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European Tour Operators Association

ETOA and Visa Policy Unit to work together on best practice

Dec 06, 2010

European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) held a 90-minute meeting with the European Commission’s Visa Policy Unit on Monday, November 29, to move forward the discussion initiated by the recent "Europe: Open for Business?" seminar held in Brussels in October. Present were the Head of the Unit and policy officers. ETOA presented the concerns highlighted in their interim report from a visa survey carried out over the summer. It showed that Europe is missing out on tourism, and, therefore, income and potential job creation in the industry, due to inefficient and overly cumbersome processes. The unit explained the security concerns and also the challenges faced in dealing with a zone that includes 27 nation states. It was agreed to hold further such meetings, and in the meantime, ETOA will help the unit in identifying where their Handbook on Visa Processing, a document that lays out best practice in the field, is or isn’t reflected by the reality on the ground.

ETOA will be releasing further in-depth market and visa-specific reports on the back of the data collected during 2011.

The issue of visas was raised the following day at a conference in Brussels both by the DG for Enterprise and Industry and also the Rapporteur to the European Parliament on tourism. The Lisbon Treaty gives a new central role to tourism policy and ETOA is actively involved in the consultaion process to ensure its competitiveness and sustainability.

ETOA and Visa Policy Unit to work together on best practice
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