EU cheers Europeans with visa-free travel to exotic beaches

February 13th, 2009 - 11:49 am ICT by IANS  

Brussels, Feb 13 (DPA) Provided they have any money left, Europeans could soon escape the economic gloom with a holiday to the sunny Caribbean or Seychelles without the hassle of a tourist visa.
The European Commission said Thursday it expected member states to approve by the end of March the abolition of short-term visas to four Caribbean destinations - Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Barbados - and Mauritius and Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.

“This is good news for all European citizens who love exotic locations,” the European Union’s Justice Commission spokesman Michele Cercone said.

Once approved by governments and the European Parliament, neither Europeans visiting the island states, nor citizens of those islands heading to Europe would need visas for trips of less than three months.

Some 800,000 Europeans travel to the six countries each year, according to commission figures.

However, the global recession has hit exotic destinations particularly hard, with many Caribbean resorts offering bargain prices to attract visitors.

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