‘It’s crucial to save summer’ says industry coalition in call to harmonise restart

Industry associations across Europe have welcomed EC guidelines on resuming travel and supporting the sector financially, but warned governments need “to urgently follow the recommendations”.

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance urged governments to act on the EC’s proposals, issued on May 13, to coordinate the lifting of travel restrictions and harmonise health and safety measures.

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And it warned against imposing quarantine restrictions on arrivals, saying: “Travellers will be deterred from embarking on trips of any kind if a blanket quarantine is imposed.”

In a statement, the European Tourism Manifesto alliance said: “It is crucial to restart leisure and business travel to save at least part of the summer season and support the millions of livelihoods that depend on our sector.

“We need a well-coordinated and timely approach across the EU to remove travel barriers and re-build confidence in travel.”

The alliance includes airline, airport, attraction, tour operator and travel agency associations across Europe as well as leading companies.

It called on governments to “implement harmonised protocols for health and safety”, warning: “Unilateral and fragmented measures would lead to confusion and disruption.”

The coalition noted the EC “acknowledges the sector is in a critical situation and proposes financial rescue programmes” and warned: “Availability of liquidity remains a big issue.”

It said: “Further action from the EU and governments, including direct grants, is fundamental to help during the recovery phase and after. It is crucial to reinstate trust and confidence in travelling and rebuild demand by supporting destinations and tourist attractions.”

The alliance called on the EC for “a wider economic package for travel and tourism recovery to benefit all workers, including those with non-standard forms of employment, as well as operators of all sizes”.

However, it also noted: “This crisis creates an opportunity for change, for a new beginning in tourism across Europe . . . an opportunity to create a more resilient and sustainable destination Europe.”

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance comprises more than 60 public and private organisations, including Airlines for Europe, airports association ACI Europe, cruise association Clia, tour operator and travel association ECTAA, the European Hotel Forum, European travel association ETOA, business travel association GBTA, attractions association IAPPA, and the World Travel & Tourism Council.

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