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European Tourism Sector Calls for Solidarity and Support to China

Photo source: European Travel Commission (ETC)

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance on Monday said it offers its solidarity and support to China and the Chinese people during this “exceptionally challenging time” that has occured due to the coronavirus outbreak, and it commits to work with its partners in Europe and Asia to that end.

“From higher education to retail, hospitality to transportation, the social and economic impact of COVID-19 crisis on travel and tourism illustrates the importance of Europe’s relationship with China,” the alliance said in a statement on the COVID-19 outbreak’s impact on EU-China tourism cooperation.

As underlined in the statement, the strong mutual interest in both cultural and commercial exchange between China and Europe was shown by the EU-China Year of Tourism in 2018.

“We must draw on its legacy in this difficult time to ensure that Chinese visitors are welcome and respected throughout Europe. From expedited visa facilitation to attractive offers, public and private sectors must collaborate to enable and support a strong recovery,” the statement read.

Travel restrictions may cause unnecessary alarm

Moreover, the alliance said that as public safety is the prime concern of governments, it recognises the guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation, with the strong support of the UNWTO.

“Travel restrictions that exceed such recommendations may cause unnecessary alarm, disruption and adverse economic impact across all sectors,” the alliance said.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the European Tourism Manifesto alliance said it:

  • offers a message of solidarity and support to China and the Chinese people
  • reaffirms the importance of respect and welcome among the European travel and tourism community
  • recognises the scope of the impact of the crisis across all sectors
  • urges an evidence-based approach to travel restrictions, while taking the necessary and appropriate measures to ensure the protection of public health
  • encourages a cross-sectoral strategic plan for recovery.

The European Tourism Manifesto is the voice of the European travel and tourism sector and gathers more than 50 European public and private organisations, covering the whole tourism value chain and beyond. Its members include ACI EUROPE (Airports Council International), CLIA EUROPE (Cruise Lines International Association), ECTAA (The European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association), ETC (European Travel Commission), Europa Nostra (The Voice of Cultural Heritage in Europe), HOTREC (Hotels, Restaurants and Cafés in Europe), FEG (European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations) and the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council).

The aim of the alliance is to request action from the European Union on key policy priorities for the tourism sector.

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