ETOA Newsletter, March 2021

This Newsletter includes:

  • Roadmap for recovery
  • Don’t tax tourism exports!
  • Brexit and travel industry
  • Foreign language content on
  • Sustainability
  • Insight Hub
  • News on ETOA Membership and Events

Roadmap for recovery

ETOA, along with its partners in the Tourism Manifesto alliance, have released a road map for re-opening travel and tourism in Europe: press release here. For further information, see updated Visas and Borders page. For the EU, the political paradox remains that external border opening must remain subordinate to restoring internal freedom of movement, but pre-conditions for safe travel on visitors arriving by plane are much easier to impose and monitor.

Further to previous Manifesto calls to incorporate tourism in national plans for imminent EU funding, we ran a webinar (in Spanish) to explore how sustainable recovery plans can be developed. 92% of participants did not consider they have had an opportunity to feed into these plans. This follows a webinar in Italian about prospects in Italy, and a recent discussion of perspectives from North America. For more information and recordings click here.

This week, ETOA and other industry stakeholders participated in a cross-cutting OECD meeting involving in-house experts from trade, travel, health and home affairs to work on a blueprint for international mobility. While international variations in health systems are so extreme, achieving global endorsement of an agreement focused on using testing and vaccination to facilitating travel as opposed to manage the pandemic is problematic.

That does not stop industry and government working on protocols that would work: the health and data management technology is available; carriers can implement controls that manage down risk presented by inbound travellers. The major deterrent remains quarantine. The OECD blueprint, which is still at draft stage, would provide the basis for a staged lifting of restrictions between willing partners which, over time, could be adopted globally.

Don't tax tourism exports!

Germany VAT changes. While access to Europe is impractical due to travel restrictions, there are additional complications to the business environment. The German government has announced changes to the treatment of VAT which will affect non-EU buyers and the competitiveness of tourism products and services in Germany. More information here.

Brexit and the travel industry

Guidance online: Our Brexit post-transition page has been updated to reflect the ‘Trade and Cooperation Agreement’ between the EU and the UK. The agreement is provisional (pending ratification expected before 30 April 2021). It is not law and its implementation will entail various processes and arrangements not yet in place. Our Guiding Regulation page has also been updated with additional material. Topics negotiated in the Agreement included temporary mobility, air and road transport and reciprocal healthcare arrangements. For details see recent Policy updates. We will publish further information and clarification when available. Please continue to contact with specific queries.

Foreign language pages

ETOA has recently launched new landing pages to provide a short introduction to our activities for readers in French, German, Italian and Spanish.

German page

Find out more

Spanish page

Find out more

French page

Find out more

Italian page

Find out more


Destination 2030

ETOA’s immediate priority is to support the tourism sector through to recovery but more strategic questions are increasingly urgent, from climate action to investment in the digital transition.

Tourism should be one of Europe’s most effective engines to build a sustainable recovery, and the chances of long-term success depend on properly funded destination strategy. Whether it’s ‘regenerative’, ‘future-proofed’, ‘co-created’ or just cheerfully busy once more, what might good look like for tourism in 2030? What will we measure to know we’ve got there?

On 23rd March, we’ll partner with Athens Development and Destination Management Agency and industry experts in a webinar on good practice and the conditions for success. For more information including list of speakers and registration details, click here.


The ‘Tourism Declares‘ community, which ETOA joined in December, continues to grow. It is developing its capacity to provide a good practice sharing hubs. For more on ETOA’s climate policy, including an interview with TerraVerde Solutions, click here.

Much new material has recently been added to our Insight Hub, some of which is only accessible to members.  Recent additions include the following:

  • IATA press room IATA regularly release statements, summaries and speeches into the public domain: we provide links to particularly relevant articles.
  • ETC Traveller sentiment wave 4 (intra-European and domestic travel) which looks at the extent to which Europeans are planning intra-European and domestic travel, their concerns and what factors are likely to influence behaviour.
  • Tourism Ireland Covid-19 research late 2020 data from key source markets for Ireland (GB, USA, Germany and France) showing continued unease with taking European holidays but also a strong underlying appetite for travel.
  • Visit Britain inbound and domestic research webinar  a 90-minute webinar on newly released findings from a study of international travellers undertaken in December 2020 exploring their travel intentions, ‘activators’ and preferences.
  • Travel Weekly Insight Annual Report A detailed look at the UK travel market drawing heavily on recent consumer research that suggests a shift towards domestic travel and away from overseas holidays, but perhaps not to the extent some have suggested.
  • ETC Long Haul travel sentiment  findings from an online survey exploring the intentions of those in Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and USA to take a long-haul trip in the first four months of 2021 and the concerns that potential travellers are expressing.
  • UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2020 a comprehensive round-up of international tourism data.
  • BIM survey on Britain and Ireland Recovery Prospects A 2-page summary of the survey ETOA carried out with leading tour operators at our Britain and Ireland Marketplace in January 2021 on the speed with which they anticipate a recovery in demand.


Fast track to recovery: find new partners through ETOA Membership

ETOA is focused on providing support for its members through access to guidance, contacts, networking events and information. To support companies impacted by the current crisis and to help in the business recovery through 2021, we have launched new buyer and supplier offers. For more information about our current offers click on the button below or contact the team at


Registrations now open for City Fair 2021

Registrations for City Fair 2021 have now opened and we would like to invite you to join us on the 8th of June. The format this year is online, so attendance means European tourism suppliers will be able to meet with buyer companies from across the world for an efficient day of B2B meetings.

Interested in attending GEM 2021? Supplier members that secure their place at City Fair and GEM at the same time can save even more compared to non-members. Just select the ‘City Fair + GEM Package’ option at checkout if you are a member or find out more about how ETOA can help you find new business for 2021 and beyond by contacting our team today.