BRUSSELS - While the situation is not much different from a year ago, where nearly all travel and tourism has been suspended, today we hold the cards to turn the situation around. Vaccinations programmes are being rolled out, ensuring that the most vulnerable people are protected and alleviating the strain on our health systems. Tests are becoming increasingly performant and in sufficient capacity to be deployed in travel on a large scale. Rigorous health and safety protocols have been implemented by tourism enterprises to welcome their guests in a safe way.
Said Pawel Niewiadomski, President of ECTAA: “All we need to do is put the dots together and determine a common European roadmap for return to travel. Travellers and industry need a perspective when and under which conditions travel can resume.”
ECTAA is joining the calls of many tourism stakeholders1 to European and national decision-makers to plan the way for a safe return of travel in time for the summer. Such a plan should build around a common approach of risk-based travel restrictions, based on testing and health certificates. Moreover, communication to the public is key to restore travellers’ confidence.
We have come a long way since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. Today we have gathered a lot of knowledge from the systematic and strategic testing. For example, the German agency responsible for disease control and prevention, the Robert Koch Institute, has worked out from which countries most foreign infections originated last summer. The result: the classic organised holiday trip only made a small contribution to the incidence of infections in Germany2.
Said Pawel Niewiadomski: "This is proof that organised travelling is safe. But we need the right framework conditions to start-up travel based on testing and the use of health certificates to facilitate travel.”
1 Tourism Manifesto alliance call for action to chart restart plan in time for summer - https://tourismmanifesto.eu/europes-travel-tourism-sector-calls-on-eu-governments-to-chart-restart-plan-in-time-for-summer/
2 Robert Koch Institute, Epidemiological Bulletin of February 8/2021: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/Infekt/EpidBull/Archiv/2021/Ausgaben/08_21.pdf?__blob=publicationFile