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ETOA welcomes new British-Irish cooperation on visas

A British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly committee has agreed to look into the workings of the different visa systems in the European Union, with a focus on the rules applying to the Schengen Area and the Common Travel Area of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.  

Following extensive lobbying on the issue of visas, ETOA - the European tourism association, welcomes the news from the two governments. 

Refreshed cooperation on visas between the UK and Ireland is important to the competitiveness the two destinations as part of Europe.  Results from a recent European Travel Commission (ETC) report indicate a strong sentiment for Europe for long haul markets; however growth for the UK shows signs of slowing in relation to some other European countries.  ETOA believes that action is required to the secure ease of access to business and leisure visitors to the UK and Ireland.

A recent announcement from UK Home Office on the introduction of a streamlined visa regime effective from April 2015 shows that necessary steps are being taken to ensure the process of welcoming business and leisure visitors to the UK and Ireland but more can be done. 

Tom Jenkins, CEO of ETOA said: 'Next month ETOA will welcome tour operators representing international visitor markets looking to sell the UK and Ireland to their clients at the March Marketplace. The UK has always been an important component part of any inbound tourist’s experience, but must remain pro-active. We are taking action on behalf our UK and Ireland members to ensure that they retain their position within the European visitor offer”.

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