ACI Europe joined 59 other travel and tourism organizations (including A4E and ACA) in urging European governments to implement a plan to reopen travel in Europe.
"Tourism Manifesto" is the initiative that mobilizes 60 European travel, tourism and air transport organizations, including ACI Europe, Airlines for Europe (A4E) and the Airline Catering Association (ACA), to urge European governments to put in place without delay a plan to reopen travel and tourism in Europe and restore freedom of movement in preparation for the summer season.
Coordination and harmonization
To this end, ACI Europe and the other members of this manifesto have addressed a list of recommendations to the Member States of the European Union. The signatories of the manifesto first of all call for the creation of a "Task Force" to restore freedom of movement in Europe, and to develop and implement a plan to restart travel in Europe. In addition, the signatories call for a more effective and strengthened coordination of travel restrictions to facilitate a resumption of tourism and travel in Europe, also to allow for better predictability for travelers and travel operators. They also call on governments to ensure sufficient capacity for affordable testing and to establish mutual recognition, as well as to validate the use of antigenic and other rapid tests to facilitate travel. Finally, the signatories urge governments to agree on "E-health certificates" to avoid having 27 different certificates or "health passports". Signatories believe that vaccination or vaccination certificates should not be mandatory for travel (at least until vaccines become more accessible), but that travellers who are vaccinated or can attest to their immunity should be exempt from entry bans, testing and quarantine periods. Finally, ACI Europe and the other members of the initiative recall that as soon as the health situation allows it, it is crucial to restart tourism and leisure activities as soon as possible.
Air traffic still heavily affected in Europe
ACI Europe recalls that in the first two weeks of February, air traffic in the EU, Switzerland, UK and EEA (European Economic Area) zones was down 89% compared to the same period in 2020. In comparison, the non-EU European countries (Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Israel, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Turkey) are experiencing a clear improvement. Air traffic, which was at -60% at the beginning of January, recovered to -55% compared to 2020 in the first two weeks of February. Overall, while overall European traffic was down 70% for the whole of 2020, it was down 83% in mid-February. European airports have already lost 182 million passengers since the beginning of the year, including 157 million passengers at airports in the European Union, Switzerland, the UK and the EEA alone.
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