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WTTC Congratulates EU on Adoption of New European Travel Information and Authorisation System

WTTC Congratulates EU on Adoption of New European Travel Information and Authorisation System

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has congratulated the EU on the adoption of the new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), a pre-authorisation system that allows the EU to know who is entering the EU, from where and if they pose a risk to EU security.

The new system was adopted on Thursday 5th July 2018 at the European Parliament Plenary in Strasbourg and is expected to come into operation in 2021. When ETIAS comes into operation, all visa-exempt third-country nationals who plan to travel to the Schengen area will have to apply for pre-travel authorisation. The aim of this is to ease travel to the EU and simplify border checks.

During negotiations, WTTC stressed the importance of the process to be made as easy as possible for legitimate travellers. In addition to the ease of process, WTTC also advocated for the fees to remain at a reasonable level, one that did not discourage travellers from coming to Europe. The final fee of €7 meets this balance. ETIAS will be free for under 18s and over 70s.

“We see this as an important first step in the digitalisation of travel,” said Gloria Guevara, President and Chief Executive, WTTC. “The ultimate aim will be the use of biometric technology to ensure seamless, more efficient and more secure travel. WTTC is committed to enhancing security and improving the entire passenger journey. This will essentially maximise the potential of travel and tourism to create jobs and drive economic growth.”

Applying for ETIAS aims to be quick and simple, requiring no more than a travel document, credit card and access to the Internet. A vast majority of applicants will receive a positive reply within minutes. If additional information, documentation or an interview would be needed, different possibilities will be offered taking into account the situation of the traveller.

WTTC has welcomed the fact that the needs of the travel and tourism community were taken into account while ensuring enhanced EU security.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 52 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 42 years.

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