City tourism: Operators Update

November 2018




On 29th October in London, over 130 members attended an expert-led seminar on the political context, policy options and potential impacts of Brexit viewed from EU and UK perspectives. Topics discussed included VAT and the prospect of multiple registration for UK business and other ‘third countries’ should the UK leave EU customs arrangements; border management and associated logistics; access to EU gateways for UK-registered airlines; immigration status and schemes for young workers; package travel; Brexit-related contractual terms; continuity of rights and obligations through domestic incorporation of EU law; market access and status of non-EU tour guides and other on-tour professionals. Presentations available here. Thanks to the Charing Cross Theatre for their kind hospitality. Please contact Simon for further information.


We circulated an impact survey demonstrating economic loss arising from visa processing problems in India. A longer report featuring China as well as perceptions of European incoming businesses is being written. ETOA attended a discussion at the Commission on 30th October on the increased use of digital technology to facilitate visa processing for Schengen zone.




The Eiffel Tower is currently operating with only one lift due to other lifts being repaired. We do not currently know when the other lifts will function again. Members have informed us that the waiting time has been up to 2 hours due to this.  Our current understanding is that Centre Pompidou will be carrying out renovation works from January 2019 to December 2019. The museum remains open and access will be from behind the building as the front main square will be closed. The escalators will be out of service, although the lifts remain available. School groups can make reservations everyday (except Tuesdays when the museum is closed) from 9am to 11am but only with a guide. If school groups wish to visit without a guide then reservations will be accepted only on Saturdays & Sundays from 11h to 13h and 17h and 19h.

The Paris Seine to Normandy river cruising project have asked for input from members. The aim of the project is to develop river cruising facilities from Paris to Le Havre. If you are interested in getting involved or have ideas and suggestions, please contact Aliya.

Our Paris working group will be held on 14th November. This will be followed by networking drinks on 15th November. If you would like to hear more about any of these two events, please contact Aliya or Yamin.


As mentioned in the Interim Operators Update sent 16th October and in the request to participate in the latest Rome Survey 22nd October, Rome is planning to introduce a new coach access regulation from 1st January 2019. We are collecting information from members, legal experts and stakeholders regarding this and are planning a PR campaign in November before a second court hearing at the Consiglio di Stato to suspend the plan. We are preparing a public statement whose content is designed to support the appeal process. You can help by completing the survey if you haven’t already done so. If you are interested in getting involved or have information that
may be valuable, please email

‘CTT Consultancy on Tourist Transportation’ has filed an appeal to the European Commission and is urging operators and tourism companies to sign a petition against the plan.


We will hold a preliminary working group meeting on 13th November. Thanks to feedback received to date: please send any further comments on current operational challenges to Tim.


Members have informed us that they have experienced ticketing issues with Sagrada Familia. Please contact Jorge if you have problems with bookings or ticketing as we are in dialogue with them. On 26th November ETOA will hold a working group meeting, followed by a destination seminar and workshop organised in collaboration with the Ajuntament de Barcelona whose outputs will inform the design and development of the city’s new strategic plan. We will support this process over the next 12-15 months as the plans move from concept to implementation. If you would like to hear more, please contact Jorge.


We are in frequent dialogue with Alhambra and are interested in receiving further specific examples from members about ticketing issues. Please contact Jorge to share your experiences. Our next meeting with Alhambra will be 13th November.


The city authorities have introduced a €24 charge to drop off and pick up at the ParisLodron-Strasse and Nonntal terminals to improve management and control of tour coaches. The charge must be paid for in advance online and is for one drop off and pick up per coach per day including parking at the Nord and Süd coach parks. If drop off and pick up are on different days, two charges are to be paid. The charge is not coach specific as the driver presents a QR code voucher. Changing the drop off and pick up time is permissible until immediately prior to arrival free of charge but changing the date or terminal is not. Cancellation is free up to 2 weeks prior and 100% thereafter. However, coaches carrying school children and university students (including from outside Austria) are reimbursed the €24 charge by contacting The documentation required includes invoice of the charge, signed itinerary of the trip from the school/university and bank account for remittance.

Further information on travelling to Salzburg can be found here.

Republic of Ireland

The Irish Government (Rialtas na hÉireann) has announced in their Budget that from 1 January 2019, VAT will increase from 9% to 13.5% for the tourism industry. It is unclear at this stage whether this will apply beyond accommodation and restaurants and we are seeking confirmation.




• 1st and 2nd October: European Tourism Forum – This event explored some destination management ideas and capacity management; ETOA pressed for specific examples in relation to group tourism management as well as individual visitors.

• 3rd October: ETOA moderated the event ‘La digitalización del sector turístico’ in Barcelona with Musement where main digital trends in the tourist sector were analysed.

• 9th October: ETOA hosted the 8th edition of the ‘Annual European Summit in the Alps’ in Lucerne. The discussion ranged from EU tourism and visa policy to technological disruption and in-destination innovation. Following research from ETC on travel patterns from long-haul markets to news of the latest market strategies from national tourism experts, delegates concluded the day with interactive workshops on industry/community relations, attraction distribution and capacity management.

• 11th October: ETOA moderated two roundtable sessions at a NECSTouR event in Brussels focused on cultural tourism product featuring representatives from ETOA members Toscana Promozione and Visit Scotland, as well as other specialists. Discussion included use of annual or bi-annual themes to drive product development and dispersal, with Scotland reporting strong growth in volume and community engagement as a result.


• 2nd to 7th November: Global European Marketplace (GEM) and WTM London – We look forward to seeing you at GEM on 2nd November and WTM 5th-7th November stand TP600. If you would like to meet the operations and destination engagement team at GEM or WTM, please email

• 7th Nov: ETOA will attend the European Tourism Day at the European Commission – this will include the announcement of winners of European Capital of Smart Tourism. More information on this initiative here.

• 8th November: ETOA is attending the ‘International Travel Crisis Management Summit’. Speakers from Governments, Tourist Boards and Industry Stakeholders will discuss the tourism industry’s response to safety and security concerns throughout the world following major events.

• 14th November Group Tourism Working group in London – if you would like to hear more, please contact Sofie.

• 15th November Paris Networking drinks – if you would like to hear more, please contact Aliya or Yamin.
More information about ETOA events is available at

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