The European Commission adopted today a series of recommendations and measures aimed at a gradual and coordinated resumption of traveling, tourist services and capacities as soon as basic health conditions are in place. All the while strictly adhering to strict measures to protect the health and safety of travelers and tourism workers across the European Union. The measures were especially welcomed by the Croatian MEP Tonino Picula, who was the first to demand that the Commission adopt them in order to protect these activities in Croatia and other EU member states that have a high share of tourism in the overall economy.
"The Commission's readiness to financially support SMEs in tourism is the first step in saving jobs in this industry, which employs as many as 12 percent of EU citizens. For Croatia, whose economy is heavily dependent on tourism, financial assistance for SMEs is even more important. I reckon that the national authorities, including the Croatian ones, will establish mechanisms through which small and medium-sized enterprises will be able to apply for new measures in order to re-ensure the liquidity of their operations as soon as possible. I hope that the health measures taken by Croatia and other members in order to combat the COVID-19 pandemic will soon enable travel according to the Commission's recommendations. At the same time, we must insist that the health of our citizens remains a priority.", said Picula.
The measures for companies are especially focused on providing liquidity for companies, SMEs in particular. These include:
• Vouchers as an attractive and safe return option
• Saving jobs through 100 billion EUR of financial support for SMEs through the SURE program
• Connecting citizens with the local tourist offer, promoting local attractions, tourism and the EU as a safe destination
• Financial assistance through the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, European Investment Fund loans, and the flexibility of national state aid rules
The following measures are intended for tourists and travelers:
• Secure opening of borders and re-establishment of unrestricted free movement for EU citizens
• Re-establishment of all modes of transport across the EU with measures to protect the health of transport workers and passengers
• Safe re-establishment of tourism services
• Use of digital technologies that enable citizens to plan their trips in an informed way
• Consumer rights protection.
Check more details about the packages here.