ETIAS to Impact Travellers, Travel Industry in Europe

Discover how the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will reshape travel for visitors from 60+ countries, including the US and UK. Learn about the €7 fee, instant approvals, and the potential disruptions it may bring to travel plans. Explore the industry's response and opportunities on the horizon.
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In an upcoming development set to take effect next year, the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is poised to introduce a wave of changes that could catch travellers, travel agencies, and authorities off guard, according to experts in the travel industry.

ETIAS: A Game-Changer in European Travel

Under the ETIAS system, travellers from more than 60 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, and New Zealand, who are currently eligible to travel visa-free to the EU will be required to apply for travel authorization before their trip.

The authorization will cost €7 and will be valid for three years or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever comes first.

Here are some additional details about the ETIAS system:

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  • The ETIAS application process will be completely online.
  • Applicants will need to provide their personal information, travel history, and contact details.
  • The ETIAS system will use biometric data to verify the identity of applicants.
  • The vast majority of ETIAS applications are expected to be processed within minutes.
  • Applicants who are denied ETIAS authorization will be able to appeal the decision.

Must Read: EU Clarifies ETIAS Requirements: No Health Info or Biometrics Required

Instant Approvals, But Potential Pitfalls

While the majority of ETIAS applications are expected to be processed within minutes, with applicants receiving instant email responses, there is a significant caveat: those who fail to secure ETIAS approval will either be denied boarding or face deportation at EU borders.

This could potentially disrupt travel plans and lead to refund requests.

Expert Guidance is Crucial

Travel and technology experts are urging intermediaries, such as travel agencies, to stay informed and provide clear guidance on visa and entry requirements to ensure their customers are well-informed about the consequences of non-compliance.

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Staff training and clear instructions are highlighted as key components to maintain consistent processes and responses.

Industry Implications

Market experts predict that a lack of preparation on the part of passengers could result in a surge of cancellations and refund requests, impacting the travel industry.

To mitigate these disruptions, businesses are encouraged to adopt cost-effective payment platforms capable of handling such disruptions without significant expense or time delays.

New Opportunities on the Horizon

On a more optimistic note, experts believe that the ETIAS requirement may present new opportunities within the travel industry. Travel issuance companies may be compelled to develop more tailored and competitively priced policies.

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Hotels, too, can explore additional revenue streams by offering visa assistance services for a fee or leveraging interactions to boost sales of other products.

Countdown to Implementation

The launch of the ETIAS system has been delayed several times, but the EU authorities have confirmed that it will be implemented in 2024. Businesses and travellers should start preparing now to avoid any disruptions to their travel plans.

Anitta Hipper, the EU Commission’s Spokesperson for Home Affairs, Migration, and Internal Security, made this announcement in February of this year, underscoring the imminent changes awaiting travellers and the travel industry alike.

As the travel landscape in Europe undergoes a significant transformation, preparedness and adaptability will be key for travellers and industry players to navigate this new era effectively.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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