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Passionate about open borders

© Paavel Liik

Tourism professionals from Spain and Austria use the ITB Berlin NOW Convention to call for a shared European way out of the crisis

What is the future of tourism in Europe? At the ITB Berlin NOW Convention a passionate appeal was made by Norbert Kettner, managing director of the Vienna Tourist Board, and Arturo Ortiz Arduan, director Turespaña Deutschland, for European cooperation and open borders. “We in Vienna are dependent on the international market, with over 82 per cent of our visitors usually coming from abroad. During a period of recovery the domestic market does have a certain role to play, but it will never take the place of international tourists", explained Kettner, almost imploring for joint European efforts to revive the market. “We face the question of how our entire continent can recover, because little by little in just not enough”, Kettner emphasised, calling on the United Kingdom and Israel to also contribute to a Europe-wide approach.

“I was very downhearted last year when discussions about tourism suddenly took on a nationalistic tone, leading to a veritable blame game, because at the end of the day this leads nowhere. We must overcome these mutual recriminations, begin working together again and develop new concepts jointly", Kettner said.

In restarting tourism  Arturo Ortiz Arduan also called for a European solution, and in his opinion this is especially necessary with regard to vaccinations and vaccination certificates. “In the past the EU has enabled us to acquire the freedom to travel. I am banking on vaccination to convince everyone that borders should no longer remain closed ", Arduan emphasised. The Turespaña representative pointed out that a large proportion of the Germans who normally visit Spain would do so again. “Those who want to have a vacation on the beach are not likely to want to go to a mountain hut in their own country ", Arduan suggested.

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