Europe has always been the center of attraction for tourists from all over the world, it could be on the edge of a massive twenties-style summer to remember, with airline flights packed and beachside bars brim-full of happy tourists.
Or, it faces another dark holiday season of travel restriction, quarantine rules, and locked-down leisure industry.
In a few weeks from now, we will know what will happen, however, the policy decisions that will shape the results are already being taken.
Now the question arises whether EU member states will be happy to leave decision-making to the European Commission in Brussels – that has messed up the vaccine-buying program – or simply handle the matter on their own.
For example, other countries like Greece have already bashed a deal to welcome tourists from Israel if they have a vaccine passport.
And Cyprus has said it will welcome British tourists from 1 May, as long as they have had two doses of any vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
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The Director-General of the Cyprus Hotels Association, Philokypros Roussonides, told the BBC: “We are delighted with this development. It’s going to be really effective and very good for airlines to schedule their flights. Cyprus is traditionally a very popular destination for British tourists.”
Tourism is a big business, providing 27m jobs in Europe, and generating around 10% of the EU’s GDP, when you take into account the other sectors which depend on it.
The economies of countries like Greece, Spain, and Italy cannot recover until the tourist industry is reopened.
The GDP of the Balearic Islands – which includes Majorca – fell by 27% last year. If a second summer season is lost to Covid-19 the consequences will be disastrous.