The boss of the UK and Europe’s largest tour operator has insisted that travelling “safely and responsibly” in Europe will be possible this summer.
Fritz Joussen, chief executive of Tui, said the operator was “preparing intensively” for the summer 2021 season and called for an EU-wide vaccination passport or certificate to be introduced to “restore freedom to travel”.
“Tui is already in close co-ordination with Greece, Spain and Cyprus. Talks are to be extended to other holiday destinations in the western and eastern Mediterranean in the coming weeks,” added Joussen.
“The desire for holidays has been high throughout the pandemic. Demand and bookings are picking up after the UK government unveiled a timetable for an end to the Covid restrictions.”
Joussen said the governments of key destinations in southern Europe have “developed good concepts for the restart and presented them in recent weeks”.
“At the core of these plans are rapid tests, vaccinations and uniform proof of immunity,” he said. “A European vaccination passport can help restore freedom to travel. With a uniform EU certificate, politicians can now create an important basis for summer travel.
“As long as not everyone can be vaccinated, rapid tests are the second important building block for safe holidays. They are reliable and are now available in sufficient numbers."