NEW ORLEANS — Travel leaders here urged the European Union (EU) not to suspend visa waiver privileges with the U.S. due to reciprocity issues.
“Unfortunately, some EU policymakers have suggested suspending VWP [Visa Waiver Program] reciprocity altogether because not all EU nations have qualified to enter this program,” said U.S. Travel Association CEO Roger Dow at the group’s annual IPW show here.
The suspension would mean that EU countries would require visas from Canadians and Americans.
David Scowsill, CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council, said the WTTC was in the process of soliciting data on what the economic impact of such an action would mean for the economies of Europe and the U.S.
“WTTC will use the data to call upon the member states to find another path for compromise and negotiation to prevent a potential suspension,” he said. “The VWP of both the U.S. and Canada with countries of the EU are in jeopardy and requires a strong voice to ensure a temporary suspension is not imposed. ”
In April, the European Commission entered into discussions about whether to suspend visa waiver privileges for visitors from the U.S. and Canada due to non-reciprocity with a handful of member countries of the European Union.
Scowsill said the suspension could be imposed in the next eight months unless the European Commission or European Parliament vetoes it.
Source : Travel Weekly