More than 60 public and private tourism and travel organizations have made concrete recommendations for revitalizing travel and tourism in Europe.
These organizations gathered in the European Tourism Manifesto, ie ETC, presented a number of joint recommendations for the member states of the European Union. The recommendations set out ways to restart travel and tourism in Europe for the summer of 2021. It focuses on developing a roadmap for the EU to safely resume travel once countries emerge from national blockades. The recommendations will be developed and implemented in close cooperation with industry and social partners.
A dedicated working group of the Commission for the Restoration of Free Movement of People would lead the development and implementation of the roadmap and provide ongoing assessments based on risk and the latest scientific data. The aim would be to identify conditions and scenarios under which current restrictions on international travel could be eased and eventually lifted across Europe and beyond. As a result, the roadmap will need to be updated regularly.
Common recommendations presented by the European Tourism Manifesto were shared with EU governments ahead of two key discussions, a videoconference by European leaders on 25 and 26 February and an extraordinary meeting of tourism ministers on 1 March. The recommendations call on the Commission-led Working Group to monitor the progress and impact of ongoing vaccination campaigns, as well as mitigation measures based on the level of risk in the European Union and internationally.
"Our goal is for Europe to return to its place as the world's leading tourist destination - and safe. As EU vaccination programs progress and protect the most vulnerable citizens, we must jointly prepare to restart travel. There is simply no time to lose - preparations for a common approach should begin now to restore public confidence by the summer. The recommendations describe in detail the common path towards the restoration of travel, tourism and freedom of movement on behalf of European citizens. We look forward to working with EU leaders to put this plan into action as soon as possible. ”, state the authors of the paper.
The summary of recommendations to EU Member States includes.
Creating a Working Group under the leadership of the Commission to restore the free movement of people, which would be tasked with developing and implementing a travel restart plan and recovery map.
An improved and effective European one is urgently needed coordination of travel restrictions and requirements to facilitate the relaunch of travel and tourism, which accounts for 9,5% of the European Union's GDP, and to provide security for travelers, travel and tourism businesses and their workers.
Harmonized EU framework for testing with regard to travel, it should include Member States that would ensure affordable testing, sufficient capacity, mutual recognition of tests between Member States and continuous work at international level for mutual recognition of tests. It is urgently needed validation of antigen use and other rapid tests for tourism purposes, along with regular evaluation of accepted tests to improve their effectiveness.
EU coordination of national initiatives is urgently needed to avoid having 27 different ones certificates covering examination, vaccination and / or immunity. DG SANTE must take the lead and work with DG MOVE and DG GROW on an interoperable European system to enable rapid and digital verification of vaccination status and passenger testing.
Vaccinations or vaccination certificates should not be mandatory for travel, when vaccination becomes more widely available), but vaccinated travelers or those with proven immunity should be exempted from entry, testing and quarantine bans in accordance with the latest scientific knowledge on the reduced ability of vaccinated to continue to spread the virus.
Once the health situation allows it, it is crucial again coordinate tourism and activities, in parallel with the restoration of freedom of movement for citizens of the European Union.