Leaseurope speaks at European Tourism Convention

Leaseurope discussed the future of automotive rental in closing plenary remarks

Leaseurope, the trade federation representing leasing and automotive rental at European level, spoke at a virtual European Tourism Convention hosted by the European Commission together with other stakeholders, where we elaborated on the importance of automotive rental in the future of a sustainable, innovative and resilient European tourism ecosystem.

The tourism sector has been highly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic since March this year and the European Tourism Convention on 12 October had the goal of addressing key challenges, as well as formulating sustainable commitments for the 2050 Tourism Agenda. The European Commission recognises the importance of the tourism ecosystem and plans to provide funding for this sector as soon as possible. During the plenary session consisting of various tourism stakeholders, Leaseurope’s closing remarks underlined that this is a key time to address the remaining challenges in transport and mobility, including multimodality, cross-border operations and the sharing of data. Vehicle rental being an enabler of tourism in Europe would need special support.

Leaseurope highlighted a number of key points during its intervention:

  • The European leasing and automotive rental industries provide safe mobility and connectivity for over 120 million tourists annually, purchasing approximately 46% of all vehicles registered in the EU to provide these services.
  • As a mobility industry, we believe that seamless integrated cross border multi-modal transport lies at the heart of ensuring Europe can remain one of world’s key tourist destinations in a sustainable manner – the lowest carbon footprint possible, and allowing tourists to sustainably reach both popular and more remote tourist locations.
  • A supportive regulatory and funding framework will be necessary to convert the leasing and rental fleets to low-emission vehicles and put in place the necessary infrastructure.
  • There are a number of national and European legislative barriers in place that make it difficult to reach our sustainable mobility goal, especially when it comes to cross border travel. The development of new mobility concepts also hinges upon having fair access to data, both from vehicles as well as public authorities.

Conference participants agreed on the need to develop multimodal, low-carbon transport and connectivity across the EU through coordinated responses to technical, institutional, and financial issues, while ensuring the implementation and alignment of efficient health and safety protocols across Europe. It was acknowledged that smart management of tourism flows/crowds would need to focus on quality rather than volume. Regarding green holidays, SMEs and marketing organisations will need to be empowered with innovation capabilities, financial instruments and legal frameworks. On the data subject, participants took stock of the fact that tourism enterprises should benefit from funding support and training opportunities in order to become more digital.

European Commissioner Breton recognised the difficult economic period the tourism industry is facing and welcomed the idea of a joint European Mechanism to address future crises. While the Covid-19 pandemic has created substantial challenges for the tourism sector, it can also be viewed as an opportunity for reform, and to finally address numerous important issues.

You can access a recording of the full conference here, the intervention of Leaseurope can be found at approximately 2h48m.