More than 60 travel and tourism organizations, representing the European sector, today, 25 February, asked the countries of the European Union (EU) for a plan to take over in the summer, also requesting help from Brussels to restore freedom of movement.
In a position released today, the European Tourism Manifesto alliance (composed by the European tourism entity and associations representing airline companies) issues recommendations to relaunch travel and tourism in Europe in time for this year's summer.
“Our aim is for Europe to return to its place as the world's leading tourist destination and a safe destination. As the EU's vaccination programs advance and protect the most vulnerable citizens, we must prepare together for the return to travel,” the document's authors maintain.
For these public and private entities, "there is no time to lose", so "preparations for a common approach must start now, in order to restore public confidence by the summer".
In this position disclosed on the day that the EU's Heads of Government and State meet by videoconference at a summit dedicated to the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Tourism Manifesto alliance suggests the creation of a working group (led by the European Commission ) for the re-establishment of free movement in the community space, which should establish a plan to resume travel and a roadmap for recovery.
At the same time, these organizations are calling for "better European coordination" on travel restrictions and requirements (such as testing or quarantine), arguing that this "is urgently needed to facilitate the resumption of travel and tourism and provide predictability for travelers, to travel and tourism companies and their workers'.
As far as testing is concerned, these bodies are asking EU countries to "ensure testing at affordable prices, sufficient capacity and mutual recognition" between Member States, suggesting in particular rapid testing.
Another suggestion is the creation of digital certificates on testing, vaccination and immunity, these organizations defending that the community executive work in an "interoperable European system that allows for quick and digital verification".
Still, they reject vaccination as a mandatory requirement for travel.
Finally, these more than 60 travel and tourism organizations want that, as soon as "the health situation allows", it will be possible to "restart tourism and leisure activities together with the restoration of freedom of movement for EU citizens" .
The tourism sector weighs about 9,5% in the European economy, but it has been one of the most affected by the restrictive measures adopted to contain the covid-19 outbreaks, such as confinement and limitations on non-essential travel.
The European Tourism Commission is part of this European Tourism Manifesto, in which Turismo de Portugal is integrated, as well as the association Airlines for Europe (Airlines for Europe), of which TAP, Ryanair is a member. , easyJet and Lufthansa and Air France/KLM groups.