EU criteria for safe and clean tourism, including a common vaccination card, should be part of a new EU sustainable tourism strategy, the European Parliament's TRAN tourism committee called for on 25 February 2021.
The committee adopted draft resolution on the creation of an EU sustainable tourism strategy, calls on EU countries to include the tourism and travel sector in their economic recovery plans and to consider a temporary reduction of VAT on these services. The text says the pandemic has shifted travellers' demand towards safer and cleaner and more sustainable tourism. MEPs call on Member States to immediately introduce common criteria for safe travel, with an EU health safety protocol for pre-departure testing and the use of quarantine rules as a last resort. MEPs call for a common vaccination certificate, which could become an alternative to PCR testing and quarantine requirements once there is sufficient evidence that vaccinated people do not transmit the virus, or for mutual recognition of vaccination procedures. They also stress the importance of using the EU Passenger Locator Form and developing voluntary, interoperable and anonymous apps for tracking, tracing and alerting.
The draft resolution also calls on the Commission to introduce an EU hygiene certification label that could certify minimum standards for the prevention and control of the COVID-19 virus and help restore consumer confidence in the tourism and travel industry. MEPs also welcome the "Re-open EU" portal and call on EU countries to provide the Commission with clear information on the application or lifting of future restrictions on free movement. MEPs also advocate looking beyond the pandemic and replacing the 2010 EU tourism strategy to maintain Europe's position as a leading tourist destination. Finally, the text calls on the Commission to set up a European Tourism Agency.
The resolution on the creation of an EU sustainable tourism strategy must now be adopted by the plenary of the Parliament, possibly during the second session of March.