WTTC Says International Travel Can Safely Restart Without Waiting for Vaccines

WTTC Says International Travel Can Safely Restart Without Waiting for Vaccines

The travel and tourism industry is in a turmoil, and if world governments wait for the majority of people to get vaccinated, it may be too late for this industry and those working in it, major international industry bodies believe.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, together with Airports Council International, the World Economic Forum, and International Chamber of Commerce, have urged for the immediate restoration of international travel without waiting for vaccinations.

While the WTTC welcomes the recent rollout of the vaccines, noting they are mandatory for the long-term combating of the Coronavirus and restoration of international travel, it yet does not believe that they must be a requirement for travel.

“They must not be a requirement to travel as this will further delay the revival of the already ailing Travel & Tourism sector, which needs to restart now to save itself, millions of jobs in the sector and beyond, and the global economy,” the WTTC notes in a press release issued in this regard.

The press release also points out that recent research from WTTC shows a tremendous174 million global travel and tourism jobs are now at risk, suggesting that international travel can already take place at minimal and acceptable risk so that these jobs become less endangered.

According to Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO believes that it will take quite some time to vaccinate for the vaccines to have a significant effect on the global population, and the global travel and tourism sector simply cannot wait.

“Vaccination must not be a requirement to travel but should co-exist with testing regimes and be considered as a progressive enhancement to already safe travel,” she said.

At the same time, the WTTC urges against a possible introduction of the requirement of ‘health passports’ asserting they would only further delay the recovery.

Four Key Measures to Restore International Travel Safely

While WTTS, ACI, WEF, and ICC, agree that tourism and travel industry doesn’t have to wait for the vaccine to resume, all four have identified a few measures which need to be implemented to restore international travel safety.

These major international industry bodies suggest the following measures in order for the governments to be able to safely restore international travel:

* Introducing a globally recognised cost-effective testing regime on departure
* Common heightened health and hygiene protocols
* The adoption of common risk management clear policy
* Refrain from attempting to introduce so-called “health passports” as the WTTC insists vaccines can work together with digital travel passes, such as CommonPass, AOK Pass or IATA Travel Pass

Previously the WTTC had recommended to the EU governments to introduce 72-hours quarantine-free business-trips, in order to help remedy the damage caused to travel by COVID-19.

According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, last year travel and tourism were responsible for one in every ten jobs, representing a 10.3 per cent contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.

Source: schengenvisainfo.com

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