The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) stated that closing countries are counterproductive and will delay economic recovery.
According to the WTTC, closing countries would not be beneficial in the long run, compared to airports across countries simply testing travelers for COVID-19, and isolating the positive cases. Although the safety and wellbeing of the public are to be prioritized, nationwide lockdowns will have less impact as a preventative method for the spreading of the coronavirus. Thus, the CEO of WTTC emphasized the importance of travelers following health and safety protocols implemented by governments across countries.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “While protecting public health is paramount, blanket travel bans cannot be the answer. They have not worked in the past and they will not work now. If a comprehensive and quick turnaround testing regime were in place at airports across the country to test all travelers before they depart, it would ensure only those infected with COVID-19 are isolated and are prevented from traveling. There would be no need for countries to introduce damaging and counterproductive wholesale bans on UK travelers. People should not be deterred from traveling because they simply can’t find or arrange to get tested at a local testing centre or lab. We need to make it much easier for travelers to get a test prior to their journey.”
“Travellers pose no higher risk than other members of the community if they follow all the internationally recognized health safety protocols, including the mandatory wearing of masks and regular testing. While we understand the concern and need to curb the spread of COVID-19, the growing number of blunt travel bans are incredibly disruptive and economically damaging. We should not underestimate the terrible social impact of increasing isolation and its effect on mental health. Every sector of the economy, not just Travel & Tourism, will suffer – as will those countries imposing the ban as their own economies feel the impact of border closures and the loss of business. The Travel & Tourism sector will be critical to powering the economic recovery, which is why it is absolutely crucial that action must be taken now to save it. If not, it will collapse, and millions of people will lose their jobs.” Guevara said.
WTCC is a membership organization representing the leaders of the global travel and tourism industry. WTTC is a forum for global business leaders comprising presidents, chairs, and CEOs of 100 of the world’s foremost companies. It is the only body representing the private sector in all parts of the Travel & Tourism industry worldwide. WTTC’s mission is to raise awareness of the full economic impact of Travel & Tourism, the world’s largest generator of wealth and employment, which accounts for 200 million jobs and over 10 percent of global GDP. Governments are encouraged to unlock the industry’s potential by adopting a policy framework for sustainable tourism development.
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