« 50 000 Tourists » Initiative
The Commission is working with governments, the industry and airlines to develop tourist flows between the EU and the rest of the world by using spare airline and hotel capacity during low season.
In its pilot phase, the initiative will encourage travel between the EU and Argentina, Brazil and Chile:
- 25 000 Argentineans, Brazilians or Chileans to travel to the EU (October 2012 - March 2013)
- 25 000 EU nationals to travel to Argentina, Brazil or Chile (May - October 2013).
In future, the initiative may be extended to other countries, both in Europe and worldwide.
Applications will initially be open to residents of all EU countries and Argentina, Brazil and Chile. The trip must be justified by family ties, educational or cultural links, or an interest in gastronomic or religious tourism.
The precise conditions for participation in the scheme will be determined by each country and airline.
Examples of national implementation
- Trips will be for over 60s resident in Argentina, Brazil or Chile with dual citizenship, and for Spanish residents over 60 to Argentina, Brazil or Chile who are travelling with a spouse and/or child(ren) from one of those 3 countries.
- Spanish airline Iberia will carry passengers to 35 Spanish destinations and 36 cities elsewhere in Europe from designated South American cities:
- Argentina – Buenos Aires and Cordoba
- Brazil – Fortaleza, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo
- Chile – Santiago
- Is giving maximum visibility to the initiative through a targeted communication strategy, in collaboration with its National Tourism Agency (ENIT), the Italian airline Alitalia, national associations of tour operators and travel agents and possibly social tourism associations.
- Italian airline Alitalia will connect Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to Rome, with scheduled direct flights – and onward connections to the main Italian and European destinations.
- The scheme will be open to emigrants from Lithuania, their family members and relatives, students studying tourism, history, theology, gastronomy, architecture and/or culture, restaurants owners or employees and their family members cooperating with Lithuanian partners, and the over 60s.
- Partners include members of the Lithuanian Tourism Association, tour operators "Baltic Travel Service", "Baltic Travel Group" and "Senamiescio gidas", the National Tourism Business Association and the members of the Lithuanian Hotels and Restaurants Association.