Europe preparing for tourism reboot
WHILE parts of Europe plan to resume tourism by the end of this month, others are preparing to open or have already opened with immediate effect.
The way to tourism recovery from the coronavirus pandemic has been a long and bumpy one for holidaymakers and the industry itself, but borders are already opening up between countries with similar infection rates following advice from the EU to member states.
“We hope to welcome Irish visitors back as soon as it is safe, and the roadmap to recovery is progressing in Spain,” said Spanish Tourism Office director, Ruben Lopez Pulido. “The government of Spain and the Spanish Tourism Office are working to reactivate tourism from the end of June without quarantines as we finalise tourist experiences from safe origins to safe destinations.”
The STO director based in Dublin, Ireland was able to confirm that there has been no new cases in the Canary Islands for a month “with what will soon be, if not already, Covid-free”. His comments followed Italy’s announcement that EU visitors will be able to enter without quarantine from 3rd June as well as those from the UK, Norway and Switzerland.
“We have to accept it, otherwise we could not restart,” said Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of a move he called a “calculated risk”. “We cannot wait for a vaccine.”
Irish holidaymakers will be waiting until well into the summer before non-essential travel restrictions are lifted with the country’s Prime Minister saying that it could be “months rather than weeks” before air travel returns. Meanwhile representatives from across Ireland’s tourism sector have come together in a taskforce intended to reboot the appeal of ‘stay-cations’ and international tourism alike.
A toolkit, already released among Irish tour operators, travel agencies and the hospitality industry is targeting tourism across the island of Ireland, including its cities and rural attractions.
“The impact of Covid-19 on the (Irish) tourism sector has been catastrophic and the establishment by the government of a Tourism Recovery Task Force is very much welcomed by Faílte Ireland,” said CEO Paul Kelly, a member of the Irish taskforce. “I look forward to participating and constructively engaging with my fellow members and with our chair, Ruth Andrews, who has extensive knowledge of the tourism sector. In parallel to the work of the taskforce, Faílte Ireland will continue its comprehensive planning and business supports work with thousands of tourism businesses and sectoral bodies as we try to rebuild the tourism industry together.”
The Irish tourism recovery plan will be considering improved food value experiences while a new price tracker and value monitor is expected to become available for general use.