Press releases

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.

17/12/2021 Travel and tourism stakeholders call on European governments to avoid holiday travel chaos

European travel is on hold again due to the erratic and reckless decisions of governments to reintroduce travel restrictions on vaccinated travellers despite scientific evidence that they have no impact on the spread of the Omicron variant in Europe.

Travel and tourism stakeholders react to the reintroduction of travel restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers by several Member States in response to the new variant Omicron

 

10/12/21 Global Travel Agency Associations Agree – Closing Borders is Not the Answer 

When elected officials make public policy decisions in the interest of public health, those governments have an obligation to provide financial resources to those industries and individuals most affected by their decisions. Closing borders and implementing new restrictions affects untold millions of employees in the travel and tourism industry.

22/11/2021 Urgent alignment and coordination of Member States’ health and travel policy responses required

Ahead of the approaching festive season, a broad group of key travel and tourism stakeholders, including ECTAA, is urging again Member States to better coordinate and align their health and travel policy responses to avoid re-imposing restrictions to the freedom of movement across Europe.

 

 

10/11/2021 ECTAA Aligns with other sector leaders to sign the Glasgow declaration on climate action in tourism 

ECTAA announced today that it has become a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism unites travel and tourism behind a common set of pathways for climate action, aligning the sector with global commitments and catalysing collaborative solutions to the many challenges facing businesses and destinations globally. The Glasgow Declaration encourages the acceleration of climate action in tourism by securing commitments to reduce emissions in tourism by at least 50% over the next decade and achieve Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050. The Declaration was officially launched at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) last week.

 

 

10/11/2021 Effective enforcement of travellers rights requires better and coherent legislation says European travel agents and tour operators association  

The Covid 19 pandemic has been, by far, the worst crisis to date for the travel industry. It has also highlighted the shortcoming of the existing EU legislations governing the sale of travel and transport services. In 2021 the European Commission has announced that it will review the existing Package Travel Directive and consider a possible revision of the text. With this mind, ECTAA, the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association, publishes today its position on the upcoming review of the Package Travel Directive (PTD)

 

19/10/2021 Travel and tourism stakeholders’ position on lifting unnecessary travel restrictions  

With the summer now behind us, Europe is entering a different stage in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. 74% of EU adults are now fully vaccinated and vaccination efforts are ongoing throughout Europe. Despite the continued spread of the virus at community level, the impact of the pandemic on public health has been brought under control within the EU

 

01/10/2021 Airlines finally commit to respecting EU consumer rights

eu travel tech, the industry association for technology travel services and ECTAA, the European travel agents’ and tour operators’ association, welcome the announcement of the European Commission and the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network regarding commitments made by 16 major European airlines on their cancellation and reimbursement practices. This outcome is a result of a collective action launched by CPC authorities in February 2021

 

16/09/2021 Greece most visited European destination this summer

Greece welcomed more than two million visitors during the summer season marking real success in its vital tourism industry despite the pandemic still very present across Europe. The European travel agents and tour operators community is pleased to have contributed to this remarkable results.

 

13/09/2021 Agency Trade Associations Speak with One Voice on Pandemic Recovery

ASTA, ABTA, ACTA, CHTA and ECTAA) collectively representing the hundreds of thousands of people who work at travel agencies and related businesses around the world, call on government leaders globally to align and make safely restarting international travel occur by opening borders an immediate priority.  

 

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), in 2019, travel and tourism was one of the world's largest sectors, accounting for 10.4% of global GDP (USD $9.2 trillion), 10.6% of all jobs (334 million), and was responsible for creating 1 of every 4 new jobs across the world. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

06/07/2021 Greece, a safe and attractive destination’ showcases a success

Today, ECTAA and GNTO concluded a series of showcases on Greece as a safe and attractive destination for the summer 2021. Thanks to presentations and the open dialogue with Greek professionals and GNTO representatives, travel companies from Benelux, Scandinavia and United Kingdom/Ireland are now able to deliver the right information to their customers.

 

 

01/07/2021 Travel associations meet in Zagreb to discuss the start of the tourism season  

ECTAA is holding its semi-annual meeting on 1 and 2 July in Croatia, the Preferred Destination for 2020-2021

As the European Digital Covid-19 Certificate comes into effect today, the travel agents’ and tour operators’ community of Europe are gathering in Zagreb for two days to debate how a safe resumption of travel in the summer of 2021 can be the beginning of a long-term recovery for the travel and tourism sector.

 

29/06/2021 ECA report confirms many airlines not refunding despite massive state aid

eu travel tech, the industry association for technology travel services and ECTAA, the European travel agents’ and tour operators’ association, have raised numerous times the issue of European airlines’ continued failure to comply with their legal refund obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic - to the detriment of the entire travel ecosystem and customers alike.

23/06/2021 Greece again under the spotlights of the European travel agents and tour operators association

After a successful partnership in 2020 ECTAA is pleased to announce that a new cooperation agreement with the Greek National Tourism Organisation. Greece will become this year ECTAA’s Showcase Destination.

 

 

08/06/2021 Travel and Tourism stakeholders call for swift adoption and implementation of harmonised EU travel rules

Ahead of the EU Ambassadors’ meeting on 11 June, the European travel and tourism industry associations call on Member States to approve the Commission’s proposal to start lifting travel restrictions in the EU in a coordinated way1. After months of lockdowns and a patchwork of measures across the continent, this proposal is very timely. In view of the rapidly advancing vaccination programs and improving epidemiological outlook in Europe, safe travel is possible this summer – fuelled by the strong desire of European citizens to travel again and secured by the readiness of our sector to provide safe and responsible travel.

 

26/05/2021 Europe's Travel & Tourism sector welcomes adoption of “EU Digital COVID Certificate” Regulation and urges swift implementation 

Less than three months after the publication of the Commission’s proposal, the European Parliament’s LIBE committee and the Council have approved the Regulation on “EU Digital COVID Certificate”. The Alliance recognises this is both positive and necessary to restore freedom of movement: a fundamental principle and one of Europe’s greatest achievements. This tool will greatly facilitate cross-border travel, also allowing Europeans to reconnect with families and friends and do business in person after months of lockdowns and restrictions.

07/05/2021 Webinar – Croatia as a safe and attractive destination

ECTAA and the Croatian National Tourist Board are jointly organising a webinar on 11th May 2021 @ 14h00, focusing on Croatia as a safe and attractive destination this summer in presence of Ms Nikolina Brnjac, Ph. D., Croatian Minister of Tourism and Sports.

The objective of the event is to showcase what Croatia and industry stakeholders have done to welcome travellers in a safe way, allowing them to spend a quality time on holiday and fully enjoy the experience, while respecting the necessary health and safety measures

 

 

29/04/2021 Aviation, Travel & Tourism Sectors Applaud European Parliament Vote on “EU COVID-19 Certificates” 

Europe’s aviation, travel and tourism sectors fully welcome yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament on the EU’s proposed Digital Green Certificate Regulation, setting trilogue negotiations between the Parliament, the Council and the European Commission into motion. Swift action and alignment among the institutions is now critical in order to make the certificates operational by June and ensure reciprocity with non-EU systems. Common, interoperable, secure and GDPR-compliant health certificates represent an essential tool to facilitate the free movement of people within the EU and reopen travel in a safe and responsible way through the easing, and ultimately lifting of current travel restrictions.

 

 

30/03/2021 International rail passenger services - The status quo is not an option!

The ticket vendors and distributors welcome the sector statement signed by all rail stakeholder organisations today to promote the development of international rail passenger services.

Yesterday marked the official start of the European Year of Rail, putting focus on rail as one of the most sustainable, innovative and safest transport modes. Member States presented the report of the Platform on International Rail Passenger Transport. 

 

 

 

17/03/2021 ECTAA to mark 60th anniversary

Much has changed in 60 years, but travel agents and tour operators are still an essential part of the tourism value chain, now more than ever!  

Six associations decided in 1961 to form an association to collectively represent the travel agents and tour operators in the newly formed European Economic Community. Today ECTAA counts 32 member associations going beyond Europe’s borders and representing more than 70.000 enterprises. Over the past 60 years its Members have built an industry that has facilitated travelling for millions of people 

17/03/2021 Europe's Travel & Tourism Sector Welcomes Digital Green Certificate Proposal and Urges Parallel Effort on Widder Restart Plan to Maximise Benefit

Over 60 travel and tourism organisations express their support for the European Commission’s initiative and call to ensure swift implementation in time for summer 2021.

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance strongly welcomes the European Commission’s proposal1 to introduce a common, interoperable and mutually-recognised Digital Green Certificate. This digital proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has recovered from the virus, or has a negative test result will greatly facilitate safe free movement of citizens and restart of travel and tourism in the EU. 

 

 

09/03/2021 Safe travel is possible this summer

All the prerequisites are there to be able to travel safely this summer. Industry stands ready to set and implement a plan for return to travel this summer.

While the situation is not much different from a year ago, where nearly all travel and tourism has been suspended, today we hold the cards to turn the situation around. Vaccinations programmes are being rolled out, ensuring that the most vulnerable people are protected and alleviating the strain on our health systems. Tests are becoming increasingly performant and in sufficient capacity to be deployed in travel on a large scale.

 

 

08/03/2021 Investigation into airline cancellation practices should be accelerated Brussels

eu travel tech and ECTAA, welcomed today the European Commission decision to launch an investigation, together with the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network, on airline cancellation practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As it is well noted by the Commission, travel restrictions applied by countries during the Coronavirus health crisis have led to mass cancellations of flights, which have disrupted the travel plans of millions of Europeans. In this context, a number of airlines have repeatedly failed to comply with their obligation to refund customers in a timely manner (7 days) or imposed vouchers in lieu of refunds, either directly or via their travel agents. 

 

 

 

01/03/2021 Travel & Tourism Stakeholders urge investment in sustainable tourism as part of EU recovery

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, which represents over 60 European travel & tourism stakeholders covering the whole value chain of travel operations across Europe, has called on European governments to include tourism as a strategic part of their national Recovery and Resilience plans. The ‘Call for Action: Accelerate Social and Economic Recovery by Investing in Sustainable Tourism Development’ paper recently published by the alliance emphasises that the new Recovery and Resilience Facility agreed by the EU institutions to help rebuild the bloc’s economy offers an unprecedented opportunity to reset travel in Europe and build a more sustainable, resilient and innovative tourism sector. Commission presents next steps for €672.5 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility in 2021 Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy, 17th September 2020

 

25/02/2021 Europe's Travel & Tourism sector calls on EU Governments to chart restart plan in time for summer

Over 60 travel and tourism organisations unveil concrete recommendations for re-opening travel & tourism in Europe, including creation of Commission-led Task Force to restore freedom of movement.

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, a group of more than 60 public and private travel and tourism organisations and the voice of the sector in Europe, today unveiled a series of joint recommendations for EU Member States on how to relaunch travel and tourism in Europe in time for summer 2021.

 

 

 

 

23/02/2021 Airlines’ refusal to refund travel companies and their customers has to stop

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, ECTAA and eu travel tech have repeatedly called on airlines to fulfil their refund obligations in order to allow travel companies to refund their customers. This must apply to both B2B and B2C products. Even one year since the start of this gigantic crisis, several airlines still do not refund tickets or massively delay refunds. 

19/02/2021 Need to speed up the revision of the special VAT rules for travel agents

The Commission’s evaluation of the special VAT scheme for travel agents confirms that the VAT rules are not fit for the digital age. ECTAA calls on the Commission to speed up the process for the revision of the rules to safeguard the competitiveness of Europe’s enterprises.

25/01/2021 Urgent coordination needed to ensure travel and tourism drive recovery

NET welcomes the decision of EU heads of state or government to coordinate their response to the COVID-19 pandemic as regards travel restrictions, testing and vaccinations to stem the spread of the virus. Further coordination is needed to ensure we have a solid base from which travel and tourism can rebuild.

 

 

20/01/2021 Croatia: ECTAA’s Preferred Destination for 2021

While 2020 shook the whole tourism industry, 2021 will hopefully see the start of recovery for travel and tourism in Europe. To turn hopes into reality, the Croatian National Tourist Board and ECTAA signed an agreement to make Croatia for the second time the Preferred Destination of the European umbrella association of travel agents and tour operators. With this agreement ECTAA and CNTB will commit to actively work together to bring back tourism to Croatia in 2021.

18/12/2020 2020, the year travel stopped

2020 has been catastrophic for the travel companies. Turnover has slumped to 20% compared to 2019. State aids and vouchers issued in the early months avoided the collapse of the sector. Cooperation with destinations has been key.

10/12/2020 Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy

ECTAA and eu travel tech strongly support the European Commission’s intentions to facilitate multimodal travel, to enhance consumer choice for all transport modes and to protect such consumers in case of transport operator bankruptcy.

They believe that their members can contribute actively to the goal set by the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy to promote multimodal transport and help the shift to more sustainable modes of transport.

 

 

04/12/2020 Save the winter tourism season - Suspend ineffective quarantine measures!

In line with new guidelines published by EASA and ECDC on testing and quarantine measures, NET members urge European governments to immediately suspend blanket quarantine measures and travel restrictions. €80 billion of potential tourism spending is in jeopardy.

29/10/20 Industry survival depends on common testing protocol in Europe

NET welcomes the announcement of the Commission of a European testing protocol for travellers and a common approach to quarantines. If correctly implemented, it will restore travel confidence and allow the travel and tourism industry to lift off again

14/10/20 Tourism must be part of National recovery and resilience plans 

If it is not in the plan, it is not in the budget: the European Tourism Manifesto alliance, the voice of the European travel and tourism sector, urges European Union Member States to make tourism a strategic element in their national recovery plans in order to harness the potential of the sector to generate jobs and growth, and to reap the benefits from green and digital transitions

 

 

13/10/20 Coordination of travel restrictions is good but does not go far enough

NET welcomes the agreement reached by Member States to coordinate the restrictions of free movement within Europe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the measures are not nearly sufficient to restore travel confidence

09/10/2020 ECTAA announces Pawel Niewiadomski as President for a second term

Pawel Niewiadomski, President of the Polish Chamber of Tourism, has been re-elected as President of the travel agents and tour operators of Europe in  Athens on 9th October 2020.

ECTAA held its semi-annual meeting in Athens on 8-9 October. This event, the first meeting in person of the organisation since the outbreak of COVID-19, was made possible thanks to the commitment of the Greek authorities and professionals of the tourism industry to offer safe travel. 

 

 

02/10/2020 Europe needs urgently common approach to travel restrictions and testing  

ECTAA joins the calls from multiple stakeholders reaching out to European leaders and the Commission to agree on a common approach to travel restrictions and testing. 

Every day we are subject to new travel restrictions which considerably affect the ability to travel cross-border. Such restrictions – and in particular quarantines – are in effect the same as border closures. It has a massive impact on people’s lives

 

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