|Location||6304 Zug, Switzerland|
|Date Posted||May 29, 2020|
Travel & Tourism
European Outdoor Group
The trade association for Europe’s multi-billion euro outdoor sector has issued a call to authorities to do more to support participation in outdoor activities as they ease restrictions following the COVID-19 pandemic. In an open letter to politicians and the public, European Outdoor Group (EOG) president Mark Held has highlighted the positive role that the outdoor industry has played to support people’s physical and mental health during lockdown, and urged politicians to work with the association and other organisations to provide the clear guidance that will help populations re-engage with outdoor activities.
Mark Held writes:
“Continued access to the outdoors – even with restrictions – has helped many people across Europe cope with the lockdown phase of this crisis, and the simple act of going outside for a walk has been essential for maintaining good mental health. Similarly, outdoor activity organisations have done a huge amount to support the public during these very difficult times, delivering an amazing variety of creative ideas, plus advice that has complied with restrictions. People everywhere have been gaining an even greater appreciation of the outdoors as a result of these unusual circumstances and evidence is growing that as we emerge from this situation, their appetite for exploring the natural world will be greater than ever.
“It is vital that local, national and wider European authorities do all that they can to facilitate and support populations that want to reconnect with nature and outdoor activities after the COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis has clearly demonstrated the very significant mental and physical benefits of being active in the outdoors that the EOG has been campaigning about for many years, and the entry threshold is extremely low. Climbing, hiking, hut-to-hut trekking in the Alps – these and other activities, and the people and organisations who facilitate them, form the backbone of the extensive outdoor economy, which brings employment and income to communities in all parts of Europe.
“We call on politicians to acknowledge these facts and act accordingly to positively impact the lives of millions of Europeans. Our sector contributes billions to the economy and has the expertise and resources to support activation everywhere. Outdoor businesses and organisations are ready and primed to deliver everything from basic instruction at climbing walls as they re-open, through to guiding citizens on the hills and mountains, and on to the huge network of outdoor-focused accommodation and other services that are in place throughout Europe.
“The European Outdoor Group and our extensive network of partners, have all of the knowledge, processes, products and services required to help get populations safely back into the outdoors, whenever and wherever that is possible. We urge authorities everywhere to work with us to make that happen.”
The open letter has been published ahead of the release of new joint research by the EOG, It’s Great Out There Coalition and consumer trends specialist Foresight Factory, which will reveal that citizens throughout Europe who have experienced lockdown now have an increased appetite for engaging in outdoor activities as restrictions ease. The research results will be unveiled in the near future and will support the next phase of the #itsgreatoutthere campaign, led by the coalition, which was founded by the EOG to promote participation in outdoor activities across Europe.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Outdoor Group has been working closely with its membership, and with stakeholders and politicians, to coordinate the outdoor sector’s response to the crisis. The association is sharing the latest news and information relating to the pandemic on a dedicated online hub - https://europeanoutdoorgroup.com/knowledge-hub/covid-19. To discuss the work of the EOG relating to COVID-19, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about the #itsgreatoutthere campaign, visit www.itsgreatoutthere.com and for more information about the It’s Great Out There Coalition, email email@example.com.
NOTE TO EDITORS
About the European Outdoor Group
The European Outdoor Group was founded in 2003 by 19 of the world’s largest outdoor companies, all of which recognised the need for a cohesive, cross border approach to representation of the outdoor sector. In a world of increasing internationalisation, legislation, environment, the media and trade are all now multinational issues. The combined strength of the EOG’s 113 members provides the group with an extremely powerful force to represent the European outdoor industry in a constructive and positive manner. Visit www.europeanoutdoorgroup.com for more information.
About the It’s Great Out There Coalition
The It’s Great Out There Coalition is an International Non Profit Association (INPA), registered in Brussels, and set up and launched by the European Outdoor Group (EOG). Run by an executive team and non-executive board, the coalition is leading a pan-European consumer facing campaign to inspire more people to get active in the outdoors. The It’s Great Out There Coalition is funded by membership fees from some of the biggest outdoor businesses in Europe.
The It’s Great Out There Coalition is also working closely with European Commission in Brussels (with the European Outdoor Group), helping to represent the outdoor sector to policymakers and seeking to secure European funding for key community-led projects designed to inspire more European citizens to get active. Businesses and other organisations that operate in the outdoor sector are encouraged to join the coalition as members or supporters. For more information about terms and costs, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about the It’s Great Out There Coalition and #itsgreatoutthere campaign, visit www.itsgreatoutthere.com.