The European Tourism Manifesto alliance is calling on national governments to implement the European Commission’s guidelines and recommendations and make coordinated efforts to lift travel restrictions and introduce harmonised health and safety protocols to enable travel in the new post-coronavirus (Covid-19) reality.
The alliance, representing Europe’s travel and tourism sector, welcomed Commission decisions, supports gradually reinstating transportation links and tourism activities, and commends EU governments that are easing border controls and working on a common understanding of health-related standards and procedures.
“This package represents a first and important step to facilitate travel in Europe, support the sector’s recovery from this unprecedented crisis and enable a more sustainable tourism ecosystem in the future,” the alliance said in a statement, noting that it was vital to “save at least part of the summer season and support the millions of livelihoods that depend on our sector”.
The alliance warns against unilateral and fragmented measures, which it says, will lead to confusion and disruption for travelers and businesses. It is also urging governments to think twice before implementing self-isolation measures noting that travelers will be deterred from taking trips if a blanket quarantine is imposed on arrival at the destination of choice and then again upon their return home. On a final note, the European Tourism Manifesto alliance also welcomes the Commission’s proposal to set up a dedicated website providing up-to-date information on the coronavirus situation, EU border issues, travel restrictions, public health and safety measures, and tourism services including openings of tourist attractions and events across the EU.
“Once the COVID-19 pandemic has been brought under control, governments should focus on attracting all types of visitors back, from markets worldwide and offering reassurance that it is safe to explore and visit their destinations,” it says.
“To activate a prompt recovery, it is crucial to reinstate trust and confidence in traveling and rebuild demand by supporting destinations and tourist attractions, increasing budgets for promotion, marketing and product development purposes, and by supporting public-private partnerships.”
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.