Dear Menno Travel Customers:

In the past several days there have been some confusing and misunderstood reports about purported visa requirements to Europe for US citizens, and I wanted to take a moment to clarify what, in fact, transpired and what that means for travel to Europe generally. I also want to assure you, from first-hand experience, that there is no better time than now to travel to Europe.

In a symbolic gesture taken by a simple show of hands, an administrative arm of the European Union (EU) urged another arm of the EU to institute a new regulation requiring US citizens to obtain a visa before visiting any EU-member nation.

To be very clear: no visa requirement has been added for US citizens traveling to Europe, nor is there likely to be anytime soon.

Just as the US enjoys great economic benefit and job growth from travelers visiting the US, so too do those very EU countries (some of which, such as France, Italy, and Spain, are the most visited countries in the world) reap the benefit of the US tourist. For any sort of EU visa requirement to take effect, the EU countries would have to officially approve the move, “a process that could take years,” according to a report by BBC News.

As background, the move is the latest development in a dispute between the EU and the US regarding travel requirements for its citizens, as there are five EU countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Cyprus) for whose citizens the US requires a visa for travel. As US citizens can travel to any and all EU countries without a visa, the EU would like the same ability for all its citizens.

I’d like to add that the political posturing is simply that and has in no way affected travel to Europe for US citizens or the welcome we receive from Europe’s citizens. To note, I hold Tauck’s seat on the Advisory Council of the European Tour Operators Association, and I hear first-hand what is really going on with the various political actions that happen in Brussels and London.

Between myself and others on the Tauck team, we have been to Paris, London, Frankfurt and Berlin in the past six weeks alone, and everywhere we’ve been greeted by warmth and welcome. We’ve had the opportunity to meet with dozens of our trusted partner suppliers, and to a person, they are extremely excited about the season ahead and can’t wait to welcome Tauck guests. We had wonderful, stimulating and inspiring visits—and we know your clients will too.

Should you ever have a further question, our terrific Reservations Sales Counselors are here to help. But do know that Europe is open and will warmly welcome your clients on their travels this year and in the future.

On behalf of all of us at Tauck, I wish you all a bon voyage, indeed!

Best wishes,

Jennifer Tombaugh, President