The former Hungarian flag carrier Malev went bankrupt in 2012 leaving many travel agencies and tour operators with unpaid refund requests. After lengthy and complex negotiations, travel agents obtain a pay-out of large parts of their refund requests.
During the immediate response to the crisis, the European Commission recognised that:
- Tourism revenue had suffered a total collapse, just at the start of the season
- Investment in the sector would not take place - Its ecosystem is dominated by SMEs and micro enterprises
- This is what makes the tourism offer in Europe so diverse, distinctive and appealing
- The losses are cross-cutting in impact, including transport, culture and rural economy
- This crisis is different: demand has been drastically suppressed and travel discouraged
Recognising that tourism has been “badly hit” by the COVID-19 crisis, ECTAA is pleased to see that Tourism Ministers are eager to use the EU Recovery Fund for tourism. ECTAA also welcomes their support for a “harmonized solution” for refunding travel packages, including vouchers (link).