Informe de la Oficina de Turismo de Francia

  • Tourism industry and Competitors news 

Towards the creation of a «tourism holiday voucher». 

One more measure to boost tourism this summer. Invited on Wednesday morning on RTL, the Secretary of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne spoke of the forthcoming introduction of a «tourism holiday voucher» to help and encourage French people to go on holiday during the summer season.  «We are working with the regions to set up holiday vouchers for this summer», he announced. A few days ago, an extension of the number of beneficiaries of the existing holiday voucher – proposed by the works councils – had already been evoked by the government. «Today, four million employees are beneficiaries of this scheme financed by companies. By relaxing the regulatory framework, we want to double the number». Tour Hebdo 

Travel in Europe: Paris plans to reopen the borders at the end of June at the earliest 

«In mid-June, we will have a somewhat complete vision at European level, for a possible entry into force at the end of June or the beginning of July», declared the Secretary of State for Tourism. This followed a meeting of the European Union (EU) tourism ministers on Wednesday 20 May. Naturally, the «pivotal date» of 15 June and the possible gradual lifting of travel restrictions presupposes that the pandemic remains under control. 

The French will not be able to travel to Europe before at least 15 June, as previously announced by Interior Minister Christophe Castaner. 

In anticipation of the recovery, a European information platform is due to go online, a priori during June. The aim is to consolidate practical information on entry formalities in each EU country: access, transport, measures, etc. Each European will thus have «a very valuable tool» to «prepare for holidays and travel», via his or her smartphone. Even if, «the main driver of tourism will be national», in France as in several neighbouring countries, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne recalled. More than half of the French people who went on holiday in 2019 planned to stay in France. A percentage that is expected to rise sharply in 2020. All the more so as the government is above all encouraging tricolour tourism. L’Echo Touristique 

Greece resumes international flights on 1 July 

«The tourist season will start on 15 June when seasonal hotels will be able to reopen and direct flights abroad will gradually resume from 1 July,» Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos said. 

The list of gradually reopened air routes will be announced at the end of May, Tourism Minister Harry Theocharis then added. The «first countries with which connections will be able to resume are the Balkan countries little affected by the epidemic and the countries of northern Europe, especially Germany, and then the countries of the wider region such as Israel and Cyprus,» the minister continued on television. 

Restaurants and bars are due to resume operations on Monday, while open-air archaeological sites reopened this week. 

In a country less affected than its neighbours by the new coronavirus, with 166 deaths, «we will win the battle of the economy as we won the battle of health,» the prime minister promised.  

The quarantine imposed until now for 14 days on all visitors arriving in Greece will no longer be mandatory. Travellers will be «subject to sampling without mandatory testing,» the Hellenic National Tourist Office said Friday. L’Echo Touristique 

After museums, Portugal prepares to reopen international flights 

Less severely affected by the pandemic than other European countries, Portugal is slowly resuming its tourism activities. 

On 18 May, the destination reopened museums, monuments, art galleries, interpretation centres, palaces and churches. Restaurants, cafés, bakeries and terraces will soon be back in operation, according to a press release from Tourismo de Portugal on May 20. 

The opening of «air borders» with European Union countries, with the exception of Spain and Italy, is described as an «important factor» in the recovery. With certain air traffic limitations, routes will be opened to the United Kingdom, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, the United States, Canada, Venezuela, South Africa and Brazil. The aim is to «gradually restore the routes», but no date is given at this stage. «There are no quarantine requirements for entry into Portugal, except in the Madeira archipelago,» the tourist office says. Last year tourism generated 8.7% of Portuguese GDP. In order to support the sector and reassure travellers, the authorities are continuing to roll out the «Clean & Safe» label, which distinguishes hotels, tour operators and restaurants that are demanding in terms of hygiene and cleaning. L’Echo Touristique 

UK to impose 14-day quarantine on foreign travellers 

The United Kingdom will impose a 14-day quarantine on travellers arriving from abroad, Northern Ireland Minister Brandon Lewis said Friday. «People arriving in the United Kingdom will have to be quarantined» in order to «contain» the rate of transmission of the disease, he said on Sky News television. 

This measure, which he said is reviewed «every three weeks», must accompany the gradual deconfinement of the country, which is due to begin on 1 June if progress is made in the fight against the pandemic. L’Echo Touristique 

  • Aviation news 

Air transport prepares anti-coronavirus measures to take off again 

Iata is working on the development of an anti-coronavirus arsenal to enable airlines to gradually resume operations. 

«One of the keys to restarting travel is a robust passenger screening process (…), which restores confidence (…)» and makes it possible «to convince governments to lift the procedures for closing borders,» said Alexandre de Juniac, head of Iata, in an interview with AFP. 

Health declaration on arrival at the airport, temperature control, the wearing of masks in the airport and on the plane, distribution of pre-packaged food to limit contact, disinfection of the plane, limitation of the number of cabin bags or accelerated baggage delivery: the sector is banking on a combination of measures combined with high-performance air filtration systems in the planes to create an anti-Covid net. Tour hebdo 

Resumption of flights this summer: where do the airlines stand? 

Although the information is given in dribs and drabs, a few airlines have planned to start resuming their flights in June. 

After two months of near inactivity, airlines are finally seeing the beginnings of a partial resumption of their flight schedules in June. After Air France, which shared its detailed schedule a few days ago, the first airlines are now sharing their flight schedules. 

EasyJet announced on Thursday 21 May that it was planning to resume some flights from 15 June, mainly on «domestic» programmes in the UK and France. These flights will be «mainly domestic, from 21 European airports», it said in a statement. In France, easyJet will relaunch 18 domestic routes from Nice, Paris CDG, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes, Lyon and Lille. 

Volotea plans to resume operations on June 16. In France, Volotea is launching 15 new routes, including 5 exclusive routes. These new routes connect French seaside destinations. Volotea thus offers connections to Corsica from all the French cities where it operates. The company will also resume operations at Beauvais airport in 2020. 

Since 21 May 2020, Emirates has been offering flights to Paris, London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne. 

Lufthansa will resume flights to 20 destinations from mid-June. Destinations served from Frankfurt include Mallorca, Crete, Rhodes, Faro, Venice, Ibiza and Malaga. Further destinations will be announced at the end of next week, the spokeswoman added. 

Finally, Turkish Airlines has scheduled the resumption of its international flights on 10 June, but France is not concerned. 

  • Tour operators and travel agents news 

Coronavirus: the tour operator TUI is going to cut 8,000 jobs around the world  

This is a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought most of its activities to a halt. «We want to reduce our administrative costs by 30% on a sustainable basis for the entire 5 group» with «consequences on about 8,000 positions» that «we will not occupy or eliminate», says the company. The group, which has nearly 70,000 employees worldwide, will thus eliminate more than 10% of its workforce. At the same time, the group reported a strong net loss in the second quarter of its financial year, which was postponed from January to March, i.e. -763.6 million euros. In France, the tour operator has placed its teams on short-time working until 16 September. L’Echo touristique 

TUI France wants to facilitate travel postponements  

After having repatriated more than 10,000 customers (Morocco, Senegal, Cape Verde, Dominican Republic, …), chartering 27 aircraft, TUI France is preparing for the takeover by launching «Easy Report».  

An offer designed «to make it easy for all travellers to go on holiday under the same conditions as their cancelled trip, without having to spend more». Based on the government order of 25 March 2020, TUI France offers «the same holidays next year at the same guaranteed price, valid until 31 July 2020». The offer applies to all TUI customers whose individual package holiday has been cancelled (to date, for all departures up to and including 12 June 2020). TUI France specifies that «it remains possible, of course, for customers who would prefer another alternative for their next holiday, to postpone their initial booking to another proposal». L’echo Touristique 

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