ETRC, A4E, ACI and IATA call for travel restart with new advocacy campaign

By Andrew Pentol |

The purpose of the Destination Summer campaign is to ensure the coordinated restart of travel.

The European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) in partnership with Airlines for Europe, Airports Council International Europe and the International Air Transport Association has launched the Destination Summer integrated advocacy and communication campaign.

As first reported by TRBusiness, the purpose of the campaign is to put sufficient pressure on governments to allow for the coordinated restart of travel.

The objective is to work with European Union and national policymakers to adopt a harmonised approach for the lifting of travel restrictions, enabling the safe and smooth resumption of free movement for European citizens.

She also revealed that the campaign places a strong emphasis on social media to promote the safe reopening of travel and tourism in Europe this summer.

Represented by the four associations, the European travel and tourism sector is encouraging European citizens wanting to travel again, aviation, travel and tourism companies and their employees and partners, to join the #destinationsummer campaign.

SOCIAL MEDIA-FOCUSED CAMPAIGN

All participants must do is share their need and desire to travel again on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook and follow clear rules and official information on the safe and responsible ways to do so. Visit www.destinationsummer.eu for more information.

According to a recent IATA study more than 70% of people want to travel to see friends and family again.

ETRC strongly believes the prerequisites are now in place to enable the reopening of travel and tourism in a coordinated manner that is consistent with health measures and avoids unfair discrimination between vaccinated and non-vaccinated travellers.

This is thanks to ongoing vaccination campaigns across Europe, growing scientific evidence around the efficacy of vaccines, increased testing capacity and improvements in the epidemiological situation.

While EU countries review the updated European Commission proposal to coordinate the easing of travel restrictions across Europe, the above-mentioned coalition is calling for a common European approach based on a number of elements.

These include the restoration of freedom of movement in the EU via the swift implementation of the EU Digital Covid Certificate; and the roll-out of affordable, reliable and rapid EU testing capabilities as needed which allow for the end of blanket quarantines and utilise the growing availability of antigen tests.

Visuals have been made available to all European Travel Retail Confederation members and the wider industry to promote the Destination Summer campaign and restart of travel.

The coalition is also pushing for the progressive resumption of non-essential international travel through a regular revision of the ‘EU White List’.

In addition, it is pressing for travellers arriving from third countries with good epidemiological situations and who have been inoculated with EU-authorised vaccines to be granted entry into the European Union.

Julie Lassaigne, Secretary General, European Travel Retail Confederation said: “Together, we can make the reopening of travel and tourism in Europe this summer a reality. This is a key strategy to ensure the health and wellbeing of citizens and the vitality of the whole European travel and tourism value chain in the long-term.”

PENT-UP DEMAND FOR TRAVEL

Olivier Jankovec, Director General, Airports Council International Europe acknowledged the huge pent-up demand to travel again, but says he does not want the restart of travel to be followed by more lockdowns.

“Travelling responsibly means staying safe and healthy so that Europe will have a better chance of a quicker and longer-term recovery. By respecting safety measures, together we can make the summer of 2021 one to remember for all the right reasons.”

Olivier Jankovec, Director General, Airports Council International Europe acknowledges people’s strong desire to start travelling again, but is urging a cautious approach.

Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, Airlines for Europe says freedom of movement is a core European principle and citizens must be able to move freely and safely. “After 15 months of lockdowns and travel restrictions, it’s time to reunite travellers in Europe. We need to see a coordinated easing of restrictions.

“Our campaign urges policy-makers to recognise the speedy, positive impact of vaccinations and scientific knowledge gained the last year for EU countries to better coordinate and restore free movement for citizens.”

Those participating in the campaign must share their need and desire to travel again on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Rafael Schvartzman, Regional Vice President for Europe at the International Air Transport Association concluded: “According to a recent survey by IATA, 76% of people want to travel to see family and friends as soon as possible. We have the means—with testing and vaccinations—to safely reconnect people and restart the travel and tourism sector in time for summer.

“We just need the will and coordination of governments to make it happen.”

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