The European Tourism Association (ETOA) has endorsed a plan put forward by the European Commission for a Digital Green Certificate.
The Digital Green Certificate would operate like a ‘vaccine passport’, making it clear which passengers have been vaccinated and facilitating safe, free movement inside the EU.
The passport would be available free of charge in a digital or paper format, using a QR code to authenticate a valid negative Covid test.
The ETOA said it “strongly endorses” the plan, and that it “urges swift enabling legislation and implementation.”
The association also said that international coordination was vital: “Once Europe’s internal borders open, there is no rational justification for excluding international visitors who can meet health requirements. Various countries are already introducing their own evidence-based schemes to enable recovery.
“Implementing proper public health protection and restoring mobility – getting the economy moving again – are not mutually exclusive. The same false dilemma undermines visa and border policy: sufficient security or improved facilitation? We can and should have both, on a permanent basis.”
Tom Jenkins, CEO of ETOA said: “In 2020 ETOA members saw mass cancellation and postponement of trips. Many ETOA members’ businesses are suffering their version of “Long Covid” for the tourism Industry and the service economy which it sells.
“Every market says desire to travel is immense and that there is massive scope for last minute offers. There is rejuvenated domestic demand and a unique combination of low prices and low occupancy in Europe which will never be repeated.”