The UK will be one of the first countries to be targeted by a €1.5 million pan-European tourism marketing campaign that starts in mid-June.
Called ‘Open up to Europe’, the campaign will be run by the European Travel Commission (ETC) and is co-funded by the European Union.
The promotional initiative has more than 30 partners, such as regional tourist boards and travel brands.
It was launched on Tuesday at an in-person event hosted by Turismo de Portugal in Albufeira, in the Portuguese Algarve region.
‘Open up to Europe’ will run throughout the summer and is expected to reach 26 million potential travellers across the continent.
A microsite OpenUpToEurope.eu will be launched, with the aim of being a one-stop-shop for those planning trips this summer, with advice about how to travel and information about the EU Digital Covid Certificate and the European Tourism Covid-19 Safety Seal.
Luís Araújo (pictured above, left), president of ETC and Turismo de Portugal, said the pandemic had put 11.5 million tourism jobs at risk across Europe, as it had reduced travel to levels last seen 30 years ago.
With vaccination programmes making progress and less pressure on health services, now is the time to “restart and stimulate travelling”, he said.
“There is a stronger light at the end of the tunnel,” he added.
Eduardo Santander (pictured right), ETC executive director, admitted there will be a “rocky path” ahead but pointed to the body’s research showing 56% of Europeans are planning a holiday by the end of August 2021.
“We call on the EU and governments for the swift approval of the European Digital Covid Certificate – we have to make it happen,” he said.
“If we succeed, it will greatly facilitate travel and reunite family and friends.”
Elke Dens (pictured centre), ETC marketing chair and VisitFlanders’ marketing advisor, said the campaign will not only invite Europeans to take trips, it will also urge them to travel responsibly, respecting the environment and people in the places they visit.
The ETC represents the national tourism organisations of Europe and works with the European Commission (EC) to maintain Europe’s position as the world’s leading tourist destination.
The EC has proposed a lifting of all quarantine restrictions from July 1 for people living in the EU who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The commission’s recommendations for the exemptions for fully vaccinated travellers came ahead of the launch of the EU digital Covid certificate today (Tuesday).
Fully vaccinated UK travellers are expected to benefit from the Covid passport system but EU governments may still impose restrictions on people arriving from Britain including testing and quarantine against the backdrop of the emerging variant first identified in India.