Science for Policy Briefs: COVID-19, tourist behaviour, jobs and policy options

Publication article | | Marques Santos, A. , Madrid González, C. , Haegeman, K. , Rainoldi, A.

This policy brief displays an estimation for the number of jobs at risk in EU27 in 2020, as a result of the slowdown of tourism activities.


  • The COVID-19 health crisis is affecting consumer willingness to travel and destination preferences.
  • We predict a decline of tourist arrivals in EU27 between 38% and 68% in 2020.
  • Subsequently, between 6.6 and 11.7 million jobs could be at risk of reduction in working hours or permanent jobs losses in 2020.
  • A strong heterogeneous impact between and within EU27 countries is expected.
  • The solution is likely to be local and European, calling for efficient multi-level governance.
  • Reshaping Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) towards sustainability (S4) may play a key role in the recovery process.
  • Opportunities exist in new digital and green solutions and business models.
  • Diversifying tourism value chains and making places less tourism dependent can increase resilience.
  • Optimal use of support programmes can speed up short, medium and long-term recovery.

COVID-19, tourist behaviour, jobs and policy options.pdf
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