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Tourism regions from pandemic shock to a new normal

November 2021

The tourism sector is one of – if not the sector – most severely hit by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many tourist areas it will take some years before they are back to pre-pandemic levels – for good and bad. A recent study carried out for DG REGIO provides some insights on this.

The tourism sector involves a wide range of activities going far beyond holiday accommodations, restaurants, bars, tourism attractions and charter flights. There is a wide range of activities related to travel & logistics, conferences, event management, catering, tour operators, travel agencies, booking platforms, cruise ships, airports, marketing, tourism management organisations, and all kinds of background services e.g. providing financial and IT solutions for the tourism industry. Overall, the tourism industry in the EU involved about 3 million enterprises and employed almost 23 million people (that is 11% of total EU employment) and accounted for 9.5% of the GDP in 2019.

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