TUI Group, the Anglo-German multinational travel and tourism company headquartered in Hannover, Germany, called on EU member states on Monday to develop a “roadmap for travel” after the long months of coronavirus restrictions.
The company’s CEO Fritz Joussen also suggested that preparations already made in Greece and Cyprus could put them ahead of the tourism game this summer.
TUI, which is the largest leisure, travel and tourism company in the world, owns travel agencies, hotels, airlines, cruise ships and retail stores.
Joussen said governments needed to provide a “clear perspective” on tourism within Europe and said a roadmap would help to open up travel to countries which have made good progress in the battle against Covid-19.
He cited destinations including Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and the Balearics as possibilities for upcoming tourist travel this summer.
The CEO said that vacationing at home shouldn’t be the only option available for Europeans, while also highlighting that advance bookings for 2021 were currently at a “favorable level.”
“We must now emerge well from the crisis and should develop a roadmap for travel within Europe and make holidays possible in 2020,” Joussen said.
“This includes opening up with tourism and air travel to countries and regions of Europe that have made good progress and are actively promoting the return of holidaymakers, such as Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, the Balearic Islands, Austria or Bulgaria. Holidays at home are an offer, but should not be the only answer for Europe and Europeans,” he added.
Following Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ pledge to open the summer season starting July 1, 2020, the country’s Tourism Minister outlined a plan to make Greece ready to host as many travelers as possible “in compliance with health rules.”
“We have a plan to support Greek tourism. We will make use of all opportunities, but in compliance with health rules,” Tourism Haris Theoharis said before Parliament on Monday.