European travel agents and tour operators are calling on the newly-headed Commission to work towards achieving a competitive, transparent and sustainable travel market after parliament gave its stamp of approval to commissioner Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen, who stepped in earlier this month.
Representing the continent’s travel agents and tour operators, the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA) is pushing forward with its key priorities for the 2019-2024 period which include price transparency, neutral distribution systems, sustainability and consumer protection.
The ECTAA is calling on Commissioner von der Leyen to take the necessary steps in order to establish a policy framework that will work to make the European economy more sustainable, ready for the digital era, and beneficial for the people.
“Travel agents and tour operators are able to contribute to the agenda of the Commission and not least to the future European Green Deal,” said Pawel Niewiadomski, ECTAA president.
Indicatively, European travel agents issue 300 million air tickets on scheduled flights every year, while selling some 120 million prearranged and 90 million travel packages.
“They indeed play a vital role in affecting changes in consumer behaviors and attitudes towards more responsible forms of tourism. They also help offer more sustainable tourism products, using for instance, high environmental and social performance indicators in their selection of suppliers,” he added.
In efforts to keep abreast of the constantly changing consumer environment, Europe’s travel agents and tour operators note that EU legislation must ensure access to the most up-to-date information and objective pricing displays safeguarding in this way the consumer. They also add that revising legislation on air ticket distribution to new market realities is now urgent.
Greece’s Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies (HATTA) is a member of ECTAA.