Europe reopens its borders to save the tourist season


Posted : 15/06/2020 – 07:13Modified : 15/06/2020 – 07:26

This Monday, June 15, in Europe has a fragrance of freedom and holiday. With the return to free movement in the Schengen area decided by more than a dozen of its member States. A reopening of the borders is crucial for the tourism sector.

The great migration of the summer holidays, it is a ritual sacred to the Europeans, and it is a blessed moment for the tourism industry that it must absolutely not be missed since it is THE time of the peak of attendance, with approximately 100 million visitors in July and August. Some 85% of them are Europeans, that is why the return to free movement within the Schengen area is imperative to save the season. For memory, the Schengen area that can be crossed without control at internal borders is made up of 22 member countries of the European Union plus Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland ; 27 million employees working in tourism in Europe, and today a job in 2 is threatened of extinction because of this pandemic, and the containment imposed in the whole of Europe, with the exception of Sweden. Tourism generates on average 10% of european GDP.

The return to the freedom of movement will be enough to revive the industry affected ?

It is actually a essential step. For a country such as France, first tourist destination in the world, to Greece, which is part of the european economies the most tourist-dependent, since this activity generates 20% of its GDP. But for this re-opening is a success it also requires that the host country shall take all feasible precautionary measures to reassure their people and their visitors. For the moment these are still very cautious, timid in their desire for holiday. The occupancy rate of the hotels is less than 20% in Europe, while in China, he runs around 45% and the Us around 35%. The cities are the most affected by this decline. In Paris, where usually all the hotels are full for the summer at this time of the year, the occupancy rate is only 25% of the time. In part because the spread of the coronavirus appears to be more probable in urban areas, Paris has also long been classified in the red zone. In part because the wealthy clients, mainly american, chinese or Russian, which is the most profitable, is for the moment persona non grata. This will be only from the first of July that the Schengen area will consider the lifting of entry bans, imposed on third countries. Greece, anxious to accelerate the movement, opens now its borders to Australians, new Zealanders, Chinese, Japanese, and Israelis, and to its Balkan neighbors.

The opening up of borders is becoming more common from this Monday in Europe but it remains a variable geometry

Greece, for example, who lives much of the tourism british and German do not accept subjects of his majesty, because the Uk is one of the european countries most affected by the Covid-19. It could change your mind by the end of the month. Hungary does not accept for the moment that the visits of the neighbours. Ditto for Norway and Denmark. Spain takes its time, it will accept visitors to the Schengen area as from next Sunday, unless the neighbouring Portuguese. But Madrid agrees an exception to this schedule as the test in real-life : 10 000 Germans are expected from this Monday, in the Balearic islands. In contrast, Malta, the small island that saw a lot of tourism, will keep its doors closed until the first of July.

►In a nutshell

In China on the path of recovery is slower than expected statistics from the month of may released today

Consumption, the main economic engine of the country, is still in decline in the last month, of-2.8%. It is much better than in the month of April, but lower than forecast. Industrial activity has rebounded, +4.4 per cent, again it is below expectations. The occurrence of new outbreaks of coronavirus will she jeopardize the recovery? It is the fear of the Shanghai stock exchange, which opened sharply lower this morning.



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