While there are reasons for optimism in the European tourist sector following a strong summer season, speakers at the European Tourism Forum in Brdo pri Kranju on Wednesday agreed that the sector must become more robust, sustainable, and digitalized before it can fully recover.
Economy Minister Zdravko Poivalek noted that last year’s COVID-19 pandemic froze the tourist ecosystem both in Europe and around the world. He spoke at the online event as part of an informal meeting of the EU tourism ministers.
The annual event in support of European tourist policy, co-hosted by Slovenia as EU presiding nation and the European Commission, includes panel discussions on the green and digital transformation of the European tourism industry.
Best practices from the sector and destinations will be presented at the event, with the Slovenian Tourism Board (STO) demonstrating how sustainable tourism growth is encouraged in Slovenia, especially through the Green Scheme of Tourism.
After the summer season, the European tourism sector had reason to be positive, as consumer confidence was returning, to which he feels the European digital certificate played the most important role.
However, tourism will never be the same as it was before the pandemic, therefore short-term measures must be followed by medium- and long-term measures in order to establish a greener, more resilient, and digitalized tourism.
Covid certificates are especially important, according to European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton, who calls them a “great global success” because 75 nations have connected or want to join the European system.
Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), remarked that, despite a summer rebound, tourism remained well below pre-Corona levels.