Madrid, Jul 8 (efe-epa).- Covid-19’s impact on European tourism – particularly in the Iberian Peninsula – will be the focus of next week’s EURAGORA forum, an event organized by Agencia Efe, Spain’s international news agency, and Portuguese national news agency Lusa.
Participants will include representatives of international organizations, members of the European Commission (EC), Spanish and Portuguese government ministers, regional authorities, mayors and officials in the tourism and consumer sectors.
This European, transnational and multilingual forum will be streamed in two sessions on July 15-16 via a joint online platform and the agencies’ social networks.
It is the product of a pioneering partnership between Efe and Lusa that was forged in the context of the Stars4Media Pilot Project, a program co-financed by the EC that aims to accelerate media innovation through professional training and cross-border cooperation within the European Union.
Efe and Lusa selected tourism – a sector of vital importance for the Spanish and Portuguese economies – as the theme for the inaugural edition of EURAGORA.
That theme will be divided into two sub-themes: “Tourism Safety: What Do Consumers Expect? How Do Industry, Governments and the European Union Respond?” (July 15) and “Post-Pandemic Challenges and Opportunities for Sun and Beach, Urban and Cultural, and Ecological and Rural Tourism” (July 16).
European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, Spanish Industry, Trade and Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto and Portuguese Economy Minister Pedro Siza Vieira will be among the participants in the first debate, which will be moderated by the presidents of Efe and Lusa, Gabriela Cañas and Nicolau Santos, respectively.
The second debate, to be moderated by the news directors of Efe and Lusa, Jose Manuel Sanz and Luisa Meireles, respectively, will include the participation of European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira, Madrid Mayor Jose Luis Martinez Almeida and Lisbon Mayor Fernando Medina.
Europe is the world’s most-visited continent and a region that is home to leading international destinations such as France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal, as well as leading outbound markets like Germany and the United Kingdom.
The tourism industry contributes around 10 percent of the European Union’s gross domestic product and accounts for 12 percent of EU employment, or roughly 27 million direct and indirect jobs.
According to figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organization, tourism accounts for 12 percent of the GDP of Spain, which received nearly 84 million foreign tourists in 2019. In 2018, the Iberian nation was the second-leading global destination in terms of tourism arrivals and receipts.
But in April the UNWTO forecast that international tourist arrivals worldwide this year could fall by as much as 30 percent, with a corresponding loss of international tourism receipts of up to $450 billion.
In Portugal, the tourism sector accounted for 52.3 percent of the country’s services exports and 19.7 percent of its total exports in 2019.
EURAGORA’s two sessions can be followed from 11 am Spanish time (10 am in Portugal) on July 15 and July 16 at the following links:
Wednesday, July 15
Thursday, July 16