Despite two rounds of discussion and agreement on a list of countries for which the ban on non-essential travel into the EU can be lifted, ECTAA regrets that Member States are still allowed to pick and choose for which countries they will lift the travel ban. The result is a patchwork of different travel restrictions applied across Europe, confusing citizens and travel professionals alike.
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).