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The European travel agents and tour operators to meet in Athens on 8 and 9 October 2020

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A week after the successful webinar “Tourism of tomorrow: the case of Greece” to which 250 European travel agents registered, ECTAA are pleased to announce that it will organise its annual meeting in Athens on 8-9 October with the support of the Greek National Tourism Organisation and the City of Athens Development and Destination Management Agency.

BRUSSELS - In a period of uncertainty and difficulties, where going abroad is to say the least complicated, the travel agents and tour operators’ community of Europe strongly believes that it is high time to adapt to the ‘new normal’. People need to travel for leisure and business, enjoy new experiences and discover different places. After weeks of partial or total lockdown, the demand for traveling surged back in June and July only to be stopped by uncoordinated, erratic regulations from some governments restricting the free movement of their citizen.

“Organising safe journeys and efficient business travels has always been a priority for our industry” said Pawel Niewiadomski, President of ECTAA. “This is even more important today, but we are ready. By meeting altogether in Athens, the European travel agents’ and tour operators’ community is sending a message: traveling is safe if the well-known hygiene safety measures are respected.” He continued: “Governments must understand that erratic, uncoordinated travel restrictions do not help the travel and tourism industry recovering and hamper the resumption of economic activity”.

Since the start of the pandemic, Europe lost about 10% of GDP, companies are closing down, and people are losing jobs. It is crucial to bring the economic activities back on track. Businesses need to exchange and make deals. Virtual meetings are efficient but sometimes business travels are required. Facilitating business travels is an opportunity at no costs for governments to support companies looking for new business development and a welcomed additional activity for the whole travel ecosystem.

The webinar addressing the challenges of the travel and tourism sector for the coming years, held in presence of Greek Minister for Tourism Harry Theoharis, the European Commission and representatives of the industry, as well as the organisation of the annual meeting of ECTAA in Athens is the the result of the fruitful cooperation between ECTAA and GNTO.

Eric Dresin, Secretary General concluded “Greece is a good example as regards the management of Covid-19. There is a clear, positive dynamic in this country. Health protocols were set up quickly and efficiently to make journeys safe and holidays enjoyable. Other destinations in Europe and the world should look at Greece to get some inspiration.”

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