PREPARING TO RESTART TRAVEL & TOURISM
3 March 2021
The European Tourism Manifesto alliance – representing more than 60 travel and tourism organisations among which The European Festivals Association - unveils concrete recommendations for re-opening travel & tourism in Europe, including creation of Commission-led Task Force to restore freedom of movement, and to firmly anchor tourism in EU national Recovery and Resilience plans.
At the heart of the recommendations addressed to EU Member States on how to relaunch travel and tourism in Europe in time for summer 2021 is the development of an EU roadmap for safely restoring travel once countries emerge from national lockdowns to be developed and implemented in close cooperation with industry and social partners.
A dedicated Commission Task Force for the restoration of free movement of people would lead the development and implementation of the roadmap – and provide ongoing assessments based on risk and the latest scientific data. The goal 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 roadmap will 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 25-26 February and an extraordinary meeting of Tourism Ministers on 1 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.
“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. Our recommendations detail a joint way forward towards restoring travel & tourism and freedom of movement on behalf of European citizens. We look forward to working with EU leaders to put this plan into action as soon as possible”, state the authors of the paper.
On another level, the #Tourism4Recovery campaign showcases how investment in sustainable tourism can be the driver of EU recovery and urge European governments to firmly anchor travel & tourism in their crisis response and recovery plans.
With appropriate support, travel and tourism can be one of the most effective engines to deliver sustainable development in 2021 and beyond. The sector supports employment across all areas and demographics, contributes to wellbeing and generates revenue needed to preserve community identity, culture, and heritage.