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From digital visas to sustainability: The issues that will shape Destination Europe Summit in June

Destination Europe Summit will take place in Brussels on 27 June.
Destination Europe Summit will take place in Brussels on 27 June. Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Angela Symons
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What are the biggest challenges facing European travel? This event aims to solve them.

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Are you dreading summer airport chaos? Are you tired of visiting dream destinations only to find them overcrowded and under-resourced? Want to travel more sustainably but don’t know how?

These are just some of the questions that you can get answers to at Destination Europe Summit 2023.

A collaboration between Euronews Travel and the European Travel Commission (ETC), the new travel summit will bring together key players to discuss the biggest issues facing the industry.

The past few years have proven that the travel industry is resilient - but not unshakeable.

In 2022, European foreign tourist arrivals were 18 per cent below 2019 levels.

As travellers rush to make up for lost time this summer, airlines, hotels and tourist boards are still getting back on their feet.

Hit by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, they are faced with inflation, staff shortages and airspace closures.

On 27 June, Destination Europe Summit will bring together the brightest minds in travel to forge a sustainable future for the sector.

What are the biggest challenges facing Europe’s travel sector in 2023?

How can the travel industry grow in a sustainable way? That’s the question that will shape the inaugural Destination Europe Summit.

The summit will get to the crux of the biggest issues facing the travel industry through a series of expert panels.

Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, will give insight on what policy makers, destinations and industry providers can do to improve the traveller’s experience, speed up the sector's recovery and increase general mobility.

As Europe enters its busiest summer season since pre-pandemic, airlines, hoteliers and tourism boards are assessing how they can become more resilient.

Digital visas and the smooth implementation of the EU’s new ETIAS and Entry-Exit System (EES) will be key to creating a positive experience for tourists entering Europe in 2024.

At the start of this year, European flight volumes were 14 per cent below 2019 figures, according to the ETC, with demand for flights outstripping supply. The sector is not expected to fully recover until 2025.

To fast track this recovery, country representatives will discuss how to improve air connectivity, worker shortages, bottlenecks and airspace issues.

With the UK ranking first among European countries in terms of travel intention in 2023, according to the ETC, overcoming post-Brexit border issues will be essential.

Collaborating on cross-border rail as an alternative to flying could also help countries improve connectivity in a sustainable way.

Moving towards a greener future, destinations need to make it easier for tourists to travel more sustainably. As well as promoting public transport, they could spotlight lesser known destinations while restricting visitors in overtouristed places.

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“The tourism industry has both a responsibility and an opportunity to protect the resources on which it depends, including the natural environment, wildlife, and cultural heritage that bring travel experiences to life,” says Eduardo Santander, Executive Director of the ETC.

“This requires understanding the challenges we face as an industry, collaboration, and a clear pathway to achieve global commitments to reach net zero.”

At Destination Europe Summit, countries will focus on growth beyond numbers by discussing how they can align their climate policies with sustainable tourism goals.

What is Destination Europe Summit?

Destination Europe Summit is a summit on the big issues shaping the travel sector. It will debut on 27 June 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.

From EU decision makers and tourism associations to airline and hotel industry leaders, the summit will bring together key stakeholders from the world of travel to solve the industry’s most pressing issues. They will also discuss the trends shaping the travel industry.

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The summit will be livestreamed on Euronews’s website, meaning members of the public can tune in virtually.

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