Position papers

March 2021 Strategy for a recovery of travel and tourism

Covid 19 has had an unprecedented impact on people’s lives and economies. A glimmer of hope surfaced with the development and gradual roll-out of the vaccine programmes. They will provide protection to the most vulnerable population groups and help our health systems better cope with the C19 crisis. However, we cannot wait until all people are vaccinated to be able to travel again. This would shatter the hopes of many people wanting to travel and cripple an entire industry already at the brink of bankruptcy. ECTAA is thus calling on the EU and national decision-makers to prepare an EU roadmap for return to travel in time for spring and summer season. We need to give travellers and the industry a perspective when and under which conditions travel can resume as vaccinations are progressively rolled out.



17/09/20 Open letter to Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, President, European Commission

The undersigned associations, representing the travel and tourism sectors and their workers, are fully supportive of the Commission’s proposed EU coordination framework for travel restrictions.

This framework is a much-needed step in the right direction, providing common criteria for fully aligned risk assessments and the related mapping of EU/EEA countries and the UK. We urgently need this framework to be endorsed and fully implemented by all European States.

...The chaotic situation requires an immediate personal involvement, as President of the European Commission. We are thus urging you make this issue a top priority and calling on you to address this issue directly with the Heads of State and Government....


15 June 2020 NET calls on the EU to match its recognition of tourism’s significance with proper funding: recovery and long-term

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



30/04/2020 An EU-wide legal framework with adequate consumer protection for the issuance of state-guaranteed and flexible vouchers is needed to ensure consistency for travellers and address the current liquidity crisis.  

EU Travel Tech and ECTAA call for the adoption of an EU-wide legal framework setting out consumer protection in instances where travel providers issue refundable vouchers, achieved through a temporary amendment of relevant EU legislation. Such a change must ensure flexibility on the use of vouchers and be protected against insolvency of the operators.



27/04/2020 NET and eu travel tech call for flexible, refundable and protected vouchers for customers in the travel and tourism sector

The entire travel and tourism sector is facing a short-term liquidity crisis following national government instructions to cancel passenger movements by any mode of transport, commencing mid-March. This is part of a complete shutdown of travel and tourism globally, with borders closed and movement restricted

13/04/2020 WTAAA Statement on the effects of Covid-19 on the travel industry 

Representing 67 countries and markets worldwide and the voice of the global travel agency community, the World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA)  is deeply concerned with Covid-19's unprecedented catastrophic impact on the travel industry, compromising the viability of all sectors, including airlines and travel agencies, hotels, tour operators, cruise lines, passenger ground transportation - including rail - and tourist destinations globally



03/04/2020 Europe’s aviation industry is facing an unprecedented liquidity crisis -- the European Union must act now!

In light of the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, Europeans are no longer able to travel. Thousands of aircraft in Europe are grounded – requests for ticket refunds are outnumbering new flight bookings, tourism hot spots are empty, and airports across the continent have come to a standstill. 



03/04/2020 Emergency measures are needed to overcome the economic and social impact of COVID-19 pandemic on travel agents’ and tour operators’ community

ECTAA & UNI Europe are fully committed to sustaining and supporting European economic activities to the best of their abilities during this unprecedented pandemic crisis. The unavoidable decisions to contain the covid-19 pandemic are severely restricting public life and bringing travel and tourism to an almost complete standstill. Considering that this is a crisis of yet unforeseen dimension since the beginning of the European integration, ...



16/03/2020 COVID19 Outbreak  - Letter to Commissioner Breton, Reynders & Välean 

While the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak cannot yet be assessed, the damages in the travel industry are immense. The Communication published by the European Commission on Friday to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19, recognized that tourism is amongst the sectors most affected. 

11/03/2020 Letter to the President of the European Commission Mrs von der Leyen 

The unpredictable and continuous development of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a head-on challenge for the world economy, and particularly for the travel industry: restricted mobility is the antonym of travelling; hence the threats for the tourism industry are total.

The loss for the travel industry is already immense. Travel agents and tour operators, as a central part in the tourism value chain, are being squeezed from all sides


28/11/2019 For a competitive, transparent and sustainable market, ECTAA priorities for the EU Institutions 2019-2024

The European travel agents and tour operators call upon the “von der Leyen” Commission to work for a competitive, transparent and sustainable travel market

06/05/2019 ECTAA’S Position regarding the Directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers

ECTAA considers that the directive proposal does not provide sufficient safeguards to prevent abusive claims and will create an unbalanced environment where the right of the defence is clearly ignored. It is therefore of outmost importance that safeguards are in place to guarantee the right of defence and prevent abuses from claims management companies  

19/06/2017 Open Letter to the European Commissioner for Transport

Airlines' surcharges and other discrimination against neutral independent distribution theaten transparency and consumer choice

May 2017 Call for a new model to govern indirect air distribution

A recent study carried out by ETTSA and ECTAA identified five key areas of concerns to the non-airline distribution chain players. Based on interviews with senior representatives of different distribution chain stakeholders, including agents, airlines, and GDSs, the study makes a number of recommendations to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the IATA Passenger Agency Programme

October 2014 ECTAA and GEBTA call for the revision of the VAT scheme for travel agents

ECTAA and GEBTA call on the European Commission and Member States to start a dialogue on the revision of the special VAT scheme for travel agents, as provided for in articles 306-310 of the VAT Directive. The provisions are in dire need of revision as they are outdated (from 1977), resulting in major distortions of competition in the market for the supply of travel services.

November 2013 Position Paper on the Revision of the Package Travel Directive

The Package Travel Directive was adopted in 1990 and was covering most of the holiday market at the time of its adoption. However, Consumer patterns have changed over the last 23 years, and new distribution channels have emerged thanks technological developments and the widespread usage of internet. Today, the European Consumer has access to multiple distribution channels from the classical paper brochure to mobile applications.

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