Brusseles, May 12 (FN Agency) The EU tourism industry, which was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, may not see its full revival before 2023, European Tourism Association (ETOA) CEO Tom Jenkins said in an interview with Sputnik. “I think next year will be a very. very interesting year. … It will be a year when there’s recovery demand and I pray COVID and the fears surrounding COVID will become a memory. But what we will be looking at is the industry which is waking up … but I don’t see the industry recovering in its full before 2023,” Jenkins said. The ETOA CEO suggested that next year the tourism industry would only reach half of its pre-pandemic volumes.
“There is an assumption that there will be a full recovery, and I think the thing to do is we have to recognize that it is going to be a long- and medium-term impact from what we’ve been through. Very difficult to see what damage has been caused … we are all in hibernation, everyone’s asleep. It is when people wake up, get up and start doing things that we will see what the industry looks like,” Jenkins said when asked about his expectations for the tourism recovery. The head of the tourism association also noted that it was very difficult to assess the damage done to the industry.
“Business does not flourish when there is no business, there may be some real difficulties with insolvencies, with companies not being able to find staff … We got no idea what this looks like, we will find out next year,” Jenkins added. The pandemic has significantly affected the tourism industry across Europe in 2020 when the EU countries took stringent measures including total lockdowns and restrictions on air traffic to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.