Undoubtely , the Covid-19 and the invasion of Ukraine have several consequences in tourism as we knew.
I believe that tourism in Europe is one of the crucial resources that contribute to the Gross Domestic Product. Nevertheless, this mass tourism has a negative effect in the environment, which enables pollution and consequently climate change. This is a problem that damage cities and its citizens.
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis has affected enormously a sector that is responsible for the 8-10% of the European GDP. The European Union is concerned not only about the luck of the tourist destinations, but also about the large tourism production structure composed by operators, travel agencies, hotels, hostelries, the supply of leisure and sport…
The European Commission has presented a Recovery Plan, endowed with 560.000 million euros, of which 310.000 will be allocated to non-reimbursable grants and 250.000 to loans. If we have to take something positive about this situation is the recognition that it is the moment to make the transition to models of tourism more sustainability. I strongly believe that local governments as well as the European Union should prioritise the compensation of the pollution footprint. Moreover, there is no doubt that tourism as we knew should change in a more respectful way to the environment enabling us to discover awesome places without being harmful to them. In my opinion a good proposal would be investing in measures that encourage a sustainable tourism that takes into account the ecological and social impact of this.
People want to travel again, discover new places and cultural heritage, but the pandemic has changed tourism models towards closer and less crowded destinations. However, the sector nowadays is suffering new challenges raised by the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis. In the current situation of rising transport prices, due to the effects of the invasion of Ukraine on energy, national destinations have gained competitiveness with respect to other more distant destinations.
Regarding the direct impact of the war, for example Russian tourism in Spain accounted for 2% in 2019, but the impact is greater in Tarragona, and specifically on the Costa Dorada, where up to 18% of overnight stays were from travellers from the country. For this reason, we have to try to mitigate the negative effects there, and to prepare a response plan with regional and local authorities. On the other hand, Europe can improve in urban tourism and in nature and interior tourism, the challenge is to take advantage of the infrastructures.