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Europe’s National Tourism Authorities Convene

The recent Annual Meeting of the European Travel Commission (ETC) in Engelberg, Switzerland brought together the board of directors of national tourism authorities and their marketing and research teams from across Europe. Over 70 participants from throughout the continent convened at the meeting hosted by Switzerland Tourism.

In the wake of the Omicron variant, the gathering provided an exceptional platform for industry leaders to discuss the most recent Covid-19 developments and the path to recovery. Participants reviewed the latest data illustrating the impact of the Omicron variant on the winter travel season and put their heads together to tackle the challenges that lie ahead for the sector as it struggles to recover from the pandemic.

It was noted during the meeting that one of the key challenges is the mass exodus of skilled workers from the hospitality sector over the past two years. As such, a priority for Europe's tourism authorities in 2022 will be attracting talent back to the hospitality sector, ensuring it is an attractive employment option.

Commenting on the meeting, Luís Araújo, president, ETC, said, "As we learn to live with Covid-19 and manage the health risks, it is imperative that European governments do everything in their power to revive travel. Alignment on travel rules across Europe is critical to boost consumer confidence and restart mobility. Clear communication and decisive action informed by data is also essential if pre-pandemic levels of European travel are to be achieved".

Also top of the agenda was the sustainable and digital transition of tourism in Europe. This year's meeting launched intensive work and laid the foundation to develop ETC Strategy 2030. The upcoming strategy will define how the organisation and its members can contribute to the green and digital transition of European tourism in the coming years and better support the sector's recovery following the impacts of the pandemic.