Press releases

11/04/2024 Mize joins ECTAA Travel Industry Partner Programme
ECTAA is pleased to announce the addition of Mize to its Travel Industry Partner Program. This new partnership marks a significant milestone in ECTAA's mission to foster collaboration and innovation within the travel sector. Mize, known for its innovative solutions and commitment to enhancing customer experiences, brings its knowledge and technological expertise to the program. As a Travel Industry Partner, Mize will play an important role in shaping the future of travel by sharing insights, participating in strategic discussions, and contributing to the development of initiatives aimed at driving the industry forward

09/04/24 Travel and tourism industry unites to tackle climate change

Association representatives from the European travel and tourism sector (business and leisure) met in Rhodes, Greece, to sign a landmark declaration promising decisive action towards more sustainable travel and tourism. The joint declaration will serve as a roadmap to foster collaboration and help tourism reach its sustainability goals. Today, more than ever, the industry is committing to prioritise decarbonisation, enhance collaboration, and engage with policymakers in meaningful dialogue.

With the EU elections just around the corner, we call on decision-makers to keep travel and tourism high on the political agenda and create dedicated budget lines for sustainable tourism initiatives. The declaration seeks to propel the travel and tourism industry towards a more resilient and sustainable future, while advocating for policy support at the European level.
 

 

15/02/2024 ECTAA Launches Travel Industry Ambassador Programme
ECTAA announced today the launch of its Travel Industry Ambassador Programme, a brand new and dedicated initiative designed to present the dynamism and innovation of the travel industry sector by showcasing innovative travel agents and tour operators, who are making a strong contribution to the future of travel. This programme is a response to the critical challenges that the travel sector is currently facing, emphasising the need for collective action and expertise.

29/01/2024 Unlocking the Future: ECTAA Presents Inaugural Travel Payment Summit in Brussels
ECTAA, the European umbrella organization for travel intermediaries, proudly announces the groundbreaking debut of the Travel Payment Summit set to take place in Brussels on February 21, 2024.
In a revolutionary move, ECTAA is bringing together the brightest minds in travel and payments, including EU policymakers and stakeholders, for a dynamic event aimed at unraveling the intricate world of travel payments. Whether in the realm of B2C or B2B, the way we transact has a profound impact on risk management, shapes the travel ecosystem, and is intricately connected to customer experiences.

15/01/2024 Hiseas and Chengdu forge alliance with ECTAA to boost travel between China and Europe
Hiseas International GmbH and the Chengdu Tourism Studies Association have announced their alliance as affiliated members of the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA), signaling a commitment to foster increased travel and tourism connectivity between China and Europe. This collaboration aims to streamline operations for businesses and enhance travel experiences for tourists across both regions.

09/01/2024 Bulgaria becomes Preferred Destination of European Travel Agents and Tour Operators' for 2024
ECTAA and the Ministry of Tourism of Bulgaria agree today on a collaborative campaign aimed at promoting Bulgaria as an exceptional travel destination to ECTAA members and beyond.
With an enticing amalgamation of allure, cultural heritage, historical richness, seamless transportation links and awe-inspiring natural landscapes, Bulgaria is crafting an unparalleled experience for every traveller. As ECTAA Preferred Destination 2024, the Ministry of Tourism will be able to present the extensive offerings of the country to about 80.000 European travel professionals, encouraging them to consider Bulgaria as the premier choice for their clientele.

29/12/23 ECTAA and Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) celebrate a year of remarkable collaboration in driving sustainable tourism
ECTAA and the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) proudly mark a year of unprecedented collaboration fostering sustainable tourism in Greece. Amidst the challenges faced, the organizations have spearheaded initiatives aimed at elevating Greece as a top destination while championing environmental consciousness and sustainable practices within the industry.
The year 2023 witnessed a series of milestone achievements resulting from the joint efforts between ECTAA and GNTO. One of the pivotal events included two online roundtables themed "Greening the Greek Experience," with industry leaders shedding the light on current sustainable measures within the Greek tourism landscape.

22/12/23 Greek Tourism Achieves Record-breaking Year, Focusing on Sustainable Growth

Greece's tourism sector marks an extraordinary milestone in 2023, demonstrating a robust resurgence to pre-pandemic levels and signalling a prosperous trajectory for the nation's tourism industry. Building upon the success of an already impressive 2022, this year stands as a testament to Greece's resilience and commitment to sustainable growth, as revealed by recent data.

20/12/2023 Latvia, now in the spotlight of European travel agencies and tour operators.
ECTAA and Latvia’s Investment and Development Agency (LIAA) celebrate a successful year of cooperation to promote in Latvia towards travel companies.
During one year, European travel companies have benefited from a promotion campaign organized by their European umbrella organisation and the agency in charge of promoting Latvia. At stake? A better knowledge about Latvia as a destination for both business and leisure travellers.

19/12/2023 Greece Takes Bold Strides Towards Sustainable Tourism: ECTAA and Greek Tourism Board Unveil Success of "Greening The Greek Experience" Roundtable
In a step forward for sustainable tourism, Greece is ushering in a new era in its tourism strategy, focusing on nature conservation, community respect, and human-centric considerations. This strategic shift positions Greece as a frontrunner in global tourist destinations and experiences.
Building on the success of the first edition, the European Travel Agents' and Tour Operators' Association (ECTAA) collaborated with the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) to host the second roundtable on "Greening The Greek Experience" on December 14th.

30/11/2023 Mobility Package: Travel organizers welcome swifter refunds from suppliers but questions imbalances over the protection of consumers prepayments. What about airlines?
The mobility package adopted by the Commission on 29 November has received mixed reactions. ECTAA welcomes the measures to improve clarity and speed up B2B refunds. However, the obligation to limit prepayments of packages is expected to drive up prices, fragilize traders, and offer minimal benefits to consumers, potentially excluding the most vulnerable from this protective scheme and leading them towards cheaper yet unprotected alternatives. Furthermore, the proposal is criticized for lacking the essential tools required to effectively address large-scale crises.

20/11/2023 Greening The Greek Experience: A Collaborative Approach to Sustainable Tourism

Greece embarks on a new era in its tourism strategy, committing to a sustainable future that prioritizes the protection of nature, respect for local communities, and human-centric considerations. This strategic shift aims to reposition Greece as a leading protagonist in the global ranking of tourist destinations and experiences.
In a groundbreaking initiative, the European Travel Agents' and Tour Operators' Association (ECTAA) and the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) will jointly host the second roundtable on "Greening The Greek Experience" on 14th December.

31/10.2023 ECTAA's Annual Meeting in Lamego, North Portugal: A Commitment to Climate Action and Embracing AI in the Travel Industry

ECTAA convened with the support of APAVT, the Portuguese Travel Agents’ Association, in the picturesque region of the Douro Valley, North Portugal, with over 50 delegates representing travel companies from across Europe. The primary focus of this meeting was on pioneering initiatives concerning the ECTAA Climate Action Plan and harnessing the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the travel industry.

31/10/2023 EU tourism calls on MEPs to back lead rapporteur’s coach driver proposal

Ahead of the critical vote in the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, the European tourism sector calls on MEPs to support the driving and rest time rules for coach drivers proposed by the Commission and Transport Committee’s lead rapporteur. Over three years since the adoption of EU's Mobility Package 1, the European Commission recognised that the current coach driver rules are not suited to the occasional passenger transport sector.

18/10/2023 Security situation in Israel – big challenges for package travel organisers
The current unstable situation in Israel and possible further complications in the region force tour operators to massively cancel booked package travels. Package travel organisers have to reimburse customers often before getting prepayments reimbursed by service suppliers. Some airlines do not play fair by only offering vouchers instead of refunds.

29/09/2023 ECTAA and HATTA unite to address climate change and promote sustainable tourism 

ECTAA and HATTA (Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies), in partnership with the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO), convened a critical meeting on 28 and 29 September 2023, in Anavyssos/Greece, to address the pressing need for sustainable tourism practices in light of the extreme climate events experienced in Greece this summer.
Throughout the summer, Greece witnessed repeated wildfires and torrential rains, underscoring the undeniable urgency of addressing climate change. It has become evident that sustainability is not just an option but a powerful tool to shape the future of the travel industry and our planet.

21/09/2023  Air Belgium lets passengers and companies down: Failure to refund impacts customers and Travel Industry

The Belgian airline "Air Belgium" announced on Monday its decision to cease all passenger flights starting from 3 October 2023. While grappling with the fallout of this sudden announcement, passengers and travel companies are left in dismay as Air Belgium fails to process any refunds for the affected bookings in the IATA Billing and Settlement System. Once again, an airline stopped the refund process all the while travel agents are required to remit further monies for future flights that are already cancelled.

 

11/09/2023 Register Now for the Event "Empowering European Tour Operators for Sustainable Futures"
As the end of the EU-funded SUSTOUR project draws near, we remind interested stakeholders to register for the final hybrid event, "Empowering European Tour Operators for Sustainable Futures”.
The event aims to present compelling sustainability stories, understand challenges, highlight key success factors, inspire other companies, exchange experiences, and celebrate the remarkable achievements of the SUSTOUR companies that have enrolled for the 1-year support programme financed by the EU COSME programme.

28/08/2023 Empowering European Tour Operators for Sustainable Futures
Final hybrid event of the SUSTOUR Project, Cascais, Portugal - 13-14 September 2023

The grand finale of the EU-COSME funded SUSTOUR project, an ambitious 3-year endeavour aimed at promoting sustainable practices within the European tourism industry, is set to take place on September 13th and 14th in Cascais, Portugal. The final event will showcase achievements and best practices of travel agents and tour operators who have successfully integrated sustainability into their business and operations.

02/08/23 European travel agents and tour operators meet to ensure that travelers can return to Rhodes and Corfu
Almost 100 representatives of travel agencies and tour operators from all of Europe participated in a workshop to take stock of the situation in Rhodes and Corfu. Holiday demand in these islands is still strong and the current situation requires a good knowledge of the suppliers and connection with local organizations and authorities.

22/06/2023 Regulation on Multimodal Digital Mobility Services (MDMS): lack of political will of the European Commission is leaving travellers and the EU green transition stranded

On Monday 19 June 2023, DG MOVE, the transport department of the European Commission, has presented policy options under consideration for the upcoming MDMS Regulation. ECTAA was amongst a large group of stakeholders representing Europe’s mobility ecosystem including consumers and passengers, environmental groups, independent rail operators and ticket intermediaries that have pushed for an ambitious Regulation since the presentation of the MDMS initiative two years ago. The now presented policy options do not only lack ambition, but most of all political will.

13/06/2023 The Association of Incoming Tour Operators of Ukraine officially part of ECTAA

ECTAA and AITO decide to work together to prepare the industry for Ukraine’s accession to the EU and help rebuild tourism after the war.
ECTAA was very pleased and honoured to welcome Marina Antonyuk and Olena Kazmina, President and Vice-President of AITO respectively as well as Natalya Vasylenko, Head of Tourism Development Department of the State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine, to the ECTAA semi-annual meeting, which took place on 8-12 June in Riga.

 

09/06/2023 Revision of the package travel and passenger rights' legislations: Are airlines untouchable?
The European travel agents’ and tour operators’ community deplores the lack of ambition of the European Commission to impose equal obligations on players in the travel value chain.
At the eve of the Summer break, , the European travel agents’ and tour operators’ community debated in Riga the attempts of the European Commission to review legislation on  Protection of Passengers and the Package Travel Directive. The current rules are being reviewed to ensure their resilience to extensive travel disruptions, such as those that have occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

08/06/2023 Open letter to EVP Timmermans on the Multimodal Digital Mobility Services - Friends of MDMS call for ambition, halfway measures are unacceptable
A broad coalition of stakeholders representing a significant part of Europe’s mobility ecosystem, including consumers and passengers, environmental groups, independent rail operators and ticket intermediaries have sent an open letter to Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the European Commission regarding the upcoming Regulation on Multimodal Digital Mobility Services (MDMS) calling for an ambitious proposal in the interest of European travellers and to reach the EU climate goals.

 

Open letter

01/06/2023 ECTAA and Cyprus Deputy Ministry of Tourism Successfully Conclude Webinar Series Promoting Cyprus as a Premier Destination
ECTAA and the Cyprus Deputy Ministry of Tourism are happy to announce the successful conclusion of their joint campaign, featuring a captivating webinar series aimed at promoting Cyprus as a premier travel destination. The webinars were specifically tailored for travel agents and advisors who are members of national travel agent associations in Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

24/05/2023 Latvia under the spotlights of the European travel agents and tour operators
The European Travel Agents' and Tour Operators' Association (ECTAA) and the Tourism Department of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) are delighted to announce a collaborative campaign aimed at promoting Latvia as an exceptional travel destination to ECTAA members and beyond.
With its captivating blend of attractiveness, cultural and historical heritage, convenient traffic connections, compactness, and breath-taking natural landscapes, Latvia offers every traveller a unique and unforgettable experience.

04/04/2023 Cyprus Deputy Ministry of Tourism Teams Up with ECTAA to showcase Destination's Full Range of Experiences
ECTAA and Cyprus Deputy Ministry of Tourism have announced a joint campaign to promote Cyprus as a destination to ECTAA members. The campaign will feature a series of webinars specifically designed for travel agents and advisors who are members of national travel agent associations in Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic. The webinars will offer valuable advice and insights to help travel agents and advisors provide exceptional service to their customers.

08/03/2023 Key European tourism stakeholders co-sign a Code of Conduct on data sharing in tourism 
 In a move to respond to the digital transition of the tourism industry, 20 organisations representing the travel and tourism sector at European level agreed to sign a Code of Conduct on data sharing in the tourism sector. This non-binding document clarifies the main aspects to consider in data sharing agreements and should help to build trust and foster data sharing agreements.  
 

28/02/2023 Mobility stakeholders call for an ambitious MDMS Regulation

Today, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Transport and Mobility (DG MOVE) presented its vision for a crucial upcoming piece of legislation – the Regulation on Multimodal Digital Mobility Services (MDMS). The undersigned organisations, representing diverse interests from across the mobility sector (such as consumers, business travelers, rail new entrants, travel intermediaries) express their strong support for this initiative.

27/02/2023 New sustainability tools for tour operators launched at ITB

SUSTOUR will present new sustainability tools specifically developed for tour operators and showcase best practices of Travelife awarded tour operators at ITB. 

The EU-COSME funded SUSTOUR project is gearing up for the world’s leading travel trade fair ITB Berlin to present the project objectives and achievements so far, bring together participating tour operators and travel agents from across Europe and to showcase the tools developed in the frame of SUSTOUR.

 

26/12/2022 Greece 2022 #whatasuccess! 

With almost 30 million tourists in 2022, Greece experienced a record-breaking year. Greek tourism is boosting the country’s economy and supporting it in a time of crisis. As ECTAA’s preferred destination for 2022, the travel agents and tour operators organisation is pleased to have contributed to this success.

19/12/2022 December in Greece: A perfect end to a record-breaking year

While celebrating a record-breaking year as regards foreign tourism, Greece, the ECTAA’s Preferred Destination 2022, is setting a proactive strategy to become a year-round destination. Travel advisors demonstrated their interest to show that Greece is also about cheerful fires blazing in traditional fireplaces

07/12/2022 Joint call for a mandatory insolvency protection scheme in the airline sector

An effective protection of all actors impacted by an airline bankruptcy can only be achieved by an obligation to introduce a mandatory insolvency protection mechanism in the airline sector. A coalition of representatives of European consumers, the package travel industry, online intermediaries and insurance providers asks the European Commission to turn words into actions.

 

29/11/2022 The future of package travel at stake

Tour operators concerned about the lack of ambition of the European Commission to review consumer protection throughout the whole travel value chain.
At the ECTAA meeting in Thessaloniki last week, national associations, tour operators and travel agents expressed grave concerns about the direction of the legislative measures considered by the European Commission. Indeed, the European Commission is currently undertaking consultations in view of revising the Package Travel Directive and improving passenger rights.

 

23/11/2022 European travel agents and tour operators meet in vibrant Thessaloniki

ECTAA has chosen Thessaloniki for its semi-annual meeting to showcase the destination and discuss important challenges of the industry.
Greece is a year-round destination and this should be known says ECTAA,. Putting words into action, the association is holding on 24 and 25 November its autumn meeting in Thessaloniki, with the support of FedHATTA (Hellenic Association of Travel Agents and Tourist Agencies), the Greek National Tourism Organisation and the Central Macedonia and the City of Thessaloniki.

 

26/10/2022 Tour operators want European legislation to match with reality 

On the evening of 25 October, the European travel industry met for an event in Brussels at the invitation of ECTAA, and DRV. In a period where uncertainty prevails, the travel sector has to be prepared for major challenges. Taking stock of the problems faced and the solutions that were elaborated during the COVID-pandemic is certainly essential today.

 

05/07/2022 629 travel companies signed up for sustainability training and/or certification programme

629 tour operators and travel agents have been selected to participate in the SUSTOUR technical support programme financed under the EU COSME programme to improve their sustainability performance. 
A call for SME applications has been launched beginning of March 2022 to select a minimum of 175 tour operators and travel agents that will benefit from a comprehensive technical support programme to help them improve their sustainability performance. More than 730 applications have been received and after evaluation by an independent evaluation committee, 629 SMEs from 35 countries have been selected and signed up to the support programme.

 

10/06/2022 ECTAA announces Frank Oostdam as new President
Frank Oostdam, President of the Dutch Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (ANVR), has been elected today as President of the travel agents and tour operators of Europe.
During its semi-annual meeting held on 9 and 10 June in Nicosia, the representatives of the travel agents and tour operators of Europe elected Frank Oostdam, Netherlands, as President for a two-year term. Heli Mäki-Fränti, Finland, was elected Vice-President and Marios Kammenos, Greece, was re-elected Treasurer. The delegates also thanked Pawel Niewiadomski, the outgoing president, for his commitment and achievements during the Covid-19 pandemic.

17/05/2022 Towards free movement of travellers within and into Europe 

Resilience of the EUDCC System is Critical for EU Tourism Crisis Preparedness
The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, the voice of the travel and tourism sector in Europe, welcomes the ongoing progress of the revision of the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) Regulation.  While we strongly support countries in their efforts to progressively remove restrictions in the current phase, it is useful to keep the EUDCC at hand in case of a possible resurgence.
We also note that the EUDCC framework has become an international reference standard in which an increasing number of third countries participate. 

 

   

 

05/05/2020 Support programme to help travel companies become more sustainable – last chance to apply!

Travel agents and tour operators interested in improving their sustainability performance can apply until 10 May to obtain access to free training and personal coaching provided in the frame of a one-year technical support programme funded by the EU COSME programme and co-financed and supported by numerous travel associations, including ECTAA.

02/05/2022 Webinars #all I want is Greece

ECTAA and the Greek National Tourist Organisation are jointly organising a series of four webinars dedicated to different s dedicated to different source markets. All four webinars will inform about the "sustainable tourism offer in Greece" as well as highlighting several aspects of "experiencing Greece differently". Speakers from the industry will present for a B2B audience how Greece is adapting to match new demands from the consumers.

08/04/2022 Greece: ECTAA’s Preferred Destination for 2022
While the political and economic context remains difficult for the whole tourism industry, 2022 will hopefully be synonym of recovery for travel and tourism in Europe. To turn hopes into reality, the Greek National Tourist Organisation and ECTAA signed an agreement to make Greece the Preferred Destination of the European umbrella association of travel agents and tour operators. 

With the agreement, ECTAA pledges to promote Greece as its Preferred Destination among the 70.000 travel agents and tour operators across Europe, highlighting the loving and hospitable locals, the stunning coastlines, beautiful islands, delicious cuisine and high-quality tourism infrastructure that offer memorable holidaying throughout the year: #AllYouWantIsGreece will become familiar for many European travellers.

17/03/2022 Position on the European Commissions New Regulation on EU Digital Covid Certificate

70 public and private travel and tourism organisations propose several amendments to the new EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation with the aim to secure the freedom of movement across the continent and guarantee harmonised rules when the Certificate is in use.

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, the voice of the travel and tourism sector in Europe, welcomes the European Commission’s proposal that amends and extends the use of the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) to facilitate free movement during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

11/03/2022 Announcement of an open call for SMEs - European tour operators and travel agents can now apply for an intensive, EU-funded support programme to improve their sustainability performance

ECTAA and a number of its member associations are participating in the EU-funded SUSTOUR project that fosters the uptake of sustainability tools and practices among travel agents and tour operators. A call for SME application has been launched today with the aim to select 175+ European small and medium sized enterprisesthat will obtain technical support for the implementation of sustainability practices.

 

 

02/03/2022 The European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association expresses its solidarity with the Ukrainian people and its travel trade partners
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has stunned the whole world. There is no justification for such an attack on a sovereign country, killing and displacing many innocent Europeans. 

Travel and tourism stand for peace and cultural understanding. ECTAA deeply condemns Russia’s attack on Ukraine. We urge for a swift and peaceful end to the terrible conflict.

04/02/2022 ECTAA endorses the Toulouse Declaration on future sustainability and decarbonisation of aviation

The Toulouse Declaration is the result of a collective and constructive work and was unanimously agreed and endorsed by the EU and all its Member States as well as a wide range of associations representing the broader aviation eco-system. Europe is the first region in the world to make such a commitment not only in terms of objectives, but also wider stakeholder engagement to which ECTAA has proudly contributed.

 

25/01/2022 Transport and tourism associations reiterate their call for EU Member States to align their travel rules to avoid patchwork
Passengers and business alike need a stable and coherent European framework to restart travelling and safely prepare for spring
In the last few weeks, Europe has seen a surge in COVID cases and the spread of the latest and highly transmittable variant, Omicron. Whilst the European Commission announced in December 2021 that the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) would be valid for nine months without a booster shot, several EU countries – including France, Italy, Denmark and Malta –  decided to shorten the validity of vaccination passes for national use to seven or three months. A number of countries have also introduced additional testing requirements that apply to vaccinated/recovered EU travellers, going against the current Council Recommendations.

07/01/2022 Re-starting tourism amid the pandemic: Croatia an example in Europe

With almost 14 million tourists in 2021, Croatia experienced a successful year reaching 75% of figures of 2019, which was a record year for Croatian tourism. As ECTAA’s preferred destination for 2021, the travel agents and tour operators organisation is pleased to have contributed to this success.

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