In order to remain the world's first tourist destination, Europe must respond to the shifting patterns in global tourism and capitalize on the potential of tomorrow's outbound travel markets.
As various research results have shown, the current rules of the Visa Code hinder potential legitimate travellers from third countries to visit the Schengen Area. More flexible visa procedures and rules could lead to a considerable increase in trips and thus have a significant economic impact. According to the European Commission, the Schengen area loses out on a potential of EUR 5.5 billion in direct contribution to GDP every year.
ETC welcomes the proposed Visa Package by the Commission, which not only addresses administrative burdens and application procedures, but will eventually enhance tourism and transport activities in Europe and benefit the economy as a whole.
One of the results of ETC's advocacy efforts is the report "Improving the Visa Regimes of European Nations to Grow Tourism" presented by Mr Henry at WTM London 2015. The report can be downloaded here.
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