Beach chairs on the island of Juist

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Under the leadership of Croatia’s Council presidency, EU tourism ministers held a video conference today to discuss the situation of the tourism industry. In particular, they focused on the support measures for the sector that have already been adopted, as well as on the need for further measures.

On behalf of Germany, Thomas Bareiß, Federal Government Commissioner for Tourism and Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, took part in the video conference: “The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to the collapse of the tourism industry in the European Union. A large number of sectors have been impacted. In Germany, more than 3 million people are employed in tourism. Across the country, the travel and tourism industries play a pivotal role. The absence of tourists is being felt not only by hotels and restaurants, but also by souvenir shops, coach companies and tour guides. What we now need is a strategy that will allow us to work together towards a fresh start for the tourism sector in the EU. After all, it is my desire that people will soon be able to experience Europe’s diversity again.”

The German Federal Government has set up a far-reaching cross-sectoral support programme that is also open to companies in the tourism industry. It has also decided to reduce the rate of value added tax on restaurant meals to 7% for the period of one year. As far as reimbursement for cancelled package tours is concerned, the Federal Government is talking to all relevant stakeholders in pursuit of a feasible solution that also gives appropriate consideration to consumer interests.