The European Council (EC) has adopted a set of conclusions setting out its vision for an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable and resilient tourism sector in Europe. Is there an opportunity for health and medical tourism to be part of the proposed European Agenda for Tourism 2030/2050?
Tourism is hugely important for Europe’s sustainable economic, social and environmental development. It also contributes significantly to the preservation and promotion of European values and cultural heritage. But tourism is also the worst hit economic sector in the COVID-19 pandemic. The EC is giving out a clear signal of a commitment to revive European tourism.
The EC, the collegiate body that defines the overall political direction and priorities of the European Union, is now urging the EU and its member states to move towards a collective and well-coordinated response to the current pandemic crisis with a common and cohesive approach, including by supporting the development of voluntary standards for health and safety protocols by tourism services and establishments.
The EC conclusions call for the smart use of existing funding opportunities under the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework and the Next Generation EU instrument for reviving the ailing European tourism ecosystem and make it more resilient in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
They also call on member states and the Commission to come forward by the end of 2021 with a jointly co-designed European Agenda for Tourism 2030/2050, in order to support the green and digital transitions of the European tourism ecosystem and strengthen its competitiveness.
The challenge for medical tourism and health tourism is to work with governments and national organisations within EU countries and across Europe, on how it will be involved in the next decade of European travel.