ETOA News, Summer 2023

We had thought that the years 2020-22 would bury the idea of “overtourism” for at least a decade. Now with numbers exceeding 2019 levels the issue is triggering a reaction in some destinations such as Amsterdam and Paris. You can read about this in the new City Access web page indicated below.

The irony is that if you wish to organise tourism flows, reduce pollution, cut carbon emissions and ease congestion, then group tourism should be the principal method. To operators this is so obvious to barely need proof but prove it we must, continuing to assert the substantial economic benefit such visitors bring to a city.

On the good news front, the decision by the German Finance Ministry to delay the implementation of their VAT scheme until 2027 is a welcome triumph for all of us involved in lobbying for this.

I look forward to engaging with those taking part in China European Marketplace in Shanghai and seeing everyone at the Global European Marketplace in London.

Tom Jenkins signature

Tom Jenkins, CEO

Tom Jenkins ETOA

City Access ETOA webpage

A new webpage on city access has been published on our website. The webpage includes operational information and resources predominately affecting coach/group access, and may also be useful for other clients. Cities added to date are Paris, Naples, Rome and Amsterdam as well as national resources for France, Italy and the Netherlands. Information on other cities in Italy as well as Spain and UK will be added shortly.

City access

Operational information and resources

Learn more

Attractions and Ticketing

Pantheon, Rome

An entrance fee of €5 is now required to visit for non-residents of Rome.

Find out more

National Museums, Italy

A €1 supplement to national museums and cultural sites was introduced by a national decree on 1st June. This is applicable for tickets purchased from 15th June to 15th September. The revenue raised is intended to support the response to the damage caused by widespread floods in May.

Are group visitors welcome?

Pressure on group ticketing for Europe’s premier attractions is becoming increasingly acute, compounded by new capacity restrictions. How destinations and industry respond will be a defining feature of cultural tourism over the next few years. Product diversification will be part of the solution. Museums and attractions wanting to maximise benefit from groups business are invited to contact ETOA via this link.

German VAT delay

The German Finance Ministry has postponed the implementation of the new rules on non-EU operators selling Germany. It was planned to be activated on 1st January 2024, but has been put back until 1st January 2027. More information here.

Member Updates

Introducing Knipoch Hotel Oban

Looking for 4 star group or FIT accommodation in Oban, Scotland this summer? At Knipoch, enjoy the best of both worlds, a peaceful loch side location with free parking, and 24 rooms, many with Loch Views. Yet just a short drive into Oban, the ideal base to explore Argyll or as a stop off enroute to Skye.

For more information contact Moira Unwin

ESTERHÁZY PALACE – residence and cultural site for several centuries

For centuries, the striking and stately Esterházy Palace has been the cultural heart of Eisenstadt, Austria – and so much more. Where Joseph Haydn was once employed, it has long been the setting for splendid concerts and sumptuous parties. Today the palace also beckons as a museum and location for modern events.

Vered Europe Travel and Tours

Vered Europe Travel and Tours is a multi-destination incoming DMC that specialises in tailor-made tourism for groups and individuals, providing all land arrangements in Europe. We have eight offices around Europe, allowing us to provide you with the best rates, services and customer care. Come feel Europe with us!​​​​​

Events & Exhibitions

The Global European Marketplace: network with 800+ tourism professionals

Would you like to attend ETOA’s flagship event GEM in November, networking with more than 800 tourism professionals and decision makers? Via ETOA membership you get access to the event and become part of a strong community of 1,100 European and International tourism organisations eager to collaborate for better tourism in Europe. Membership will enable you to access support and up to date trends and information as well as instant access to a database of over 6,000 tourism professionals. Join us today and take advantage of the Global European Marketplace + membership offer:


I’m a tourism buyer


I’m a tourism supplier

In June 2023 we celebrated the first edition of Destinations Exchange Europe in London. Over 300 delegates joined us for two days of pre-scheduled B2B business meetings, a series of knowledge sessions and peer-to-peer meetings dedicated to product development and optimisation, overcoming operational hurdles and effective public/private destination management. Thank you again to our sponsors Big Bus Tours and Halki reservation system for the support.

We have a busy calendar of B2B events in-person and online for 2023/24, make sure to check the list.

ETOA events

ETOA out and about

During the last couple of months the ETOA team has been travelling around Europe to engage in various tourism related events as speakers and exhibitors at the Travel Tech Show in London, to meet and network with other tourism professionals at Bestival Berlin, as a panelist at Smartdest H2020 Innovation camp in Venice and to brainstorm and plan for 2024 with the advisory council members in Switzerland. Thank you again to our hosts Switzerland Tourism, Lucerne Convention Bureau, Lake Lucerne Navigation Company and RIGI BAHNEN AG for welcoming us in such a beautiful part of the country.

ETOA will be present at a variety of fairs and events this autumn, including ITB Shanghai, IFTM Paris, TTG Rimini and WTM London. Get in touch if you would like to set up a meeting.

Digitisation and Innovation of SMEs

Euro-emotur SMEs marketing funding programme

ETOA is pleased to be part of the Euro-emotur programme specifically supporting SME businesses which account for a big part of our membership. Co-funded by the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA), this programme supports the digitisation and innovation of European SMEs, offering up to €10,000 in vouchers.

Find out more and Apply

2024 Access City Award

Access City Award

This year the European Commission will reward the 14th winners of the Access City Award with monetary prizes of up to €150,000. The European Commission intends to award a ‘New European Bauhaus’ special mention to a city whose work on accessibility is aligned with the values of the New European Bauhaus: sustainability, aesthetics, and inclusiveness. The Access City Award recognises and celebrates a city’s willingness, ability and efforts to become more accessible. Applications must be made by 18th September by EU cities with over 50,000 inhabitants.

Apply here

Good practice in data collection and use

Tourism Data Space

ETOA participates in Tourism Data Space, a cross-sectoral initiative to develop and promote good practice in data collection and use. One task is to explore what data is already available on any aspect of tourism and its impact. For the most recent newsletter on project progress, click here.

Tourism data space

Talent and Skills Shortage in Tourism

Pantour Skills Survey

ETOA is a member of an EU-funded project PANTOUR. It seeks to benefit job seekers, unemployed and employed workers from the tourism industry. Pantour Skills Survey will investigate whether a gap exists between current levels of skills in the tourism industry and the future skills needed in 2030. Input from the tourism industry professionals is essential and it will only take 10-12 minutes.


Take the survey


Supporting c​​oach tourism with BDO


Providing low-emission urban mobility and bringing visitors to destinations and sites not well served by public transport, modern coach operations need to be part of an integrated transport strategy. ETOA is delighted to have partnered with BDO, the German Association of Bus and Coach Operators, whose extensive network and sectoral expertise will complement our efforts to champion coach tourism.

Inclusive Tourism: ETOA announces new partnership with ELTA


To promote awareness of the value of LGBTQ+ tourism among destinations, operators and the supply chain, ETOA is delighted to announce its recent partnership with ELTA. Mutual benefits include discounted membership of ETOA for ELTA members and training opportunities for ETOA’s community. More details will be published soon via our partner page. Meanwhile, for more information, please email us here.

Insights & Webinars

Insights and reports


Have you had a look at our Insight Hub recently? We continue to add relevant insights and reports.

The impacts of tax free shopping in the EU – Global Blue and Oxford Economics
A synopsis produced by Global Blue that mainly relies on a detailed study undertaken by Oxford Economics to assess the contribution that tax free shopping makes to EU jobs, GDP and tax revenues.

Unlocking Travel’s Potential – The importance of UK-EU mobility for jobs and growth
An ABTA report discussing the barriers that have arisen following the UK’s exit from the EU, focussing on the ability of UK businesses to hire UK nationals to work in the EU. The short report contains a multitude of statistical nuggets to demonstrate the importance of outbound travel to the EU from Britain.

ETC Monitoring sentiment for domestic and intra-European travel – Wave 16
The sixteenth wave of online research looking at the extent to which Europeans are planning travel, their concerns and what factors are likely to influence behaviour.

ETC Trends and Prospects Q2 2023
A detailed review of the latest trends and near-term prospects for European tourism that suggests that many destinations across Europe are set for a strong summer performance despite the ongoing cost-of-living headwinds.

Insight Hub


Statistics, opinion and research
ETOA webinars and masterclasses
Articulating the value of tourism in Europe




Did you miss our recent webinars? Below webinars are available to view in our Insight Hub:

Do you have a good idea for a webinar? Is there a topic we are missing? Are we leaving out an important source market or destination? Contact Sofie Jensen if you would like to discuss.