ETOA News, Autumn 2022

The travel trade is in full recovery mode with in-person B2B events, fairs and conferences. We are currently preparing for a sold-out Global European Marketplace (GEM) on 3-4 November with over 700 delegates and our first 2023 B2B workshops, Britain & Ireland Marketplace and The Nordic Marketplace, are filling up fast.

However, online presence is still essential to connect with source markets and to gain knowledge about current market trends. Over 180 delegates will attend our online B2B workshop, ETM | East & South East Asia on 22 November connecting the European supply chain with in-market operators and agents, and our webinar series remain a popular source of up-to-date insights.

With more than 150 new members in 2022, there are signs of a strong 2023. We continue to make sure our members have the best options to connect and re-connect through a variety of social and commercial events, online and in-person.

Have your say: Tourism surveys

Visa processing: Asia to Europe


Investing in visa processing secures export revenue: is Europe providing good enough visa services to remain competitive? With respondents from China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and other sources markets, initial results from ETOA’s survey indicate that there is much work to do. Switzerland ranks best among Schengen states, over 70% rating its visa processing good or very good, Spain the only other over 60%, followed by France and Germany scoring over 50%.

70% of travellers who choose not to start a visa application or abandon the application part-way still go on a long-haul holiday. Supporting documentation for Schengen remains problematic, especially proof of financial status and accommodation. Respondents want more digitalisation, wider use of Multiple Entry Visas and the opportunity to make ‘late’ applications. The UK and Ireland score somewhat better than Schengen across all measures apart from processing time.

If you work with visa-requiring Asia source markets, UK/Ireland or Schengen destinations and have not yet completed this survey, there is still time: it will close at the end of October.

Rail tourism and train ticketing


To obtain insight on how to make rail more attractive and business-friendly for the tourism industry, our partners at UIC TopRail have devised a survey to identify key pain points and potential solutions.

Tourism policy: What you need to know

German VAT


In just over two months, Germany will change the tax treatment of non-EU sales of German holidays.

This unilateral move has already caused business loss. ETOA and its partners continue to push for a pragmatic policy correction pending the outcome of an EU consultation and new regulatory proposals. A large EU state acting unilaterally is a dangerous precedent. For more information, including a new ETOA briefing, see our updated materials online. Read more




The European Commission has published a new website with information on the implementation of the Entry Exit System (EES) and ETIAS.

Bulgaria and Romania will also be implementing EES and ETIAS. When EES starts, time spent in Bulgaria and Romania will count towards the 90 in 180-day time limit in the Schengen Area for Schengen visa-waiver nationals. Croatia and Cyprus will be implementing ETIAS but not EES. Travel to Ireland remains unchanged. Read more


COVID-19 travel restrictions and requirements


All countries within the EU/EFTA/UK have currently removed the requirement for covid certification to be shown for border entry, following Spain removing controls arriving from outside the EU/EFTA on Friday 21 October. The only restriction that currently applies is arriving from China into Germany where entry for tourism is not permitted (due to lack of reciprocity).

To check the latest information on travel requirements and in-destination measures, please see national government weblinks in our database accessible via the banner below.

Review of VAT rules in Travel and Tourism


In preparation for an overall review of travel and tourism taxation, the European Commission issued a background document outlining the options for reform. It contains discussions of what might be done in the areas of the Tour Operators Margin Scheme, the taxation of transport and retail VAT (with specific reference to refund schemes and duty-free shopping). ETOA took part in the stakeholder discussion on the 26th of October and will be submitting comments. Read more

Some of these proposals are radical, involving imposing VAT on internal EU flights and obliging all non-EU intermediaries to pay VAT on all sales to non-EU citizens travelling to Europe. We will be holding a webinar on this subject 14th November, 15:00 GMT / 16:00 CET.

Members and partners

Find out what our members and partners are up to and read in-depth interviews, take advantage of special member-only offers and join upcoming events.

Arena di Verona Opera Festival


In 2023, Verona will be celebrating the 100th edition of the Arena di Verona Opera Festival.

With options such as dinner under the stars on the Arena terrace, backstage visits, and the possibility of having an exclusive archway of the theatre for a light dinner, they have a great range of offers for the travel trade.

Read the interview with Cecilia Gasdia, General Manager & Artistic Director.

Would you like to get featured and reach an audience of up to 18,000 tourism professionals? Get noticed, build prestige and give your brand maximum visibility in the travel trade industry through ETOA’s promotional opportunities and exclusive sponsorship programmes.

Start your sustainability journey


Our climate action partner TerraVerde is offering an exclusive deal for ETOA members to get started with or develop their sustainability strategy. Options vary from guides on how to create carbon footprint reports to thorough consultancies by climate experts. The offer expires on 18th November 2022.

Great West Way® Travel Trade Marketplace 2022


This event will bring together tour operators and wholesalers with products and services that feature on the route, including attractions, hotels, transport, ground handlers and other sectors of the route’s tourism infrastructure. This is a hybrid event with a virtual meeting day on 16 November, a networking day on Friday 18 November and a series of Discovery Visits for buyers taking place over the weekend 19-20 November.​​​​​

  • Register to attend the virtual one-to-one meetings on Wednesday 16 November here
  • Register to attend the in-person networking event at Ascot Racecourse and Discovery Visits 18–20 November here

You can register to attend these independently of each other if you wish. A list of current confirmed attendees can be found here. The booking deadline is 4 November 2022. View the Discovery Visit programmes and find out more here.


We have ongoing partnerships with a range of national and local tourism boards to support their travel trade reach through online and in-person events, seminars, gala dinners and solus email promotion to our 375+ buyers. Some of our partners are:

ETOA DMOs partners


Would you like to learn more and get involved?

Meet with ETOA

The ETOA team has been busy meeting with new and old members at UKInbound’s annual conference, IMEX Las Vegas, TopResa in Paris, TTG in Rimini, Tourism and Travel Show Albania plus a range of tourism policy events in Brussels, Barcelona and Rotterdam.

​​​​​​In September we held social networking events in Rome and Rotterdam. Check out the presentation at the Rome event covering data on inbound tourism to Italy.


Find out where we will be next or contact us if you would like to speak to someone representing your market.

  • WTM London, 7-9 November: ETOA will be present at WTM on stand IH210. Pop by to say hello or contact us to set up a meeting.
  • Tourism Innovation Summit, Seville, 2-4 November: Tim Fairhurst, ETOA’s Secretary General, will moderate a session and join a panel on sustainable tourism. Contact us to meet.
  • IBTM World Barcelona, 29 Nov – 1 Dec: Arran Wiltshire, ETOA’s Director of Events, will be meeting with venues and destinations. Contact him to meet.
  • FITUR Madrid, 18-22 January: Once again ETOA will be present with a stand at FITUR. Contact Jorge Traver for further information.

Latest Insights

East & South East Asia source markets


How are Asian source markets doing and when is this valuable business coming back to Europe? We have been running a series of webinars with our partners at the Nordic Tourism Collective. The webinars were joined by expert panellists and market representatives.

Are you ready to re-connect and do business with East & South East Asian operators and agents? Join us online 22nd November 2022: