The European Union is looking for some creative solutions to solving the deep slump like situation in its travel and tourism industry. Post pandemic, social distancing is going to become a way of the world. Going forward, world travel plans will be affected due to a growing fear amongst people over travelling. They might rethink their annual holidays and taking breaks may not sound as much exciting for a while.
While psychologically, it might be something that people would like to engage in, all EU nations are compelled to create a safety net in order to avoid a second bout of the Covid-19 disease outbreak.
However, the EU nations feel they need to create certain kind of cushioning for its travel and tourism industry. Therefore, the EU Commission is now urging the member states to not push already bleeding airlines and hospitality players to refund cancelled flights and trips. Instead, issuing of vouchers for future travel is being seen as a more viable option.
The EU Commission has taken the thought one step ahead and proposed that the various EU nations may use this as an opportunity to somehow make travel and tourism more attractive to customers. Disclosing a strategy document over how to protect the industry players from going into a state of insolvency, the EU Commission has shared with a major new agency that the voucher strategy would help issuers buy some time and also provides incentives to passengers and travelers to accept vouchers instead of reimbursement. But ‘vouchers should be protected against insolvency of the issuer and remain refundable by the end of their validity if not redeemed. Insolvency protection needs to be assured at the national level and secured vouchers need to be accessible to all passengers and travelers.”
A sudden slump in the economy has thrown the travel and tourism industry out of rhythm with many hotels and aviation players on the verge of collapse. Layoffs at all levels have become common. EU enjoyed some 360 million international arrivals between June and August each year. This year is going to be dry spell. In order to bandage the bleeding industry, the EU has also decided that the bloc’s 27 member countries will gradually lift internal border restrictions and restart some travel to help the ailing tourism sector.
The Commission’s tourism strategy will look at targeted restrictions instead of an envelope ban on travel. This would help in seeking a gradual lift of internal border checks where the health situation has improved.