At yesterday’s EU Tourism Ministers Meeting, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) called on leadership from the EU to save the Travel & Tourism sector which has been left in ruin by the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the critical meeting, Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “On behalf of WTTC and our 200 members, I would like to thank the Portuguese Presidency of the EU, Commissioner Breton and all European ministers for their alignment to do everything they can to prepare for the summer season. According to our recent data, 174 million jobs have been impacted globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Europe alone, the most important region in the world, a staggering 23 million jobs have been impacted.
“A major issue our sector faces is that different countries have different protocols that are not integrated with one another, and the lack of international coordination. We believe that the key to recovery is to restore international mobility – and we must work together to do so. It is critical that we have a clear roadmap to resume economic activity in a safe and secure way includingrapid and cost-effective testing supported by technology through interoperable health digital passes or certificates.
“WTTC believes that while the vaccination rollouts are providing relief to the sector, vaccines should not be a requirement for travel.. Instead, we should focus on testing, mandatory mask wearing and enhanced health and hygiene measures to bring certainty and confidence. The sector also desperately needs further support from governments around the world. Without it, more businesses will collapse and many more will lose their jobs.
“We have one single request: we need to see the restoration of international mobility. We need clear rules for mobility. Europe must define protocols, so it’s clear how mobility can be safely resumed within the EU, to the EU and from the EU.
“We must replace ineffective quarantines and move from a country-based assessment to individual based assessment. Not entire populations are infected, and we must not treat them as such.”