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European Travel Commission Stands in Solidarity with Ukraine

Photo source: ETC

Photo source: ETC

The European Travel Commission (ETC), representing national tourism organisations of Europe, on Thursday issued a statement condemning the military aggression by the Russian Federation and expressing solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

“The Russian military invasion in Ukraine is in direct opposition to the fundamental values of the European project and should stop immediately. ETC strongly condemns this violation of international law and calls for all parties to work towards a peaceful resolution.”

The ETC said it stands ready to support the Ukrainian people fleeing conflict.

In its statement the ETC said it sees the Russia-Ukraine conflict negatively impacting the travel and tourism sectors of neighbouring countries, which were slowly recovering from the COVID-19 crisis.

“Travel is a force of peace towards a better future, and no aggression should stop it. European destinations remain safe to travel to.”

The ETC said it is working together with the European Commission, and other European stakeholders, to mitigate the short and medium-term consequences and support affected colleagues.

Photo source: European Commission

ETC praises members for support to Ukraine

Moreover, the ETC praised the efforts of its members and industry partners to provide transportation, shelter and food to Ukrainian refugees.

Among the examples of the support are travel professionals in Lithuania who launched a webpage and a hotline service for Ukrainian citizens in need of advice about relocating to Vilnius; ETC’s associate member Airbnb that offered free accommodation for up to 100,000 Ukrainians displaced by the war; and train operators from many European countries who expressed solidarity and offered free travel to Ukrainian refugees.

“We will continue working with the travel community to develop and further promote initiatives across Europe to help the people of Ukraine,” the ETC said.

Photo source: European Commission

Established in 1948, ETC’s mission is to strengthen the sustainable development of Europe as a tourist destination and to promote Europe in third markets.

According to the ETC, its founding principle is to promote travel as a catalyst for peace, understanding and respect.

“This original mission is as valid today as it was when our organisation was established more than 70 years ago in the aftermath of World War II. We remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring travel continues to build bridges between different cultures and people.”

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