Last year over 17 million people from third countries around the world submitted visa applications to enter the Schengen area.
This is certainly a striking figure, but what is even more striking are the estimations that at least 6.6 million potential travellers did not enter the Schengen area in that same year due to lengthy and costly procedures under the current visa regime.
These figures are a reason to act. Every year too many potential tourists are discouraged from visiting Europe. This is not only a problem for those wanting to come but it also implies a serious loss for the European economy. We do not reap the profits and benefits they could bring.
According to the same estimations, facilitating the visa application process could lead to an increase in trips to the Schengen area, with up to 60%.
Over five years, this could mean as much as €130 billion in total direct spending on accommodation, transport services, entertainment and shopping.
Moreover, it could translate into some 1.3 million additional jobs in tourism and other related sectors.
So, in order to fully reap these benefits Europe needs a smarter common visa policy.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at EUROPA – COMMUNIQUES DE PRESSE – Communiqué de presse – Speech – New EU visa rules: fostering economic growth and jobs through enhanced mobility.
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