June 7 2021  |  Industry News

EU travel and tourism sector launches "Destination Summer" campaign

By Hibah Noor

Four leading industry associations are mobilizing employees and individual travelers to urge policymakers to co-ordinate and lift travel restrictions across Europe

As EU countries review the updated European Commission proposal to co-ordinate the easing of travel restrictions across Europe, Airlines For Europe (A4E), Airports Council International Europe (ACI EUROPE), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) have together launched “Destination Summer,” with the goal of working with the European Union and national policymakers to adopt a harmonized approach for the lifting of travel restrictions – enabling the safe and smooth resumption of free movement for European citizens.

As a result of ongoing vaccination campaigns across the continent and growing scientific evidence about the efficacy of vaccines, increased testing capacities and improvements in the epidemiological, the prerequisites are in place to enable the re-opening of travel and tourism in a co-ordinated manner that is consistent with health measures and avoids unfair discrimination between vaccinated/non-vaccinated travelers.

The coalition is calling for a common European approach based on:

  • The restoration of freedom of movement in the EU, notably via the swift implementation of the EU Digital COVID Certificate
  • The roll-out of affordable, reliable and rapid EU testing capabilities, as needed, that allow for the end of blanket quarantines and make use of the growing availability of antigen tests
  • A push for a progressive resumption of non-essential international travel through a regular revision of the “EU White List” – and by allowing entry into the EU for travelers coming from third-countries with a good epidemiological situation or those inoculated with EU-authorized vaccines

The European travel and tourism sector, represented by the four associations, is encouraging European citizens wanting to travel again, aviation, travel and tourism companies and partners and employees to join the #destinationsummer campaign. This means sharing their need and desire to travel again while following clear rules and official information on the safe and responsible ways to do so. For more information, visit www.destinationsummer.eu

“Freedom of movement is a core European principle and citizens need to be able to move both freely and safely. After 15 months of lockdowns and travel restrictions, it’s time to re-unite travelers in Europe. We need to see a co-ordinated easing of restrictions. Our campaign urges policymakers to recognize the speedy, positive impact of vaccinations and scientific knowledge gained over the last year for EU countries to better co-ordinate and restore free movement for citizens,” says Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, Airlines for Europe.

“There is huge pent-up demand to travel again and we do not want to re-open for summer, only to be in lockdown again. Traveling responsibly means staying safe and healthy so that Europe will have a better chance of a quicker and longer-term recovery. By respecting safety measures, together we can make the summer of 2021 one to remember for all the right reasons,” says Olivier Jankovec, Director General, Airports Council International Europe.

“According to a recent survey by IATA, 76% of people want to travel to see family and friends as soon as possible. We have the means—with testing and vaccinations—to safely re-connect people and re-start the travel and tourism sector in time for summer. We just need the will and co-ordination by governments to make it happen,” adds Rafael Schvartzman, Regional Vice President of Europe, International Air Transport Association.

“Together, we can make the reopening of travel and tourism in Europe this summer a reality. This is a key strategy to ensure the health and wellbeing of citizens and the vitality of the whole European travel and tourism value chain in the long-term,” concludes Julie Lassaigne, Secretary General, European Travel Retail Confederation.

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