The European Union (EU) and the Pacific Alliance (PA) jointly organised the conference “Shaping a sustainable and digital recovery of the tourism industry post-COVID” to increase knowledge and share experiences on how to mitigate the global impact of the pandemic on the tourism sector. The conference took place online on the 1st and 2nd December 2020 and gathered 25 representatives of the public and private sectors from both sides.
The EU and the PA are committed to ensuring a sustainable recovery from the COVID pandemic, notably by cooperating to accelerate the transition towards digital and green economies. Tourism has a key importance in the economies of both regional blocks and has been severely affected by the pandemic. Revenue losses are estimated at over USD 15 billion in the Pacific Alliance this year and the international tourism arrivals to Europe are set to decline 60%, compared to 2019 figures.
The event aimed at exchanging knowledge and experience on facing and facilitating networking between both the public and private sectors. Special emphasis was placed on SMEs, which make for approx. 90% of the tourism businesses on both sides.
Brian Glynn, Managing Director for the Americas, European External Action Service (EEAS) underlined in his opening remarks that “the EU and the Pacific Alliance are in a particularly good position to work together on a sustainable and digital recovery of the tourism sector. Digital economy and the green agenda are the two big priorities on which we decided to focus our cooperation”.
According to Angélica Romero, General Director for Multilateral Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, who represented the Chilean pro-tempore presidency of the Pacific Alliance, “this event is key to learn first-hand the result of the measures adopted after the summer touristic season in Europe; this will help us prepare better for summer in the southern hemisphere”.
The list of high-level speakers included representatives of the European Commission (DG GROW), tourism public authorities from France, Spain, Portugal and the Pacific Alliance countries, and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Some of the main tourism associations at EU level and private sector representatives in the Pacific Alliance exchanged views on the best strategies to support the recovery of the tourism industry.
Furthermore, companies that have successfully integrated sustainable and digital models into their business, shared best practices, offering potential solutions on how to modernise the tourism sector as it adapts to the changing global context.
More on the conference here: www.eulacpolicydialogues.com