According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), international travel can resume completely without having to wait for the majority of people to be vaccinated.
The recent distribution of vaccines are mandatory for the long term combating of COVID-19 and to ensure the spreading of the virus is minimized, eventually coming to a halt. However, the WTTC emphasizes that it is not a requirement to travel.
Due to the ongoing global pandemic, WTTC says the travel and tourism industry is in turmoil, with millions of people now at risk of being unemployed. Due to jobs being endangered, eventually having a large impact on multiple economies worldwide, the WTTC president & CEO believes the tourism industry simply cannot wait till vaccines have a significant effect on the global population, according to Gloria Guevera.
Guevera said, “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.”
WTTC, which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, together with Airports Council International, the World Economic Forum, and the International Chamber of Commerce, has urged for immediate restoration of travel worldwide.
In a press release issued to address the current situation, the WTTC notes, “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.”
Furthermore, WTTC urges against a possible introduction of “health passports”, as they would only further delay the recovery. The press release also revealed, according to recent research conducted by WTTC, a tremendous 174 million global travel and tourism jobs are now at risk.
Although WTTS, ACI, WEF, and ICC agree that the tourism industry should resume activities, all four have identified a few measures which must be implemented to restore international travel safety. The following measures should be followed for governments to restore travel:
- Introducing a globally recognized 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.
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 percent contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.
Photo Credit: WTTC