Displaying items by tag: Tourism

urismAs EBI informed in an article in its March newsletter, last month the Commission issued a Communication titled “A common path to safe and sustained re-opening”, which spells out a number of recommendations for Member States to adopt a coordinated approach to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, such as the adoption of a Digital Green Certificate.

One of the measures listed in the Communication is the rollout of an EU tourism health seal, which businesses will be able to display in order to show that they are complying with health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is intended to build confidence among consumers for the restart of tourism. The International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) has developed a specification for the seal, which covers a variety of business activities, including “yacht harbours and nautical activities”. This specification will now be taken up by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) by mid-May. EBI has been closely involved in the preparations for the tourism health seal with both ISO and CEN, representing the interests of marinas, charter companies and other boating industry businesses. A key point in EBI’s contributions was the need to keep the seal cost-efficient and easy to implement for large companies and SMEs.

Moreover, EBI has reached out to the Commission with several questions about the tourism health seal. According to the Commission, it is expected that most Member States will implement the seal. In principle, the seal would be used on the basis of self-certification (that is, business can certify themselves without third-party assessment), although surveillance might be put in place at a later stage, under the initiative of each Member State. Member States which have in place national seals (equivalent to the proposed EU seal) can apply the certification and surveillance system used for those on the new EU seal. In addition, Member States can give the EU seal to companies that already had a national seal, if such a national scheme is deemed adequate and comparable. Finally, the seal would cost between 100 and 200 €, although the Commission is looking at ways of providing funding and is calling on Member States to reduce that fee, suggesting the possibility that Member States offer the seal for free.

Published in Newsletter April 2021
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The European Tourism Manifesto, a coalition of over 60 travel and tourism organisations (including EBI), released a statement expressing its support for the European Commission’s proposal for a digital green certificate. This interoperable certificate, which will provide proof of a person’s vaccination, recovery from the virus or negative test results, will allow for the safe movement of citizens, thus facilitating the restart of travel and tourism.

Through the statement, the European Tourism Manifesto calls on the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to approve the proposal and on Member States to implement it. It also calls for collaboration between the EU and other bodies like the World Health Organisation, in order to develop interoperable vaccination records at global level.

The statement comes in the context of the European Tourism Manifesto’s efforts to ensure that the travel and tourism sector recovers from the crisis. In February, it issued a series of recommendations for restarting safe travel and tourism in time for the summer period, including a harmonised EU framework for travel-related testing and the creation of an EU Task Force to restore travel and tourism. Earlier that month, it released a document with concrete investment proposals, calling for tourism to be present in national recovery plans.

Published in Newsletter March 2021

In a Communication released this month titled “A common path to safe and sustained re-opening”, the Commission called on Member States to adopt a coordinated approach to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions when the situation allows it.

The communication includes a series of recommendations to achieve that goal. These include: the deployment of the proposed Digital Green Certificate; a framework developed by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to help Member States take decisions on implementing restrictions; guidance on testing strategies; investment in treatments; measures to help tourism and culture sectors; and strengthening global resilience through the EU Vaccine Sharing Mechanism.

EU Tourism Health Seal

As an element of this strategy, the Commission will develop a so-called EU Tourism Health Seal. Businesses will be able to display this to prove that they are complying with health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The aim is to build consumer confidence for the restart of tourism in time for the summer season. The basis for the EU Tourism Health Seal is being developed by the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) through a PAS (Publicly Available Specification) on “Tourism and related services — Measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the tourism industry”.

The resulting ISO deliverable will then be taken up by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) for implementation as the EU Tourism Health Seal by the Commission. The ISO PAS includes activities grouped as “Yacht harbours and nautical activities”, which includes marinas, rental of boats, boat schools, training centres and complementary activities. EBI has been invited to participate in the ISO committee as expert, representing the interests of marinas, charter companies and other businesses from the boating industry. EBI will also be involved in the CEN work on the EU Tourism Health Seal.

Published in Newsletter March 2021
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The European Parliament adopted its Report on Establishing an EU Strategy for Sustainable Tourism with a resounding majority. Through it, MEPs call for several measures to make tourism cleaner, safer and more sustainable, as well as to support the sector’s recovery. EBI welcomes the report and calls on the Commission and on EU countries to implement the proposals. The report singles out the potential of nautical tourism and recreational boating through concrete support measures which EBI has been advocating.

The report was adopted on 25 March by the Parliament’s plenary, with 577 votes in favour, 31 votes against and 80 abstentions. It is non-binding but promises to be a precursor for future Commission initiatives and offers strong political support. Prior to that, the report had been approved by the Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee by 47 to 2.

The report stresses the grave impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the tourism sector and proposes a wide array of measures to make tourism more environmentally friendly, diversified, and resilient to the crisis. It asks EU countries to implement common and coordinated criteria for safe travel, including a common vaccination certificate (as was proposed by the Commission last week – see the Commission’s press release). It also calls for Member States to include travel and tourism in their recovery plans, in order to ensure that adequate investment is available for the sector’s modernisation and digitisation and makes investment proposals. In addition, the report proposes the creation of an EU hygiene certification seal and of an EU Agency for Tourism. Altogether, it aims for the ambition of a European Tourism Union.

At the plenary session, the report’s rapporteur, MEP Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, said: “The 27 Member State recovery programmes must have plans to cover the tourism sector. The EU has to bring its efforts together and push forward a European tourism plan. This report is key to make sure our compatriots understand that the EU has measures and has funding to help companies, institutions and citizens”.

EBI has been playing an active role in the report, being in close contact with the key MEPs and with its allies to provide input that reflects the needs of the sector. This has been successful, with a number of key points that EBI has been advocating finding cross-party support. Namely, the report:

  • “Commends the Commission for its work on the 14 actions which make up the Strategy for Coastal and Maritime Tourism, and invites it to present the results, which can be used to channel financing to infrastructure (ports and marinas), logistical and operational support, waste prevention and the use of renewable energy; stresses the need to respect the maritime ecosystem, promote dialogue between Member States, regional and local authorities, stakeholders and civil society, and foster the sustainable development of coastal and maritime tourism.” (point 49)
  • “Calls on the Commission to develop initiatives for nautical and coastal tourism with regard to the recognition of skipper qualifications, VAT rules on boats, marinas and anchorages, to tackle seasonality and promote cross-border routes, such as a network of routes for nautical tourism.” (point 50)
  • “Urges the Commission to work together with associations in the sector and to use best practices to issue recommendations and provide financial support for the organisation of trade tourism events, fairs [and] congresses.” (point 70)

This achievement is embedded in EBI’s strategy of working closely with the EU institutions and emphasising the role of the sector in tourism policy at EU level. Last September, the European Economic and Social Committee, an EU advisory body, published its opinion “Tourism and transport in 2020 and beyond”, which contained several proposals specific to boating and nautical tourism as a result of EBI’s advocacy efforts (see EBI’s press release). In addition, on 20 April, EBI and boot Düsseldorf will be holding the 2021 International Breakfast Meeting, an event involving high-level panellists from business and politics who will be discussing the present and future of the boating industry within tourism and recreation. It will include the participation of Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius, as well as MEP Ismail Ertug (information and registration here). Through these efforts, EBI aims to be at the forefront of policy discussions and decisions affecting the boating industry and nautical tourism.

The “Report on establishing an EU strategy for sustainable tourism” can be found here.

Published in Newsletter March 2021

The European Tourism Manifesto, together with its members, including EBI, has released a series of recommendations for Member States to relaunch travel and tourism in Europe in time for summer 2021, under the title “Exit Strategy: preparing to restart travel and tourism”. The document aims to achieve a joint way forward towards restoring travel and tourism and freedom of movement, and has been shared with all 27 governments and EU institutions.

The key proposal is the creation of a Commission Task Force for the restoration of free movement of people. Such Task Force would track the progress and impact of vaccination campaigns and mitigation measures (tests and quarantines), and would develop and implement a roadmap that would ensure a coordinated return to free movement. This roadmap would be updated regularly, reflecting changes in the development of the pandemic. The travel and tourism sector should be closely involved.

Other measures include coordination among governments on travel restrictions and requirements to offer predictability to travellers, business and workers; a harmonised EU framework for travel-related testing, that includes affordable testing, mutual recognition of tests between Member States, and the validation of rapid tests for travel and tourism purposes; coordination on national initiatives on E-health initiatives, allowing fast and digital verification of travellers’ vaccination or test status; and coordination in the reopening of tourism activities.

The full Exit Strategy can be found here.

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, which is made up of over 60 European public and private tourism-related organisations (including EBI), has published a paper titled “Call for action: Accelerate social and economic recovery by investing in sustainable tourism development”, presenting a non-exhaustive list of reforms and investment ideas related to travel and tourism. The alliance advocates for these to be implemented through national recovery plans, which are currently being finalised and which will receive funding from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. Thanks to input from EBI, the role of boating and nautical tourism is very present in the paper.

The travel and tourism sector accounts for 9.5% of the EU’s GDP and is largely made up of SMEs. It provides jobs for 22.6 million people, and it is estimated that €1 of value generated by tourism results in an additional 56 cents of added value in indirect effects on other industries. However, the sector has been substantially hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and €161 billion worth of investment is necessary for it to return to pre-crisis levels. The EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, together with national recovery plans, presents an opportunity for investment in the tourism sector, in particular to enhance the sector’s resilience and to advance in its green and digital transitions.

The wide range of proposals includes, for instance, the greening of buildings used for tourism, the upscaling of circular economy practices, investing in sustainable mobility projects, the development of integrated connectivity solutions, the rollout of rapid broadband services, the development of digital tools, the use of data for smart tourism management, and the promotion of skills training, among other ideas.

In particular, the paper includes several investment ideas specific to nautical tourism and recreational boating that EBI developed as part of the joint paper. It calls for the development, renovation and environmental transformation of coastal and inland marinas (such as new berths, renewable energy installations, power storage, waste disposal facilities, and climate change adaptation), as well as the roll-out of eco-friendly permanent mooring solutions for recreational boats in protected areas. Furthermore, it calls for incentives to retrofit boat engines, and to research, develop and deploy clean fuels, new electrical and hybrid engines, hydrogen, and other new propulsion systems. It also advocates for funding to develop digital tools to improve the boating experience, including marinas, navigation, maintenance, and weather information.

The paper has been shared with the EU institutions and the 27 national governments. The full paper can be found in the European Tourism Manifesto website here.

In addition, European Tourism Manifesto will be launching the #Tourism4Recovery campaign on social media on 1 March, to coincide with the extraordinary meeting of EU Tourism Ministers. Its goal is to call on European governments to make tourism a strategic element in their national recovery and resilience plans and to promote the investment proposals included in the paper described above. Stakeholders are invited to contribute to the campaign by posting on their social media channels using the photos and videos found here and the hashtags #Tourism4Recovery and #EuropeanTourismManifesto. Find more information on the European Tourism Manifesto website.

Tourism Manifesto Exit strategy imageThe European Tourism Manifesto, together with its members, including EBI, has released a series of joint recommendations for Member States to relaunch travel and tourism in Europe in time for summer 2021, under the title “Exit Strategy: preparing to restart travel and tourism”. The document tries to achieve a joint way forward towards restoring travel and tourism and freedom of movement, and has been shared with national governments.

The key proposal is the creation of a Commission Task Force for the restoration of free movement of people. Such Task Force would track the progress and impact of vaccination campaigns and mitigation measures (tests and quarantines), and would develop and implement a roadmap that would ensure a coordinated return to free movement. This roadmap would be updated regularly, reflecting changes in the development of the pandemic.

Other measures include coordination among governments on travel restrictions and requirements to offer predictability to travellers, business and workers; a harmonised EU framework for travel-related testing, that includes affordable testing, mutual recognition of tests between Member States, and the validation of rapid tests for travel and tourism purposes; coordination on national initiatives on E-health initiatives, allowing fast and digital verification of travellers’ vaccination or test status; and coordination in the reopening of tourism activities.

The full Exit Strategy, can be found here.

Published in Latest News
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Tourism Manifesto Recovery Paper Feb 2020 1The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, which is made up of over 60 European public and private tourism-related organisations (including EBI), has published a paper titled “Call for action: Accelerate social and economic recovery by investing in sustainable tourism development”, presenting a non-exhaustive list of reforms and investment ideas related to travel and tourism. The alliance advocates for these to be implemented through national recovery plans, which are currently being finalised and which will receive funding from NextGenerationEU, the EU’s recovery plan.

The travel and tourism sector accounts for 9.5% of the EU’s GDP and is largely made up of SMEs. It provides jobs for 22.6 million people, and it is estimated that €1 of value generated by tourism results in an additional 56 cents of added value in indirect effects on other industries. However, the sector has been substantially hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and €161 billion worth of investment is necessary for it to return to pre-crisis levels. The EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, together with national recovery plans, presents an opportunity for investment in the tourism sector, in particular to enhance the sector’s resilience and to advance in its green and digital transitions.

The wide range of proposals includes, for instance, the greening of buildings used for tourism, the upscaling of circular economy practices, investing in sustainable mobility projects, the development of integrated connectivity solutions, the rollout of rapid broadband services, the development of digital tools, the use of data for smart tourism management, and the promotion of skills training, among other ideas.

In particular, the paper includes several investment ideas specific to nautical tourism and recreational boating that EBI developed as part of the joint paper. It calls for the development, renovation and environmental transformation of coastal and inland marinas (such as new berths, renewable energy installations, power storage, waste disposal facilities, and climate change adaptation), as well as the roll-out of eco-friendly permanent mooring solutions for recreational boats in protected areas. Furthermore, it calls for incentives to retrofit boat engines, and to research, develop and deploy clean fuels, new electrical and hybrid engines, hydrogen, and other new propulsion systems. It also advocates for funding to develop digital tools to improve the boating experience, including marinas, navigation, maintenance, and weather information.

The paper will be shared with the EU institutions and the 27 national tourism Ministers. The full paper can be found in the European Tourism Manifesto website here.

Published in Latest News

The Committee of the Regions, the body which represents local and regional authorities at EU level, adopted in its plenary session an opinion titled “Towards more sustainable tourism for EU cities and regions”. The opinion addresses the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the tourism and transport sectors, supports EU measures that have been taken so far and calls for wider measures to mitigate the crisis. The opinion also advocates measures to make tourism cleaner and more sustainable, and calls for recognising the importance of tourism in EU policy-making.

EBI had the opportunity to provide feedback on the drafting of the opinion and meet with its rapporteur, Manuel Alejandro Cardenete Flores (Deputy Minister for Tourism, Regeneration, Justice and Local Administration of the Regional Government of Andalusia). As a result of such input, the opinion states that the Committee of the Regions “is in favour of continuing the work of the DG Mare-European Boating Industry working group on end-of-life of vessels with a view to developing a joint EU research and innovation roadmap to increase recycling of materials for building boats”. It also stresses the importance of promoting sustainable coastal maritime, and notes the potential of navigation and water sports for science, environmental awareness, ocean mapping and research on environmental issues.

The opinion can be found here.

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In its latest statement, the European Tourism Manifesto (an alliance of travel and tourism organisations in Europe, among them EBI) put together a list of concrete investment ideas for Member States to adopt as part of their national recovery and investment plans. These ideas are aimed at enabling travel and tourism to generate jobs and growth and to contribute to the green and digital transitions, in line with EU policy objectives. The tourism sector, which accounts for more than 9.5% of the GDP and provides jobs to 22.6 million people has been one of the worst hit sectors during the crisis, must use the opportunity offered by the upcoming EU Recovery Plan funding not only to mitigate the pandemic’s impacts, but also to move towards sustainability and digitalisation.

The document lists a number of ideas, dividing them across seven categories: power up, renovate, recharge and refuel, connect, modernise, scale up, and reskill and upskill. Proposals cover a wide range of areas, from building greener tourism infrastructure, to financing research for the development of smart tourism data, or supporting businesses to upskill their workforce. The document also points out the multiplier effect of tourism and explains how investing in the tourism industry helps advance the objectives of the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

In particular, the statement contains a number of proposals specifically geared towards nautical tourism. These include funding for the renovation, digitalisation and environmental transformation of marinas, the rolling out of eco-mooring solutions, funding to encourage consumers to retrofit old boats with newer engines, and funding for research, development and implementation of alternative sustainable fuels for recreational engines.

The document is provisional, as a more elaborate list of investment ideas will be published by the European Tourism Manifesto towards the end of the year. The current document can be found here.

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