Non-essential trips abroad will therefore be prohibited until March 1.. So decided by the Concertation Committee meeting on Friday afternoon in Brussels. A decision which does not completely surprise the Professional Union of Travel Agencies (UPAV) but which raises many questions, says its secretary-general, Anne-Sophie Snyers.
“In view of the pandemic situation in Europe, we are not totally surprised”, assures Ms. Snyers. “Nevertheless, we have many questions, questions to which customers will want answered. What will be done for trips booked in Switzerland, for example, a country where everything is ready to welcome the Belgian tourist? Who will pay the Cancellation fees? What will happen to those who leave without having gone through a travel agency?
“At the UPAV, we would also like to have a definition of what constitutes a non-essential trip. There are also fears that this ban will be extended beyond March 1. “Another concern for the sector: what will prevail as regulations in this area in other European or neighboring countries. “Too bad there is no decision valid for all of Europe“, specifies Anne-Sophie Snyers. This decision of the Consultative Committee will undoubtedly no longer have a fundamental impact on the number of reservations.” Cancellations have been piling up for two or three weeks. We are already down to 10% of what we usually have as reservations. ”Those that will still have to take place will only further increase the workload of the agencies.