The Communication sets out the EU’s objective of keeping Europe the world's top tourist destination. It outlines a policy that aims at supporting this essential sector of the European economy and proposes initiatives to promote its competitiveness, its sustainable and quality-based development and the visibility of Europe as an outstanding tourist destination.


The International Standardization Organization (ISO) has decided to develop standards for tourism and related services. The scope of the ISO/TC 228 is to develop standards ‘in the field of tourism and related services to provide tourism buyers, providers and consumers with criteria for making informed decisions’.

[ View ECTAA position paper ]


The UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET) is a comprehensive set of principles designed to guide key-players in tourism development. Addressed to governments, the travel industry, communities and tourists alike, it aims to help maximise the sector’s benefits while minimising its potentially negative impact on the environment, cultural heritage and societies across the globe.

ECTAA signed the Private Sector Commitment to the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism on the 7th of November 2013, on the occasion of the 1st Summit of Presidents of Travel Agencies Associations, held in Cordoba, Spain, in the presence of Ms. Isabel Borrego Cortés, State Secretary for Tourism, and Mr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General.


The Visa Code sets out all procedures and conditions for issuing "short stay visas" and "airport transit visas". 

[ View Handbook for the processing of visa applications and the modification of issued visas ]

Communication from the Commission ‘Implementation and development of the common visa policy to spur growth in the EU’, COM(2012) 649

In the Communication the Commission explores how the implementation and development of the common visa policy could help growth in the EU by facilitating travel opportunities for third country nationals willing to visit the EU.

EU Study on the economic impact of short stay visa facilitation on the tourism industry and on the overall economies of EU Member States being part of the Schengen Area

The study has ascertained that the current Schengen visa regime has had a clear impact on the travelling to the Schengen area since its implementation in 2010. While it has certainly contributed to more harmonised visa procedures, it also has an impact in terms of deterring or constricting access for both tourists and business travellers to the Schengen area, as any visa system does. According to the estimations, in 2012, a total of 6.6 million potential travellers from the six target markets were “lost” due to the Schengen area visa regime. Based on average spending figures, this means that the tourism industry in the Schengen area loses out on a potential EUR 5.5 billion in direct contribution to GDP every year, adding up to approximately 113  000 jobs in the tourism industry and related sectors. Taking into account a forecasted growth rate in the number of travellers from the six countries, this leads to 34.8 million travellers lost over five years.

EU visa package
In April 2014 the European Commission adopted a visa package consisting of two legislative proposals, notably a proposal for a recast of Regulation 810/2009 on the Union Code on Visas and a second proposal introducing a touring visa.


Decision 95/553 of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council of 19 December 1995 regarding protection for citizens of the European Union by diplomatic and consular representations

According to Article 20 of the EC Treaty, every citizen of the Union is entitled, in the territory of a third country in which the Member State of which he/she is a national is not represented, to protection by the diplomatic or consular authorities of any Member State, on the same conditions as the nationals of that State. Decision 95/553/EC specifies what that protection comprises of.

In 2008, the European Commission conducted an information campaign on the rights of European citizens to consular protection. ECTAA cooperated in this information campaign, through the display of posters in the premises of the participating travel agents and tour operators.


Regulation (EC) No 1889/2005 of 26 October 2005 on controls of cash entering or leaving the Community

Travelers entering or leaving the Community and carrying more than €10,000 (or its equivalent in other currencies) are required to make a declaration to the customs authorities. Failure to do so may lead to proceedings against those persons.

[ View EU information leaflet ]

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