ETOA calls for evidence-based response to COVID-19
Tom Jenkins, ETOA’s CEO said of the effect of COVID-19 on European travel:
“ETOA, together with its partners in the European tourism industry, calls for a strong, evidence-based response from public and private sectors to the COVID-19 the crisis.
“We know that according to the travel analytics company Forward Keys outbound travel from China to Europe fell by 41.7% in the three weeks following travel restrictions and forward bookings for March and April from China to Europe are 36.7% down compared to last year.
Whilst there has not been a significant slowdown in travel outside the Asia Pacific region so far, the recent spread of the virus within Europe and conflicting guidance from governments, will mean that we need to monitor the situation closely; advice and consequent travel patterns can change quickly.
As part of the European Tourism Manifesto alliance, and in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we would also like to
- Continue to extend a message of solidarity and support to China and the Chinese people
- Reaffirm the importance of respect and welcome among the European travel and tourism community
- Recognise the scope of the impact of the crisis across all sectors
- Urge an evidence-based approach to travel restrictions, while taking the necessary and appropriate measures to ensure the protection of public health
- Encourage a cross-sectoral strategic plan for recovery.
The outbreak is a matter of grave concern, but it is important to keep a sense of perspective. The public health machinery in Europe is effective and well-coordinated. Meanwhile, it is vital that we do not lose sight of the significance of the Chinese outbound market. It will recover, but it will need help to do so. This is what we are here to support.