Freedom of Movement leads agenda at ETOA European Tourism Summit 2018

The ETOA (European Tourism Association) European Tourism Summit held in Lucerne on 9 October 2018 will see 150 delegates discuss policy and practical solutions to the most pressing issues facing the tourism sector today.

Speakers including MEPs, representatives from intergovernmental organisations and industry pioneers will lead sessions on tourism ‘megatrends’; destination management strategy and the potential impact of Brexit.

ETOA is the leading travel trade association for organisations with business in Europe. Over 1,000 members contribute more than €12 billion of business within Europe and ETOA promotes Europe as the number one tourism destination in the world.

The 150 delegates from ETOA’s membership represent senior tourism leaders comprising tour operators, online intermediaries, European tourist boards, hotels and attractions. The annual summit provides expert insight and debate on current issues and this year will feature results of a new survey illustrating the economic impact of European visa policy in Chinese and Indian source markets.

The ETOA European Tourism Summit is just one of the five annual flagship B2B events ETOA organises for members, which offer unparalleled, face-to-face networking and contracting opportunities.

The day-long 2018 ETOA European Tourism Summit will hold sessions with speakers, who include:

István Ujhelyi MEP

Chair of the European Parliament’s tourism task force, and member of the EU Parliament’s delegation to China. István Ujhelyi will discuss results of ETOA’s 2018 visa survey on Chinese and Indian travel to Europe. In the face of political concerns about migration and security, the Schengen Visa Code is under review. The session will provide insights as to whether the EU’s new proposals will facilitate legitimate access to the Schengen zone to support the growth of long-haul leisure tourism from visa-requiring markets.

Tom Jenkins

ETOA Chief Executive Officer, Tom Jenkins will provide a survey of ETOA’s on lobbying activity, including efforts to minimise the negative impact on the smooth running of European travel businesses of a possible no-deal Brexit. ETOA is seeking assurances that there will be no bureaucratic burdens placed on the hiring of skilled non-UK EU workers and that there will be barrier-free access to aviation and travel services. He will also cover ETOA’s continued role in discussions on the Package Travel Directive and VAT on tourism products.

Peter Haxton

Policy analyst from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Peter Haxton will share insights on four current megatrends: technologies; transport infrastructure; demographic trends and the development of a low carbon economy, which will have powerful impacts on how tourism evolves in Europe.

The summit will include a number of interactive panel sessions covering product innovation and discussion on national and local tourism policy, which will examine the nature of ‘success’ for destinations.

With members from both the private and public sectors, ETOA is in a strong position to help find creative solutions to overcrowding and improve capacity management, especially in destinations where tensions between tourism and the local community have escalated. To stimulate constructive debate, ETOA has invited panellists Luís Araújo, President of Turismo de Portugal, where tourism revenue has grown faster than visitor numbers; Urs Eberhardt, Switzerland Tourism, who will survey their origin market strategies; Paul Keeley from Fáilte Ireland, who will share insights on product diversification, and Adriano Meloni from and who offers perspectives from Italy’s public and private sectors.

Business sessions will be followed by a networking reception, tour of the Swiss Museum of Transport, a sunset cruise on Lake Lucerne and dinner.

Tom Jenkins, CEO of ETOA said: “Tourism generates jobs. Free movement of both non-EU visitors into Europe and skilled workers within Europe are critical issues for ETOA members right now. If policy makers in Brussels and London are serious about supporting the freedom for tourists to travel and workers to support the industry post-Brexit, the focus needs to be on ease of market access and developing a regulatory environment that suits a global, online marketplace. ETOA’s role in ensuring there are no unnecessary barriers to business has never been so important and so we look forward to a productive eighth edition of the ETOA European Tourism Summit.”

“We are very grateful to Swiss Tourism and Luzern Tourism, together with their local partners, for their generous support.”