Dominicans will soon be able to travel to a number of European countries without a visa under a new travel policy announced by the European Union (EU) earlier this week.

The policy falls under the Schengen Area Agreement which comprises the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

“In the current challenging economic climate we have to focus our efforts on supporting EU growth and visa policy as a powerful tool to increase tourism flows to the EU,” according to a statement from the EU in announcing the policy on November 7. “This is why, together with Vice-President Antonio Tajani, we adopted today a communication on how visa policy can spur economic growth in the EU, accompanied by a report on Local Schengen cooperation and by a proposal to grant visa free travel to 16 island nations.”

Travelers from Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago are expected to benefit from this policy.

Other countries benefiting from that move are Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, and Timor Leste.

The move by the EU is to boost tourism arrivals to Europe which is being severely affected by the current economic climate and Dominicans will be able to travel for up to 90 days within member countries of the Schengen Area Agreement without having to show their passport when crossing borders.