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EU patronage voucher

European Commission partners with tourism industry and leading European businesses to boost patronage voucher schemes across the EU

The tourism sector has been hit hard by COVID 19 and the European Commission is working to give patronage voucher schemes across the EU a boost in visibility. EU patronage voucher

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These schemes allow consumers to support their favourite hotels or restaurants by paying for a future stay or visit.

Throughout the European Union, the tourism and hospitality industries are a key contributor to our economic and social fabric. They provide much needed jobs and income, often concentrated in regions with few alternative sources of employment. But the sector as a whole has been hit hard by COVID 19: revenues have plummeted as travel came to a halt and tourists stayed away, threatening the survival of many small hotels and restaurants.

Patronage vouchers allow consumers to show support for their favourite hotels or restaurants by paying today for a future stay or meal. The amount paid by the customer goes directly to the service provider, which is important from the cash flow perspective.

In Member States where patronage voucher schemes have been set up, customers have shown enthusiasm for them. Building on this momentum, in its Communication on Tourism and transport in 2020 and beyond (.pdf) the European Commission announced that it would work with Member States, local tourism organisations and market players to multiply and scale such patronage initiatives to enhance its impacts. Furthermore, the Commission committed to launching a website that centralises information on patronage vouchers across Europe to support the European hospitality industry as COVID 19 restrictions lift and borders reopen.

Together with Member States, industry players and representative bodies HOTREC and the European Hotel Forum, the Commission is pleased to announce that even more information on these voucher schemes is now available on the Re-open EU platform. It will thus help citizens to find information on patronage voucher initiatives and offers in their destinations of choice, alongside all the other essential information they need to plan their holidays and travels. It will also allow regional and local initiatives that do not easily come to the attention of tourists from other Member States to attract customers from all across Europe.

European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said: As a part of the common European approach on Tourism and Transport, patronage voucher schemes will help support the millions of SMEs and other local, family-owned businesses in the accommodation and restaurant sector across the EU. We are working hard to ensure that the European tourism ecosystem can overcome this difficult crisis and be welcome back tourists when possible.

The European Commission has invited all Member States to actively contribute to this initiative to give patronage vouchers more visibility across the EU and designate a point of contact in their public administration who will ensure that information on patronage voucher schemes in their country feeds through to the Re-open EU platform, which will be constantly updated.

American Express, Booking.com, Mastercard, Stripe, TheFork (a Tripadvisor company) and Trivago are among the first industry players who have committed their support to this initiative.

Featuring schemes on the Re-open EU platform remains voluntary and open to all. The Commission and Member States call on other actors in the hospitality industry to join this initiative, make pledges and, overall, demonstrate support for the future of European tourism today. eu patronage voucher

 

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