Aircraft loading passengers against a sunrise

An alliance of stakeholders in Europe’s travel and tourism sectors have called on EU Governments to create a roadmap to allow the industry to restart in time for summer.

The European Tourism Manifesto Alliance, a group of more than 60 public and private travel and tourism organisations on Wednesday unveiled a series of joint recommendations for EU Member States on how to relaunch travel and tourism in Europe.

At the heart of the recommendations is the development of an EU roadmap for the safe restoration of travel once countries emerge from national lockdowns and its implementation in close cooperation with industry and social partners. 

The alliance also proposes a dedicated task force for the restoration of free movement of people that it says would lead the development and implementation of the roadmap – and provide ongoing assessments based on risk and the latest scientific data. 

The goal of the roadmap would be to identify the conditions and scenarios under which current restrictions to international travel could be loosened and ultimately lifted across Europe and beyond.

As a result, the alliance emphasises, it would need to be agile and updated on a regular basis. 

The joint recommendations laid out by the European Tourism Manifesto Alliance were shared with EU governments ahead of two crucial discussions – a videoconference of the European leaders on 25th to 26th February and an extraordinary meeting of Tourism Ministers on 1st March. 

The recommendations call on the Commission-led task force to track the progress and impact of ongoing vaccination campaigns as well as mitigation measures such as testing and quarantine, based on risk levels within the EU and internationally. 

The authors of the paper commented, “our goal is for Europe to return to its place as the leading tourist destination in the world – and a safe one. As EU vaccination programmes progress and protect the most vulnerable citizens, we must jointly prepare for the restart of travel.” 

“There is simply no time to lose – preparations on a common approach should begin now, in order to restore public confidence by the summer”, they emphasised. 

The report’s key recommendations to EU Member States were: 

  1. The creation of an EU Task Force to restore freedom of movement.
  2. The coordination of travel restrictions. 
  3. A harmonised EU framework for travel-related testing. 
  4. EU coordination of national initiatives surrounding E-Health certificates 
  5. The coordinated reopening of tourism activities, once the health situation allows it.

The full paper can be found here.

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