The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), has welcomed a major new EU initiative which aims to help restart summer holidays across Europe in 2020 and beyond.
The European Commission’s Tourism & Transport Package has been designed to ensure a coordinated approach at a European level, to ease restrictive measures and restore mobility.
The move by the European Commission is hoped to herald a phased restart of travel across Europe this summer, while ensuring the safety and health of travellers and those who work in the Travel & Tourism sector.
The initiative follows a similar drive by WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, which on Tuesday launched global ‘Safe Travel’ protocols for travel in the ‘new normal’.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO comments: “We are delighted that the European Commission recognises the strategic importance of the Travel & Tourism sector, not only to the European economy, but also to boost jobs. Its initiative acknowledges the sector is in a critical situation, which needs a long-term pathway to recovery.
“WTTC has been in constant discussions with the European Commission and we encourage all member States to follow these important guidelines. Strong coordination and cooperation across Europe will avoid unilateral and fragmented measures which would only lead to confusion and disruption for travellers and businesses alike.
“We fully support the European Commission’s stance on quarantines and agree these should not be necessary if appropriate and effective containment measures are in place at departure and arrival points for flights, ferries, cruises, road and rail transport. We urge Member States to carefully reflect before deciding whether arrivals need to self-isolate as this would be a major deterrent to travel and put those countries at a competitive disadvantage. We call on governments to find alternative solutions rather than maintaining or introducing arrival quarantine measures, as part of post-pandemic travel restrictions. Once a traveller is tested and confirmed as safe to travel, further restrictions such as quarantines should not be necessary.
“Our research shows at least 6.4 million jobs are impacted across the EU, and in order to save these jobs and protect the livelihoods of millions of people, we must learn from the past and ensure a coordinated approach between the public and private sector.
“We look forward to continuing to work with and support the European Commission, specifically Commissioner Breton and his team, to create a more sustainable and innovative Travel & Tourism sector.”
WTTC’s own ‘Safe Travel’ protocols, include a wide range of new worldwide measures to restart the sector, measures designed to rebuild confidence among consumers, so they can travel safely once the restrictions are lifted.