Europeans are eager to travel. With vaccination campaigns well underway, travellers are becoming increasingly confident in booking their vacations. This is a positive development for Europe, as the tourism sector is a strong pillar of its economy.

Unsurprisingly, the EU undertook enormous efforts in enabling Europeans to travel freely again, even while the pandemic is not yet fully overcome. As EU member states were closing their borders, the EU developed tools to facilitate pandemic-safe travels. The most significant tool is the so-called Green Certificate, which seeks to harmonise covid-free travel across Europe and beyond.

Importantly, the Green Certificate is not the only digital tool that is supporting the travel industry’s recovery from the pandemic. Virtual museum tours, online cooking classes and, of course, vouchers became synonymous with tourism during the pandemic. Businesses with strong digital competencies were able to significantly soften the impact of the pandemic.

The pandemic recovery continues to pose challenges to the travel industry. Consumers are more spontaneous and tend to seek vacations close to home. On top of that, the Green certificate is not without problems and countries which are lagging behind on vaccinations remain cut-off from international tourism. Our reader Jthk is a supporter of the EU Digital COVID Certificate scheme but adds that “only through international cooperation [can we] stop [the] pandemic”. How can we fix the mess we are still in, and what long-term changes are needed to make the travel industry more resilient?

Maybe technology can be used as a tool not just to cope with the pandemic, but also as a means to ensure a robust and sustainable recovery. Our reader Victoria points out that during the pandemic, we have seen data and Artificial Intelligence “being used in multiple ways, from measuring the spread of the disease to ensuring hospitals and doctors have access to the supplies they urgently need”. Is there a potential for AI and other technologies to similarly transform the travel industry?

We brought Jthk’s and Victoria’s comments to Valentina Superti, Director of Tourism & Proximity at the European Commission’s DG GROW and Alessandra Priante, Director for Europe at the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). You can check out their answers in the video above.

What do YOU think? Are you optimistic about your future travel plans? Do you expect things to go back to normal or has your way to travel changed for good? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

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17 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar

    There is no such thing as ,,new normal”. Normal is what is normal. Travelling has always been and will always be a luxury no matter what people say. The eco nonsense that will follow after the end of pandemic as ,,recovery plans” will probably make turn traveling into an even bigger luxury than ever before.

    • avatar

      Крис Караджов Norms constantly change. Until the 60es women didn’t wear pants^^

    • avatar

      Alex Rot That doesn’t sound so bad actually.

  2. avatar

    I can’t say. Everyone’s getting vaxxed but the vaccines don’t seem to stop spread and new variants are always emerging. So who’s to say what governments will decide?

  3. avatar

    No money no jobs no life .I ask you rich politicians haw is your life ?

  4. avatar

    When countries.could agree on the same rules and approach then all would be really much easier. You lose your nerve before find out what you.have to do to get onboard and what are the rules at the destination. Also the compensation mechanisms for cancellation shall be unifiend and be more user friendly.

  5. avatar
    EU Reform Proactive

    Not quite back to normal- but bearable & optimistic!

    What is behind another “EU harmonizing Regulation” which has seen the light of day- called the EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation?

    Sorry, whenever I read about a new EU regulation, my- by now- thoroughly harmonised supranational stomach starts aching.

    Why do we need another “significant tool”- like the latest EU’s achievement called “Green Certificate”- to harmonize- once more- all EU27 supranational members with a “qualified” Covid-19 green EU travel regulation?

    A slight consolation is, that it isn’t called a “Blue Certificate” with 12 yellow stars. Seems colours, flag & anthem still matters in Brussels- lesser so at the UN/WHO.

    It appears the EU political machinery is once more playing mini UN and copy from the UN/WHO their internationally accepted “Carte Jaune or Yellow Card”. It is globally in existence for decades and could be used. wiki/International_Certificate_of_Vaccination_or_Prophylaxis#International_Health_Regulations_(1969%E2%80%93present)

    Some historical adaptions due to the eradication of certain viruses over time:

    Q: What would be more economical for EU Members?

    * using the 193 UN/WHO Members existing (& to be extended) “Yellow Card” or
    * the new & still “limited” EU27 Green Card?

    Let’s also compare the 193 individual UN Member budget contributions to that of the EU27 Members’+ UN contributions.

    The EU27 Nations are obviously paying again twice for similar services. A convenient & deliberate oversight? Or just another innocent bureaucratic wasteful expenditure? Some homework is needed!

  6. avatar

    We are in the dark days and the darker days are coming soon! Am optimistic of traveling even in the middle of pandemic.The virus is to stay just like AIDS, therefore it should not stop us from getting back to normal life.I think also anthrofinderbutenisatyphoni can save the world.It is a chemontyomputin drug.Try mixing it with glue and gluecyrum

  7. avatar

    There is no “new normal” there is just normal and we’re waiting for all this self-imposed nonsense to end.

  8. avatar

    The “ Green Pass “ had nothing to do with the “ pandemic “ … only CONTROL is the tool of the criminal governements . Only luxery for the elite … People don’t want their planned “ New Normal “

  9. avatar

    rien compris merci traduction

  10. avatar

    there is nothing “normal” in the new normal – only total m*r*ns are “adopting” this nonsense 🤣

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