Displaying items by tag: COVID19

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, the voice of the European travel and tourism sector in which EBI is a leading member, calls on Member States to urgently agree on harmonised travel restrictions to help the sector survive the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. The statement called on governments to urgently approve the European Commission’s proposal and to:

  • Establish common criteria and thresholds for determining epidemiological risk, including a common colour-coding system to identify risk areas. These criteria should be evaluated on a detailed regional level, considering relevant geographical factors (particularly islands).
  • Implement common measures to put in place upon departure to and return from risk areas. These measures should be determined with sufficient detail and based on scientific evidence (as there is no reason to restrict travel to entire countries if only certain regions are affected), and comprise:
    • Replacing the need for quarantine of travellers with comprehensive cost-effective testing and tracing
    • Avoiding blanket restrictions to free movement by implementing more targeted measures which are limited in geographical scope
    • Avoiding imposing travel restrictions on passengers in transit
    • Agreeing on common rules for requesting pre-travel COVID-19 negative test results where needed
    • Ensuring the interoperability of contact tracing apps in the EU and the harmonization of Passenger Locator Forms based on international standards.
  • Follow a common structured and transparent process to publish clear, comprehensive and timely information about any travel restrictions where these are needed. Information should also be made available on the ‘Re-open EU' web platform.

For the full statement, please click here.

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The European Commission adopted a proposal for increased EU coordination and better communication of travel restrictions measures taken by Member States in the context of COVID-19. The Commission’s proposal sets out four areas where Member States should work together: 1) Common criteria, 2) Common colour codes, 3) Common approach for travellers from high-risk areas and 4) Clear and timely information.

The proposal and overall coordination are being discussed by the German Council Presidency and the European Commission with EU Member States. For more information, please click here.

The Commission presented the next steps for the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which will provide funds to EU countries. This will provide a total of €672.5 billion of loans and grants to support investment and reforms across EU countries. Grants worth a total of €312.5 billion will be provided, while the remaining €360 billion will be provided in loans. The Facility is the key recovery instrument at the heart of the Recovery Fund that is aimed at supporting the EU to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

National recovery plans will have to be aligned with the green and digital transitions. Moreover, the reforms and investments will have to respect the ‘do no harm’ principle, and use the EU Taxonomy Regulation. EU countries are requested to include in their plans the following areas:

  1. Power up – The frontloading of future-proof clean technologies and acceleration of the development and use of renewables.
  2. Renovate – The improvement of energy efficiency of public and private buildings.
  3. Recharge and Refuel – The promotion of future-proof clean technologies to accelerate the use of sustainable, accessible and smart transport, charging and refuelling stations and extension of public transport.
  4. Connect – The fast rollout of rapid broadband services to all regions and households, including fiber and 5G networks.
  5. Modernise – The digitalisation of public administration and services, including judicial and healthcare systems.
  6. Scale-up – The increase in European industrial data cloud capacities and the development of the most powerful, cutting edge, and sustainable processors.
  7. Reskill and upskill – The adaptation of education systems to support digital skills and educational and vocational training for all ages.

The Commission has called on the European Parliament and Council of the EU to agree as soon as possible on the legislative proposal to make the funding operational from January 2021. Once approved, Member States will have time until end-April 2021 to submit their draft plans. The announcement also includes a break-down by country on the grant allocation (see here).

For more information, please click here.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), an official advisory body of the European Union, published its opinion on “Transport and Tourism in 2020 and beyond”. It recommends policy measures to help the boating and nautical tourism sector in its recovery and return to growth after COVID-19. The opinion was adopted by the plenary of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 18th September with a majority of 217- 2. The body, representing employers, workers and civil society forms an integral part of the EU’s decision-making process through its recommendations.

Led by rapporteur Panagiotis Gkofas, the opinion calls for measures to support the tourism and transport sector survive and recover from the impact of COVID-19. This includes calls for a harmonised approach to travel restrictions, a strategic plan to implement economic, tax relief and other support measures for businesses. The opinion also includes several measures specific for the boating and nautical tourism industry that EBI has been calling for.

  • Recognition and support to tourism sectors offering non-mass and outdoor tourism, such as nautical tourism, to speed up recovery of the wider tourism sector and protect jobs
  • Support and promotion of international trade opportunities for sectors connected to tourism that have been impacted by COVID-19, such as boat-building
  • Changes to the EU VAT Directive allowing a reduced VAT rate to be applied for boat charter and marinas at national level
  • Funding for the environmental and digital transformation of tourism and its infrastructure
  • Development of cross-border routes for nautical tourism and funding for tourism marketing
  • Public funding and guidelines for the safe organisation of trade fairs
  • Comprehensive approach for skills and qualifications and mutual recognition of licences for skippers of small commercial vessels

Commenting on the EESC opinion, EBI Secretary-General Philip Easthill said “We are delighted to receive such a positive endorsement and push by the European Economic and Social Committee for the tourism sector and nautical tourism sector in particular. The exchange that we have had with the EESC in advance of this opinion is an example of how crucial the dialogue between industry and policy-makers is at this time. It helps develop suitable policy measures to support companies, protect jobs and those regions reliant on the boating industry. We call on the EU institutions and EU countries to follow the recommendations and put the sector on track for a strong recovery in 2020 and beyond.”

The opinion can be found in full here (also in other languages).

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), an official advisory body of the European Union, published its opinion on Transport and Tourism in 2020 and beyond. It recommends policy measures to help the boating and nautical tourism sector in its recovery and return to growth after COVID-19.

The opinion was adopted by the plenary of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 18th September with a majority of 217- 2 . The body, representing employers, workers and civil society forms an integral part of the EU’s decision-making process through its recommendations.

Led by rapporteur Panagiotis Gkofas, the opinion calls for measures to support the tourism and transport sector survive and recover from the impact of COVID-19. This includes calls for a harmonised approach to travel restrictions, a strategic plan to implement economic and other support measures and tax relief for businesses. The opinion also includes several measures specific for the boating and nautical tourism industry that EBI has been calling for.

  • Recognition and support to tourism sectors offering non-mass and outdoor tourism, such as nautical tourism, to speed up recovery of the wider tourism sector and protect jobs
  • Support and promotion of international trade opportunities for sectors connected to tourism that have been impacted by COVID-19, such as boat-building 
  • Changes to the EU VAT Directive allowing a reduced VAT rate to be applied for boat charter and marinas at national level
  • Funding for the environmental and digital transformation of tourism and its infrastructure
  • Development of cross-border routes for nautical tourism and funding for tourism marketing
  • Public funding and guidelines for the safe organisation of trade fairs
  • Comprehensive approach for skills and qualifications and mutual recognition of licences for skippers of small commercial vessels

Commenting on the EESC opinion, EBI Secretary-General Philip Easthill said “We are delighted to receive such a positive endorsement and push by the European Economic and Social Committee for the tourism sector and nautical tourism sector in particular. The exchange that we have had with the EESC in advance of this opinion is an example of how crucial the dialogue between industry and policy-makers is at this time. It helps develop suitable policy measures to support companies, protect jobs and those regions reliant on the boating industry. We call on the EU institutions and EU countries to follow the recommendations and put the sector on track for a strong recovery in 2020 and beyond.”

Published in Latest News
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Tourism ManifestoThe European Tourism Manifesto alliance, the voice of the European travel and tourism sector, calls on Member States to urgently agree on harmonised travel restrictions and ensure swift implementation to help the sector survive this unprecedented crisis.

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance applauds renewed efforts of the European Commission[1] as well as the initiative from the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union from last week to improve coordination on cross-border travel and restore the integrity of the Schengen area. The need for continued COVID-19 control is foreseeable and, under Art.24 of the Schengen Borders Code, any related border restrictions must be coordinated. In the wake of an expected dramatic economic downturn, it is crucial that travel within the EU and the wider European area (including EEA, UK and Switzerland) be carefully and quickly restored. In addition, international coordination to re-establish transatlantic travel would provide a vital boost to the travel and tourism sector.

European travel and tourism is the ecosystem most affected by the coronavirus crisis due to insufficiently coordinated travel restrictions, declining traveller confidence and reduced consumer demand. The 2020 summer season was strongly impacted by this crisis, with traveller confidence reaching a record low. Hotel occupancy rates in Europe were at 26.5% in July 2020, which accounts for a fall of 66.4% compared to the same month last year [2]. Moreover, top 5 European destinations, such as France, Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands only saw just 40% of 2019’s volumes for intra-European travel, with Spain lagging at 22% of last year’s volumes[3].

While many Europeans were keen to travel again during the summer, the inconsistent and ever-changing border restrictions along with confusion about quarantine and test requirements, caused frustration for both businesses and travellers, deterring booking and damaging materialisation for both leisure and business travel.

We call on national governments to urgently approve the European Commission’s proposal and to:

  • Establish common criteria and thresholds for determining epidemiological risk, including a common colour-coding system to identify risk areas. These criteria should be evaluated on a detailed regional level, considering relevant geographical factors (particularly islands).
    • Implement common measures to put in place upon departure to and return from risk areas. These measures should be determined with sufficient detail and based on scientific evidence (as there is no reason to restrict travel to entire countries if only certain regions are affected), and comprise:
    • Replacing the need for quarantine of travellers with comprehensive cost-effective testing and tracing
    • Avoiding blanket restrictions to free movement by implementing more targeted measures which are limited in geographical scope
    • Avoiding imposing travel restrictions on passengers in transit
    • Agreeing on common rules for requesting pre-travel COVID-19 negative test results where needed
    • Ensuring the interoperability of contact tracing apps in the EU and the harmonization of Passenger Locator Forms based on international standards.
  • Follow a common structured and transparent process to publish clear, comprehensive and timely information about any travel restrictions where these are needed. Information should also be made available on the ‘Re-open EU' web platform[4].

The sector has been calling for better coordination between Member States and a harmonised European approach to travel restrictions and safety measures since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such an approach will help rebuild traveller confidence and help the sector in its slow recovery, protecting millions of livelihoods, jobs, and enterprises. Pending the return of significant visitor flows, continued financial support for the sector is necessary so that the European tourism ecosystem returns employment to the economy as soon as possible.

Proving the importance of tourism recovery as a catalyst for European economic revival, the latest WTTC research[5] shows that every 2.7% increase in travel flows would generate or bring back one million jobs in the sector. Harmonising the inconsistent patchwork of COVID-19 rules and travel advice in Europe could lead to an increase in travellers by as much as 27%, recreating 10 million jobs in travel and tourism across Europe.

Note to editors

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance gathers more than 60 European public and private organisations, covering the whole tourism value chain and beyond. The alliance calls on the European Union for action on key policy priorities for the tourism sector. For more information, please visit tourismmanifesto.eu.

[1] European Commission’s Proposal for a COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION on a coordinated approach to the restriction of free movement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 4th September 2020 - https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1555
[1] https://str.com/press-release/str-europe-hotel-performance-july-2020
[1] Dates are compared from January 6 – July 12, 2020 with the same time last year; https://forwardkeys.com/q4-outlook-for-travel-in-europe/

Published in Latest News

According to the Commission’s latest economic forecast, published in early July, the EU economy will experience a deep recession in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. This forecast updates the spring forecast published in early May. As lockdown are being lifted more gradually than originally anticipated, the impact on economic activity in 2020 will be more significant than projected in the earlier forecast. The return to growth in 2021 will also be less strong than projected in the spring.

Below are the key figures from the summer economic forecast

  • The Euro area economy will contract by 8.7% in 2020 and grow by 6.1% in 2021
  • The EU economy is forecast to contract by 8.3% in 2020 and grow by 5.8% in 2021

The full forecast and reports can be found here.

Published in Newsletter July 2020

The European Commission published the “Re-open EU” map that provides real-time information on EU internal borders, tourism services and health information. The aim is to support the summer tourism season by providing travellers with relevant information.

The map can be found here and is available for all EU countries (and Switzerland) in all official languages. The map was one of the demands voiced by tourism stakeholders (including EBI) to support the start of the tourism season in the context of COVID-19. Nautical tourism activities (marinas, water sports and boat charter/hire) are covered under the heading “beaches and tourist areas”.

Published in Newsletter June 2020
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At the end of May, the European Commission unveiled the long-awaited EU Recovery Plan, Next Generation EU, with an unprecedented €750 billion backing. A mixture of grants and loans will be available for EU countries to finance their recovery, as well as several EU programmes being strengthened. Tourism and recreation are mentioned as the sectors most affected by COVID-19 and will be prioritised. The focus is on achieving a green and digital recovery.

European Boating Industry (EBI), on behalf of the European recreational boating industry welcomes the EU Recovery Plan. It calls for national and EU investment programmes to incorporate the particularities of the boating and nautical tourism industry and ensure that investment is provided for a green and digital transition. This can also allow nautical tourism to play a strong role in developing a more sustainable tourism and strengthen European regions long-term.

In its position paper reacting to the Recovery Plan, EBI presents recommendations to ensure survival of companies and for the green and digital transition to realise its potential for boating and nautical tourism. EBI calls for specific recognition and support for investment needs of the industry within national recovery plans and EU programmes. This requires a clearer differentiation between the needs and infrastructure of for maritime transport and recreational boating. EBI also supports the European Parliament’s call for a dedicated budget line for tourism in the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework.

EBI also provides its suggestions for specific investment priorities for the boating and nautical tourism industry as an ecosystem belonging to tourism and the maritime sector. These include the digital and green transformation of marinas, development of local and regional nautical tourism infrastructure, research and innovation as well as other concrete investment areas. This needs to be accompanied by the promotion of regional and European nautical tourism, which has substantial potential given the given the relative ease of implementing social distancing rules, renewed consumer interest in outdoor tourism and potential for development of regional tourism opportunities.

For the full position paper, please click here. More information on the Recovery Plan can be found here.

Published in Newsletter June 2020
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European Boating Industry (EBI), on behalf of the European recreational boating industry welcomes the EU Recovery Plan. It calls for national and EU investment programmes to incorporate the particularities of the boating and nautical tourism industry and ensure that investment is provided for a green and digital transition. This can also allow nautical tourism to play a strong role in developing a more sustainable tourism and strengthen European regions long-term.

On 27th May, the European Commission unveiled the long-awaited EU Recovery Plan, Next Generation EU, with an unprecedented €750 billion backing. A mixture of grants and loans will be available for EU countries to finance their recovery, as well as several EU programmes being strengthened. Tourism and recreation are mentioned as the sectors most affected by COVID-19 and will be prioritised. The focus is on achieving a green and digital recovery. The next steps will be for national leaders in the EU Council to reach a political agreement on the funding and structure.

In its position paper reacting to the Recovery Plan, EBI presents recommendations to ensure survival of companies and for the green and digital transition to realise its potential for boating and nautical tourism. EBI calls for specific recognition and support for investment needs of the industry within national recovery plans and EU programmes. This requires a clearer differentiation between the needs and infrastructure of for maritime transport and recreational boating. EBI also supports the European Parliament’s call for a dedicated budget line for tourism in the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework.

EBI also provides its suggestions for specific investment priorities for the boating and nautical tourism industry as an ecosystem belonging to tourism and the maritime sector. These include the digital and green transformation of marinas, development of local and regional nautical tourism infrastructure, research and innovation as well as other concrete investment areas. This needs to be accompanied by the promotion of regional and European nautical tourism, which has substantial potential given the given the relative ease of implementing social distancing rules, renewed consumer interest in outdoor tourism and potential for development of regional tourism opportunities.

EBI Secretary-General Philip Easthill commented “Over 95% of the over 32,000 companies in our industry are small or medium-sized enterprises. COVID-19 will lead to a substantial drop in investment potential for many companies, which is why simple and ready-to-use recovery investment is urgently needed. We therefore welcome the EU’s proposals for recovery and investment into a green and digital transformation. The recommendations we provide are crucial to help companies survive, protect jobs and come back stronger. Our aim is to work with the EU institutions and stakeholders to lead a long-lasting green and digital transformation of boating and nautical tourism while supporting sustainable tourism.”

For the full position paper, please click here.

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