Yesterday was a great success in Brussels.  We will have a meeting with EU-commissioner Vălean, responsible for Transport and Tourism, to discuss the issues our industry is facing and the help we need from the EU to save the Tourism Industry next week.

The travel industry is groaning and is heading for a real disaster, not only in Belgium but also in Europe and worldwide. This is the reason we want to launch an emergency call : #SaveOrSink.

The travel industry is one of the industries which have been and are still hit really hard by the widespread impact of the corona virus measures, especially the travel agencies, tour operators and all their partners. The travel industry as a whole employed 1 in 10 people of the world’s working population in 2019, supporting more than 330 million jobs which contributed more than $ 8.9 trillion to the global GDP.(World Travel and Tourism Council,, consulted on 2020 08 30) This means the travel industry accounts for 10 percent of global employment.

Our action group # Save Or Sink – SOS Travel currently represents more than 500 independent travel agencies and tour operators in Belgium. We started in Belgium, but In the meantime we also get support from many European colleagues and colleagues from outside the EU. Our facebook page currently reaches more than 175,000 people worldwide and this spread over several countries, and is still growing.  We also want to support all the people worldwide who work in the tourism industry.

On Tuesday 06/10/2020 was a European / international manifestation in Brussels (starting at 12.00h) together with several European action groups linked with the Tourism Industry. Tourism Professionals from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, France,…. was presented in Brussels. We invited the local and international press to be present at the scene.

Our manifest :

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has triggered an unprecedented crisis in the travel industry. In order to save the Tourism Industry and to relaunch the tourist economy successfully and get businesses up and running again, we need an immediate and coordinated approach :

1) Install effective representation at all levels (including spokesmen for the smaller travel agencies/tour operators) when the necessary and comprehensive tourism recovery plans are being prepared.

2) Stop declaring travel is assumed to be dangerous and is not recommended. This is not the case. It’s not travelling itself which is dangerous, it’s how you behave at the destination which matters. The travellers’ confidence has to be restored thus stimulating the demand. Positive travel experiences have to be published in order to make people feel confident to travel. Sustainable Tourism is per definition corona safe travel.

3) Provide a long-term perspective for our industry. Allow travel to ‘corona safe’ regions in the entire world, not only within Europe. Lifting travel restrictions should be coordinated at a European / worldwide level.

4) Use consistent statistics in Europe and in the world (in measuring and in publishing the corona figures), so that countries such as the Seychelles or Slovenia for example, do not include certain nationalities in their list of “dangerous” countries therewith closing the borders or imposing extra quarantine measures.

5) Adjust the European Union Package Travel Directive especially regarding liability.  “The organiser of the package, is liable if something goes wrong, no matter who performs the travel services.” This is impracticable and strangles the travel industry.  We want to elaborate and develop a feasible alternative together with the EU-Council, which is in the interest of every party involved.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights :

Article 13.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 23.

(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

#SaveOrSink Tourism Community