Working groups provide opportunity for ETOA’s members and partners to cooperate on issues to do with the business environment for tourism in Europe. They are topic or destination focused. Activities can range from in-person meetings to ad hoc consultation and information sharing. Their composition is not fixed and expressions of interest are welcome. We try to ensure access to insight from various business models and origin markets, and specialist expertise where applicable.

Current activity and priorities

Group tourism is the core business of many of ETOA’s operator members, and it remains poorly understood. Coach tourism is under-appreciated as a low-emission form of collective transport which is capable of bringing visitor spend to all parts of Europe. This group acts as a reality-check for the in-house team to ensure we’re focusing on what affects members the most, and prioritising correctly. Even if we can’t change the situation, we can provide accurate, actionable information. It may also identify what activity needs more focused effort, and provide feedback on ETOA’s online resources, especially Operating in Europe.

Topics generally discussed in the Group tourism working group:

  • Coach Access and parking
  • Group restrictions
  • Attractions and ticketing
  • Accommodation
  • Overnight Tax
  • Regulation affecting freedom to provide guiding services
  • Visa and border formalities

At the most recent meeting (February 2024) the group focused on developments in Italy: guiding regulation, day tax and limits on group size in Venice, continued uncertainty surrounding Colosseum ticketing from 1st May, and increased challenges with group availability for the Vatican. The agenda was circulated prior to the confirmation of new regulation on guiding in Italy. For more information see the guiding page. Other topics included a review of latest tourism tax and city access updates.

Companies represented at recent meetings