EUROPE. The European travel and tourism sector, supported by Airlines for Europe (A4E), Airports Council International (ACI), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) have jointly launched the “Destination Summer” campaign to lobby policy makers and lift travel restrictions across Europe. The Moodie Davitt Report reported first on the initiative last week.
Destination Summer seeks collaboration with the European Union and national policy makers to pursue a common approach to lift restrictions and safely reopen international borders.
The campaign builds on the introduction of various vaccination programs across Europe and calls for a coordinated approach to lifting travel restrictions in line with the effectiveness of vaccines and mass tests.
The coalition calls for a harmonized European approach to the following key points
- Restoring free movement in the EU through the introduction of a digital COVID-19 certificate
- Introduction of affordable and reliable EU rapid test capacities and increased availability of antigen tests to end blanket quarantines
- The push to promote non-essential travel by revising an EU white list that allows travelers from non-EU countries with good epidemiological situations and for those vaccinated with EU-approved vaccines
The sector encourages European citizens to travel again. She also urges industry players from the travel, aviation and tourism sectors to join the campaign using the hashtag #destinationsummer and share their desire to travel safely again on social media.
“Free movement is a central European principle and citizens must be able to move around freely and safely,” said A4E Managing Director Thomas Reynaert. “After 15 months of bans and travel restrictions, it is time to reunite travelers in Europe. We need a coordinated relaxation of the restrictions. Our campaign calls on policymakers to recognize the quick and positive impact of vaccinations and science from last year so that EU countries can better coordinate and restore free movement of citizens. “
Olivier Jankovec, General Manager of ACI Europe added: “There is a lot of catching up to do to travel again and we don’t want to reopen for the summer just to be closed again. Responsible travel means staying safe and healthy so that Europe has better chances for a faster and longer-term recovery. By respecting security measures, together we can make Summer of 21 an unforgettable experience for all the right reasons. “
“According to a recent IATA survey, 76% of people want to travel to see family and friends as soon as possible,” added Rafael Schvartzman, IATA Regional Vice President Europe. “We have the means – with tests and vaccinations – to reconnect people safely and to resume the travel and tourism sector in time for summer. We just need the will and coordination of governments to achieve this. “
ETRC General Secretary Julie Lassaigne added: “Together we can make the reopening of the travel and tourism sector in Europe a reality this summer. This is a key strategy to ensure the long-term health and well-being of citizens and the vitality of the entire European travel and tourism value chain. “