Press Releases

09/12/19 ECTAA is holding its semi-annual meeting in Ras Al Khaimah, the Preferred Destination for 2019-2020
ECTAA,is delighted to hold its semi-annual meeting in Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), from 8-10 December 2019. Ras Al Khaimah has a rich heritage, which dates back over 7,000 and has a lot to offer to guests

28/11/2019 The European travel agents and tour operators call upon the new Commission to work towards a competitive, transparent and sustainable travel market
The European Parliament approved yesterday the new von der Leyen Commission that will lead the European Commission until 2024. All the Commissioners are now ready to take office. ECTAA, the European organisation representing the travel agents and tour operators, is committed to help them make the travel market more competitive, more transparent and more sustainable

21/11/19 The tourism sector calls on MEPs to vote next week on the approval of the Sustainable Tourism Intergroup
The tourism sector calls on the Members of the European Parliament to vote within their political groups in support of the re-establishment of the Sustainable Tourism Intergroup. Due to its horizontal nature, its positive impact in the EU economy, and its many challenges, tourism deserves to be heard through a dedicated intergroup

12/11/2019 Joint Business Statement on the Proposal on Representative Actions
The European business community is following with interest and concern the progress of the Proposal for a Directive on Representative Actions before the Council. The members of our organisations support simple, balanced and efficient civil justice systems.

24/10/19 European Parliament’s call for protection against airline insolvency matches travel agents’ demands
On Thursday, 24 October 2019, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on the negative effects of Thomas Cook bankruptcy in European tourism. ECTAA supports the Resolution and particularly welcomes the Parliament’s urgent call for protection against airline insolvency

24/10/2019 Open Letter: Creation of European Commissioner’s portfolio on “Transport and Tourism”
Fifty European tourism stakeholders, representing all aspects of the EU tourism sector, appeal for greater recognition of tourism in the new European Commission and the creation of a Commission portfolio on “Transport and Tourism.

01/10/19 A new Secretary General for the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association
ECTAA is pleased to announce the new Secretary General, Eric Drésin. In this role, Drésin will lead a well-established organisation representing the distribution part of the European travel industry. “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Eric Drésin to ECTAA. His longstanding experience in European affairs and as association manager will be a crucial asset for our organisation” said Pawel Niewiadomski, ECTAA President.

30/09/2019 Improving knowledge of holidaymakers’ rights
The failure of the Thomas Cook Group last week was of unheard magnitude in the industry over the last 30 years. All the attention is still currently directed towards bringing back holidaymakers stranded abroad. Despite the very large number of travellers concerned, the guarantee system established in accordance with the Package Travel Directive is proving to be efficient.

10/10/19 36 Airline failures in 2 years – hundreds of thousands of passengers stranded
The French airline Aigle Azur is the latest in the list of airlines that have ceased operations, leaving more than 13.000 passengers stranded and thousands of passengers who bought tickets that are now valueless. This highlights once again the lack of adequate consumer protection against airline failures.

03/06/2019 The European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association is meeting for the first time in Łódź, Poland
ECTAA has been invited by the City of Łódź and the Łódź Tourism Authority to hold it semi-annual meeting in Łódź. This is the first time that ECTAA meets there. A delegation of more than 40 CEOs and Presidents of travel agents and travel agents’ associations will come to Łódź to discuss market and policy developments impacting on the travel trade.

27/05/2019 ECTAA files antitrust complaint against IATA
On Friday 24 May 2019, the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association filed a complaint against the airline trade association IATA with the European competition authority for breach of articles 101 and 102 of the EU Treaty. This follows years of failed negotiations with IATA to modernize the distribution programme and make it more balanced.

13/05/2019 Łódź is welcoming ECTAA in June 2019
Łódź City, the third largest city of Poland, is hosting the semi-annual meeting of the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association on 3-4 June 2019. The two-day meeting will take place in the Vienna House Andel's Łódź Hotel, which is housed in the cultural and commercial complex of Manufaktura

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA) to boost European outbound tourism to Ras Al Khaimah. The agreement was signed in Ras Al Khaimah on 11th April 2019 by Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and Michel de Blust, Secretary General ECTAA

11/01/2019 Hundreds of flights across Italy to be impacted by national Air Traffic Control (ATC) strike
2019 is already off to a bad start for travellers with the first national ATC strike taking place in Italy today in the afternoon. A4E airlines are being forced to cancel hundreds of flights in advance as controllers at Air Traffic Control centres in Rome, Milan, and Brindisi go on strike, affecting both domestic and intra-European flights to and from Italy

07/12/2018 Łódź revealed as destination for ECTAA’s spring 2019 meeting
ECTAA will hold its semi-annual meeting in Łódź in June 2019. ECTAA is delighted to announce that Łódź will be the destination for the next ECTAA semi-annual meeting in June 2019. Łódź is the third largest city of Poland and a prime example of how to successfully reinvigorate a city.

09/11/2018 IATA airlines unilaterally decide to dismantle local travel agents’ consultation process and undermine airline/agent mediation programme
IATA held its 41st Passenger Agency Conference in Geneva on 30/31 October 2018. The latter is the body of airlines deciding on the rules of the Passenger Agency Programme under which IATA accredited agents are allowed to sell air tickets and report and settle their sales to airlines. Despite strong opposition from the agent community, the Conference unilaterally adopted two major changes to the rules that significantly undermine (i) agents’ consultation process on accreditation criteria and (ii) agents’ ability to seek mediation from an independent mediator.

In the first half of 2018, EU travellers were subjected to an unprecedented 29 Air Traffic Control (ATC) strike days -- 22 of them occurring in France -- affecting millions of passengers through delays and cancellations. Today, the Network for the European Private Sector in Tourism, NET, a grouping of major European tourism trade associations, announced it is joining A4E’s efforts to minimize the strikes’ damaging impact on travellers and tourism across the EU

07/05/2018 ECTAA is holding its semi-annual meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association is meeting with MATTA Incoming Travel Agents to discuss travel trade matters and opportunities of working together

28/02/2018 Safety comes first for coach tourism 
Supporting the efforts of the European Institutions to customise driving and rest time rules for the coach tourism sector, IRU – together with the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA) and the European Tourism Association (ETOA) – highlights safety first in improvements to coach services

09/02/2018 European Court’s ruling confirms need for urgent reform of the special VAT rules for travel agents
In its decision rendered on 8 February 2018, the Court held that travel agents’ supplies to taxable persons have to be taxed under to the special VAT scheme for travel agents and that VAT must be calculated on a sale by sale basis. This creates serious distortions of competition and is wholly impractical.

11/01/2018 ECTAA calls on the EU regulator to effectively protect EU passengers against airline insolvencies
Following the record number of airline failures in 2017, ECTAA calls on the EU Commission to introduce an efficient mechanism to protect EU passengers against airline insolvencies. In the last three months 3 important European airlines, notably Air Berlin, Monarch Airlines and NIKI have ceased operations, leaving many passengers stranded abroad and with no real prospects of claiming refund of unused tickets.

24/10/2017 Expert study airline claim that direct distribution is less expensive 
New evidence shows that inceasing so-called "direct" bookings does not reduce costs for airlines, sugggesting the true motive of some airlines is to curtail consumer access to independent, neutral booking channels. 

19/10/2017 Transport connectivity and multimodal transport key for seamless travel and tourism
Transport connectivity and intermodality are critical success factors for the European Tourism Sector. From a travel agency perspective, a lot still needs to be done to improve connectivity and ensure seamless door-to-door multimodal transport.

11/10/17 Airline consolidation limits competition and reduces consumers choice, study confirms
An independant research report released today shows that airline consolidation decreases consumer choice. The report finds that ariline mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and code-share agreements have over time contributed to a reduction, fewer choices and higher prices for consumers. 

14/07/2017 Europe Plans Matchmaking to Promote Itself to China and the USA
Europe is planning a programme of educational conferences and matchmaking events to promote itself as a tourist destination to some of the world’s most important outbound travel markets. The programme, named Partnerships in European Tourism, will see a series of eight conferences and business-to-business matchmaking events, taking place within the EU and in the target markets of China and the USA.

07/06/17 ECTAA calls the EU regulator to effectively enforce EU legislation on Air Services and take appropriate measures to protect the EU consumer
Following the IAG’s recent announcement to apply the 9.5 EUR charge to British Airways/Iberia tickets booked via GDS, ECTAA condemns this decision and calls the EU regulator to take appropriate steps to protect the neutral and transparent access to air fares

31/05/2017 European travel agents’ and tour operators’ associations exploring colourful Coimbra
ECTAA, the European Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators, has been invited to hold its semi-annual meeting in the beautiful Coimbra city in Centre of Portugal on 31 May to 2 June. A delegation of 70 CEOs and Presidents of travel agents and travel agents’ associations will come to Coimbra to obtain up-to-date industry, government affairs and legal developments impacting the European travel industry.

11/05/2017 Implementation of the Package Travel Directive - Steering through troubled waters? 
Brussels, 11/05/2017 - Industry and European legislators meet in Brussels today to discuss the implementation of the new package travel Directive. The new law is meant to provide further protection to consumers buying traditional or dynamic packages (packages put together by the customer) but also combinations of travel services.

10/03/2017 Malaysia selected as ECTAA’s Preferred Destination for 2018.
The European travel agents’ and tour operators’ Association will cooperate closely with Tourism Malaysia to boost European outbound tourism to Malaysia in 2018. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (Tourism Malaysia) and the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA) on 9 March 2017 at the International Tourism Fair ITB in Berlin, Germany.

13/12/2016 Call for a new model to govern indirect air distribution
The Travel Agent Community met with IATA Director General to discuss the modernization of the rules governing the indirect air distribution. Today’s IATA Passenger Agency Programme is no longer fit for purpose as it does not optimally address the broad and varied needs of all the stakeholders within the distribution chain.

09/12/16 ECTAA welcomes EU-China tourism engagement
ECTAA welcomes the designation of 2018 as the year of EU-China tourism, which will help foster travel and tourism between the two regions.
The 2018 EU-China Year of Tourism was signed by Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission and Mr Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, at the opening of the EU-China summit on 12 July 2016.

05/12/2016 Tunisia welcomes European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association in Tunis
On 1-2 December, the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ association –ECTAA- held its semi-annual meeting in Tunisia. The meeting was attended by more than 20 European delegations.
ECTAA, has met for the first time in Tunis on the invitation of its International Member, the Tunisian Federation of Travel Agents, FTAV. This was an opportunity to exchange views and take stock of the work that has been undertaken by the Tunisian government as well as the industry to welcome back European tourists in Tunisia.

26/05/2016 Commissionner Violeta BULC speaks about EU’s vision for transport and importance for tourism
Following the adoption of the EU Aviation Strategy in December 2015, a package of legislative measures will be adopted by the Commission in the coming years in order to boost the competitiveness of the EU airlines. Commissioner for Transport Violeta BULC presented the key initiatives that will also have an impact on tourism at the ECTAA General Assembly held in Ljubljana, Slovenia this 26th May 2016.

25/05/2016 Spotlight on Slovenia 
From 25 to 28 May the European Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators will meet in the European Green Capital 2016, Ljubljana. This is part of the Preferred Destination agreement signed with the Slovenian Tourist Board to help promote Slovenia through the travel agency network

14/04/2016 Next step in the EU Data Revolution – Plenary Vote on the EU PNR Directive and Data Protection Package
The EU Parliament adopted the EU PNR Directive and the Data Protection Package during the Plenary Session on 14th April 2016 in Strasbourg. It is a strong signal that EU data protection system will change for good 

15/03/2016 Europe's Tourism Sector calls on the LIBE Committee to adopt a smart Schengen Visa Package
The Network for the European Private Sector in Tourism, which gathers the main travel and tourism and trade associations in Europe, is calling on the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) to adopt a smart Schengen Visa package.

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