as face coverings form part of the recommendations.
Other recommendations considered the promotion and support of local tourist attractions through a patronage voucher scheme. Meanwhile EU aid for the tourism sector is also currently being discussed.
"We will have a tourist season this summer, albeit with security measures and restrictions that did not exist last year," said economy commissioner Paolo Gentiloni.
And in Luxembourg
In Luxembourg in 2018, tourism accounted for around 6.5% of GDP and employed 20,000 people, directly or indirectly. On Wednesday, Pirate MP Marc Goergen tabled a motion to put in place a fund for the tourism sector.
The document, which will be discussed by the tourism committee, calls for specific aid to be offered to tourism actors in Luxembourg and for consumers whose travel plans are cancelled, to have the choice between a refund or a voucher in compensation.