Informe semanal de noticias de la Oficina de Turismo de Tenerife en París

  • Tourism industry and Competitors news 

How Europe plans to boost tourism  

Before the long haul, we will have to bet on our neighbouring countries. In a document entitled «Europe Needs a Break», unveiled by Reuters ahead of its next publication, the European Commission outlines some possible measures to try to save tourism this summer. A scheme to respond to professionals – hard hit by the coronavirus crisis – who fear a historically bad summer.  

Among the measures envisaged are the lifting of border restrictions, but also the suspension of the European regulation providing for full reimbursement of flights and travel by airlines and the hotel industry. In return, tourism operators could then offer their customers a voucher.  

While this measure could facilitate recovery, the opening of borders for non-essential travel is not yet in sight. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced on 7 May that the restrictions on France’s borders with countries in the European area (European Union, Schengen area, United Kingdom) will be «extended until at least 15 June». Tour Hebdo 

Summer Holidays: how bookings are picking up from Edouard Philippe’s Go 

Locatour : sea, camping, mountains «Here we go again,» says Yariv Abehsera, president of tour operator Locatour. «Before Edouard Philippe’s announcement, we were at 5% of the usual business in terms of bookings. On Sunday (May 17), we were at 30%. This is the weight of the Prime Minister’s words,» he continued. 

A «wind of optimism» at Exotismes 

«The Exotismes team followed Edouard Philippe’s statements carefully. «The Prime Minister was very clear, while remaining cautious. As things stand at present, it is now possible to travel in the French overseas departments and territories. This is very good news,» said Gilbert Cisneros, founding president of the Marseille TO, a specialist in islands. After the intervention of Edouard Philippe, and even if the quarantine measures for the ultramarine territories are not (yet) lifted, traffic on the site of the tour operator has increased by more than 40%. As for bookings, «they are still cautious. The products we sell require a few days of reflection, even more so given the current context. There is a slight wind of optimism,» admits Gilbert Cisneros. And while prices should be attractive at the very beginning of the recovery, the boss believes that «it won’t last very long. For our part, prices are never the highest in July/August, even if these two months are a peak in the seasonal downturn. So our rates will be in line with that period. L’Echo touristique 

Pandemic: UNWTO predicts a 60-80% drop in international tourism by 2020 The UNWTO has revised its projections for 2020, particularly in view of the evolution of the health crisis and border closures. «This is by far the most serious crisis facing international tourism since the surveys began in 1950,» the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said in a new release. The Covid-19 pandemic caused a 22% drop in international tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2020. The fall reached 57% in March, after the start of containment in many countries. The sector thus lost 80 billion dollars (74 billion euros) over the first three months of the year.  

For the year 2020 as a whole, the crisis could lead to a fall of between 58% and 78% compared to 2019 figures, according to the MTO. At the end of March, its forecasts were for «only» a 20% to 30% decrease. These new forecasts are based on three scenarios for exiting the crisis: reopening of borders and lifting of travel restrictions at the beginning of July (58% drop in arrivals), the beginning of September (-70%) and the beginning of December (-78%).  

The erosion of international tourism «puts at risk millions of households whose livelihoods depend on tourism and threatens to undo the progress made in the pursuit of sustainable development goals,» the communiqué addsL’Echo touristique 

A major «Marshall Plan» to support and develop tourism in France  

More than 1,3 billion euros will be invested in the sector . The aim is to encourage the creation of a «new tourism» more oriented towards sustainable development and digital technology. «This is an equity programme, it is not a loan. Because the loan, at some point, you have to pay it back. It’s really investment. It is going to be implemented by Bpifrance, our subsidiary that deals with companies,» explained Olivier Sichel, Deputy Director of Caisse des Dépôts, on 11 May on France Info.  

In return, the beneficiary companies will have to make a commitment on several points, and in particular on the environmental quality of the projects. This equity programme must be validated and arbitrated by the Interministerial Committee for Tourism, which will be held on Thursday 14 May.  

«The aim is for everyone to really have an answer to their problem and for a major tourism Marshall Plan to be drawn up,» Olivier Sichel added.  

This new investment plan comes on top of the emergency plan launched by the government to help the tourism sector, which is «suffering a lot». As of 11 May, 6.17 billion euros in state-guaranteed loans (PGE) had been granted to 66,000 businesses for an average ticket price of 92,000 euros.  

With the help of the regions, repayable advances of between 5,000 and 30,000 euros have also been distributed to the smallest structures to «keep their heads above water during this period», Olivier Sichel said. Tour Hebdo 

Summer holidays in France: travel agencies’ guarantees 

While remaining cautious, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe invited French people to book their holidays in France, including the French overseas departments and territories. «The travel agencies are ready to propose a diversified French offer, explain Les Entreprises du Voyage (EdV) in a press release issued this morning. The union takes the opportunity to remind that distributors sell leisure residences, hotels, campsites, packages… Moreover, France represents one third of the reservations made in travel agencies (metropolitan France and overseas departments), he added. 


Why entrust your holidays to an agency, rather than going live? The EdV is committed to «doing everything possible to find a new holiday destination in line with travellers’ expectations». And this, while respecting potential health constraints. If no offer corresponds to the expectations, the professionals will proceed to the full reimbursement of the deposits paid from 15 May for this stay (and not for the transport a priori). 

Other advantages of the agencies: the financial guarantee of the funds deposited (in case of bankruptcy of a supplier for example), professional liability insurance, expertise and advice, management of unforeseen events, acceptance of holiday vouchers. 

Pending the reopening of all agencies 

For the time being, digital reservations (e-mail, video, etc.) or telephone reservations are preferred, as the majority of sales outlets remain closed. The profession has set up a health protocol that is currently being validated, which will allow the gradual reopening of agencies, equipped accordingly: hydroalcoholic gel, masks available, hygiene measures and distance rules respected. L’echo touristique 

  • Aviation news 

Air France has already lost 1.8 billion euros and is rethinking its wage bill  

The Air France-KLM group measured the first effects of Covid-19 on its traffic, reporting a net loss of 1.8 billion euros in the first quarter. And it anticipates even more disastrous repercussions for its finances between now and the summer. The Franco-Dutch air carrier, 4  

which is due to receive 7 billion euros in aid from the French government to keep its head above water, reported a 10.5% drop in capacity in the first quarter (-35% in March). It forecasts a collapse of 95% in the second quarter and 80% in the third, according to a press release. By mid-morning, the Air France-KLM share was down 3.70% on the Paris stock exchange.  

For the time being, these results only reflect the impact of Covid-19 in March, whereas the year had «started very well in January and February», commented Frédéric Gagey, Group Chief Financial Officer.  

The European Commission has already authorised France on Monday to grant 7 billion euros in support to Air France, including 4 billion in bank loans 90% guaranteed by the State and 3 billion in direct loans from the State.  

The group forecasts «a slow recovery in activity in the summer of 2020, with the gradual lifting of border restrictions», but believes that demand for commercial traffic «should not return to pre-crisis levels for several years». L’Echo touristique 

  • 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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