Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, spoke with Isabel Maria Oliver Sagreras, Spanish Minister of State for Tourism, on Wednesday, July 1. This conversation follows on from the meeting of EU tourism ministers via video conference on May 20.
The minister of state and his counterpart discussed developments in the health situation in France and Spain, as well as the strategies to relaunch tourism in each of the two countries.
They reaffirmed the importance of strong coordination between both countries in order to facilitate tourism within the Schengen Area, in the context of the gradual and differentiated lifting of restrictions at the external borders of the European area. They underscored that the harmonization of health standards and practices, notably at the European level, will be crucial in order to regain the trust of tourists and guarantee their safety as well as that of tourism stakeholders.
The minister of state reaffirmed that President Macron had made the relaunching of the tourism sector a national priority, with an unprecedented support plan amounting to €18 billion. He expressed the hope that the tourism sector would benefit from a European action plan that would pave the way for a sustainable and inclusive digital transformation that would take into account specific regional characteristics, especially for rural, island and outermost regions.
The ministers of state welcomed their cooperation within the World Tourism Organization and the European Commission’s proposal to hold a European tourism summit in fall 2020.