Although the corona numbers remain high, the travel industry lures with the prospect of summer holidays in the Mediterranean.
More tests and a digital vaccination certificate should make this possible.
Berlin - Germany's tour operators are hoping for a wave of travel for the summer season despite the continued high corona numbers.
After a year of crisis, mass rapid tests and a digital vaccination card are supposed to bring about a much-needed turnaround in tourism.
According to the German Travel Association (DRV), the losses caused by Corona are increasingly troubling companies in view of the months-long lockdown.
According to the DRV, German tour operators and travel agencies recorded an 80 percent drop in sales last year, and in January even more than 90 percent.
DRV President Norbert Fiebig therefore appealed: "The people who finally want to get out again need a perspective, but also the companies that offer and arrange trips, as well as the almost three million employees in tourism." The holiday countries are also dependent on tourists .
In addition to the announcement of rapid tests that anyone can carry out themselves, the EU is particularly hopeful about introducing a kind of corona vaccination pass for free travel.
EU Council President Charles Michel said after a summit meeting that the 27 countries were converging in their ideas.
Each country can then decide for itself which rights are attached to the document.
Traveling in Corona times: According to the Tui boss, interest in vacation is reflected in bookings and sales
"Travel in Europe will be possible in the summer of 2021 - safely and responsibly," said the head of the Tui tourism group, Fritz Joussen, afterwards.
However, the technical development of the EU vaccination pass should take around three months.
And so far mainly elderly people and people in need of care who will not necessarily fly to Mallorca or Malta in the summer have been vaccinated.
However, this does not detract from the optimism of the industry.
“A European vaccination certificate can help restore freedom of travel.
There's no doubt about that, ”said Joussen.
Tui is already in close coordination with Spain *, Greece * and Cyprus for the summer season.
Other Mediterranean countries would soon follow.
According to Joussen, interest in holidays is already reflected more strongly in “bookings and sales”.
The managing director of DER Touristik Deutschland, Mark Tantz, described the EU summit as a milestone.
"The digital vaccination record will be a significant relief for travel and especially on long-haul routes," he said.
In addition, a well-engineered test strategy will “lead us to normality up to herd immunity”.
Vacation in Corona times: Lufthansa confident - travel group FTI considers discussion about vaccination certificate to be premature
Lufthansa also assumes that travel to areas with manageable numbers of infections will be possible again with a comprehensive test strategy.
Internationally recognized digital vaccination and test certificates are of great importance for restarting air traffic, said a spokeswoman.
The travel group FTI, on the other hand, is more cautious about the situation.
"In our opinion, the discussion about the vaccination record is set too early," said manager Ralph Schiller.
"The proportion of vaccinated people in the population is still far too low for a vaccination certificate to mean a real change for the travel industry and vacationers at this point in time."
Schiller pointed out that in the next few months, the number of guests like before Corona * is not to be expected for a long time if the possibility of traveling is linked to the vaccination certificate.
A technical implementation of the pass by autumn would be "completely sufficient" for him.
Broad test options in the short term are more important.
(dpa) * Merkur.de is part of the Ippen digital editorial network.