The European Union Member States and the Schengen Area associated countries may lose billions altogether in 2021, if the block does not come up with a solution to reopen borders for non-essential travellers from Canada, the United States, and Mexico. More about Eu tourism below.
According to a recent press release of the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA), which is the trade association for better tourism in Europe with over 1,200 members serving 63 origin markets, North America is the most important origin market for Europe, as it delivers an amount of €60 billion ($70 billion) annually.
The same notes that due to the pandemic, in 2020 alone, the European Union and Schengen Area countries altogether saw a decline of 90 to 95 per cent in spending of travellers from North America.
According to Tom Jenkins of ETOA, potential visitors need to know when border restrictions are likely to be lifted, and under what conditions, because clients who wanted to travel to Europe still want to do so, but they need more assurance.
“Europe is viewed as a single destination by long-haul visitors: it is what they think of and is their goal when planning a trip. So there has to be a coordinated response from the Schengen area to define what it takes for business to resume,” Jenkins said, adding that in 2021, billions are at risk, as the fact that Europe is being seen as ‘too difficult’ pushing travellers to look for alternative destinations.
Whereas Terry Dale, CEO of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), point out that 14 out of the top 20 international destinations visited by the members of USTOA are European, while the number one question all tour operator members ask is about borders reopening.
“It’s imperative to recognize that the recovery of the travel industry is central to the overall health of the global economy and USTOA strongly encourages swift collaboration between governments to develop reciprocal plans to reopen borders,” he noted.
The Chairman of the Canadian Tour Operators Association (CATO) Brett Walker, on the other hand, called for an immediate, coordinated, and fully transparent tourism recovery plan.
“The next 90 days will likely determine if there any safe and meaningful return of North America travellers to Europe this summer. The greater and the longer the uncertainty, the more likely Europe will see the same decline of North American spending, between 90-95 per cent, for 2021 as was the case in 2020,” he said.
Last year, SchengenVisaInfo.com had reported on the predicted financial losses of some of the EU Member States, due to border closures amid COVID-19.
According to reports of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) published in September, by the end of 2020, Germany was set to lose €38 billion due to significant decline in the number of international tourists. Eu tourism
France, on the other hand, was expected to lose a higher amount of financial income due to lack of tourists – as much as €48 Billion, whereas Italy was expected to lose €36.7 billion due to the international travel collapse.