The proposal of the European Commission suggesting the establishment of a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) can be supported if part of the generated income will be spent on promoting European tourist destinations and European tourism overall. Tourism is now one of the driving forces of our European economies, generating ten percent of EU GDP as the sector grew steadily even during the darkest times of the financial crisis. It generates more than 10 million jobs directly and provides for the livelihood of more than 2 million SMEs.
Such a new measure can deter potential tourists from coming to Europe, therefore, tourism stakeholders rightly expect that part of the generated income will be spent on tourism marketing. Today the Commission tabled a proposal about the establishment of ETIAS in order to strengthen irregular migration and security checks on all those travelling to Europe without a visa. ETIAS permission is not a visa; it is a lighter and more visitor-friendly system allowing tourists from visa-free countries to travel to Europe without a visa still while ordering them to obtain a travel authorisation before entering the Schengen-zone. This grants a five-year permission with multiple travels and costs 5 euro.
MEP, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism responsible for tourism