With £675bn of tourism GDP at stake, EU is now desperate for your holiday pound

Millions in EU27 face dire economic consequences if tourists don’t come for 2nd year running

© Facts4EU.Org 2021

Facts4EU.Org looks at the hit on some EU27 economies and how many EU jobs are at stake

Part One : The huge economic hit for many EU countries (this report)
Part Two : The massive number of EU jobs at stake (for our Sunday report click here)

Covid has had serious consequences for every country and certain sectors have been particularly badly hit. One such sector is of course tourism. With people unable to travel except on essential business, and with the prospect of exhorbitant costs of staying for two-weeks in a quarantine hotel on return when they did travel, holiday plans for most people have been put on hold.

At the time of writing it seems impossible to say what the situation will be in two weeks’ time, let alone when the summer rush abroad would normally begin in two months’ time.

This situation might be further complicated if the EU allows British tourists to enter, but keeps up its vitriol and its unreasonable treatment of UK businesses wishing to continue to trade with the EU.

The EU has been talking about the tourist question for weeks, with the Commission most recently recommending the easing on restrictions for inbound visitors from relatively safe countries. As things stand, however, their plans do not look very appealing for British holidaymakers. Currently the UK is not on the EU’s list of seven nationalities from whom no vaccine passport is required. These seven are:

  • Australia
  • Israel
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand

Bizarrely, China – the originator of Coronavirus – is a supplementary to the list, “subject to confirmation of reciprocity”.

Rwanda is on the list but the most heavily vaccinated country in the world after Israel – the United Kingdom – is not on the list.

The EU Commission’s latest, published recommendations for inbound tourism

“Member States should allow travel into the EU of those people who have received, at least 14 days before arrival, the last recommended dose of a vaccine having received marketing authorisation in the EU…

“This should be facilitated once the Digital Green Certificate becomes operational, in line with the rules the Commission proposed on 17 March. In particular, travellers should be able to prove their vaccination status with a Digital Green Certificate issued by Member States' authorities on an individual basis, or with another certificate recognised as equivalent by virtue of a Commission adequacy decision.

“Until the Digital Green Certificate is operational, Member States should be able to accept certificates from non-EU countries based on national law, taking into account the ability to verify the authenticity, validity and integrity of the certificate and whether it contains all relevant data.”

- EU Commission statement, 06 May 2021

In other words, under the new EU plans it’s anyone’s guess which restrictions will apply in the case of a particular destination – having an EU ‘Digital Green Certificate’ (a ‘vaccine passport’) – or a negative PCR test within 14 days of travel, or something else.

For some EU countries, a second summer without tourists will be an economic disaster

Below we show the top five EU27 countries who gained most out of tourism expenditure, based on the latest data available from the EU Commission. This is purely what tourists spend during their stay, not the much larger effect on a country’s GDP as a whole.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

How much do tourists spend in each country?

  • France : £55.3 billion
  • Spain : £51.0 billion
  • Italy : £41.5 billion
  • Germany : £34.1 billion
  • Netherlands : £28.0 billion
  • EU total : £349.1 billion

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

The amount of EU GDP at stake

As stated above, tourism has a major impact on many EU27 economies, in addition to the expenditure by tourists during their stay. Below we show the latest figures for countries based on the tourism impact on their GDP.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

What tourism means to the GDP of EU countries

  • Spain : £203.5
  • Germany : £90.8
  • Denmark : £76.7
  • Italy : £75.7
  • Netherlands : £26.2
  • EU27 total : £677.3 billion

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge


Many EU countries have always been popular destinations for British people holidaying abroad. The information we have provided above, from official EU data, shows just how much money is at stake for the EU economies if it can’t get tourism started this summer.

The EU Commission has had a disastrous Covid. It has failed on almost every level, from its failure to come to the aid of Italy when its hospitals were overrun last year, to its lack of funding for vaccine research, to its time-wasting on a French vaccine which still hasn’t been produced, to its bureaucratic negotiations with successful vaccine suppliers, to its off-on / on-off approvals of vaccines, and to its current vindictive legal pursuit of Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca which is the only pharma company to have made its vaccines available at cost.

On top of this, the British people are rapidly realising that the EU is carrying out a vendetta against the United Kingdom for daring to leave its sclerotic club. The stories about the absurd checks being made on British goods at EU borders, whilst EU goods are simply waved through at UK borders, are all beginning to penetrate.

Might the EU be about to reap what it sows?

We are already hearing increasingly from people who now check the provenance of goods in the supermarket when they go shopping. If there is an alternative to an EU product, whether from the UK (preferably) or from the rest of the world, the EU product stays on the shelf. Perhaps this is why the latest ONS figures show a drop in imports from the EU and a rise in imports from the rest of the world.

Could this now extend to British people’s holiday plans? Putting aside the UK Government’s latest warning that Covid restrictions may not be removed on 17th June after all, the EU’s hostility towards the UK has become plain for all to see. Just as British pork is currently suffering far more EU inspections than pork from other ‘third countries’, will British travellers also be subject to the same discrimination?

In our Sunday edition tomorrow we look at the surprising number of tourism jobs which are now at stake in the EU27.

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[ Sources: EU Commission statements | EU official statistics agency reports, 2016-2019 ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sat 15 May 2021

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