France's overseas terrotories plan
14 May 2020

Coordinated national, European and international measures for tourism

The fifth meeting of the Interministerial Tourism Committee has just been held at the Hôtel de Matignon, the Prime Minister’s official residence. The measures that France is taking for this sector are part of the broader European plan unveiled by the European Commission, which France welcomes.

To facilitate the implementation of its tourism-oriented measures, particularly aimed at helping the sector through the sanitary crisis, close international coordination, particularly at European level, is a priority for the Government. In this way, the Government is fully committed to ensuring that tourism, the third largest sector for the European Union’s economy, is afforded its rightful place in the European recovery plan currently being defined.

The Government is poised to back the creation of a European plan for tourism, which should provide the sector’s SMEs with swift, easy access to aid. This support must guide the sector towards the EU’s goals in terms of the energy and digital transition, by encouraging respect for the environment, a reduced carbon footprint and increased digital uptake so that Europe stands out as one of the leaders in the sector’s transition. Finally, this support must also factor in the specific cases of certain regions particularly dependent on tourism, such as overseas, rural and island territories, which call for suitably tailored recovery measures.

France commends the European Commission’s proposals

In this regard, France applauds the European Commission’s proposals on tourism and transport outlined on 13 May 2020, aimed at safely restoring unrestricted free movement and gradually reopening Europe’s tourist destinations.

France is ready to play its full part in facilitating the harmonisation of health measures for welcoming tourists and for professionals in the hospitality, catering and transport sectors in particular, as well as close cooperation in terms of assessing epidemiological situations. These measures, as proposed by the Commission, will be instrumental in allowing tourism services to resume across some parts of Europe, as soon as the health situation permits. France will make sure that the health protocols approved today contribute to these necessary harmonisation efforts at European level. France reiterates the importance it attaches to the fact that there must be no national origin discrimination when European tourist destinations reopen.

More generally, European efforts in favour of tourism would merit being strengthened. The Government has therefore suggested preparing a campaign for the joint promotion of Europe as a destination, in view of fostering the sector’s recovery at European level in due course.

Active involvement at international level

France is also mobilised within international fora in terms of assessing the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, coordinating support for the sector and assisting it on the path to recovery.

Accordingly, France is participating in meetings organised within the context of the G20, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Based on the health situation, such endeavours must make it possible to ensure that international tourism recovers in a coordinated fashion and on a level playing field, and that the public and private stakeholders work closely together so as to bring about a more sustainable tourism model that harnesses all of the opportunities offered up by digital transformation.