60 European travel and tourism organizations, in which the Dutch touroperator umbrella organization ANVR is also represented, have made recommendations to EU governments to restart tourism in a coordinated way if the health situation permits this again.
The Dutch, one of the most travel-loving consumers in Europe, are now eager to go on a holiday or business trip. And ANVR travel companies want to do what they are good at again: organize beautiful trips. After a year of almost complete shutdown and no turnover, many travel companies are in danger of going bankrupt. So, it’s time to work on a restart; how can the current restrictions on international travel be relaxed and eventually lifted across Europe and beyond.
ANVR chairman Frank Oostdam: “We strongly support the plan to work with all EU Member States to develop a plan of restart, a roadmap for continuing travel, whereby we must of course take the health situation into account. In this way we can give business and leisure travellers the confidence that travelling will soon be possible again and that booking in advance is not going to be an issue. Monday 1st of March, EU ministers will discuss this further. A good thing, because there is of course no other sector that can manage to generate no income at all for a year or more.”
The recommendations made to the EU Member States in the so-called ‘Tourism Manifesto’ include the creation of a task force to develop a roadmap and a recovery plan to make travel possible again.
Another point, which received too little attention when the countries were closed last year, is better and effective European coordination when it comes to travel restrictions and associated measures to make life easier for travellers and travel companies.
Despite the fact that more and more countries are vaccinating more citizens, the recommendations also address testing. Within the EU there is a request for mutual recognition of tests, the validation of various types of (quick) tests, sufficient test capacity and affordable tests. And to prevent 27 EU countries from having to allow travellers to choose between 27 different health certificates, coordination is needed to quickly and digitally help the traveller on their way back to their business or holiday destination.