A United Front

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is calling on G20 tourism ministers to lead a united and coordinated recovery effort for the travel and tourism sector once the COVID-19 crisis has passed.

The council said that only the G20 has the power to influence and drive forward a coordinated recovery effort needed to preserve the sector.

On April 24, an extraordinary meeting of tourism ministers meeting is set to take place to due to discuss how to combat the crisis that is crippling the entire travel and tourism sector.

According to WTTC analysis, the COVID-19 outbreak is threatening the jobs of 75 million people around world and one million jobs daily, significantly impacting major source markets.

Ahead of the meeting, WTTC praised the G20 for freezing the debt of the world’s poorest countries as a major step towards enabling them to bolster their health systems, to save lives and combat COVID-19.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president & CEO, said: “The G20’s proven record, which powered the recovery following the financial crisis in 2008, and the recent decisive action to freeze debt proves this forum is the best platform with the speed and agility needed, to drive forward the urgent actions required to set the pace and save the global travel and tourism sector and enable it to survive and thrive.”

Guevara said that the “WTTC proposes tourism ministers participating in the meeting, fully jointly commit with the private sector to four key principles to achieve a faster recovery.”

She continued: “This would involve including the private sector in the coordinated response, ensuring all measures put the traveller at the heart of their actions. This would include a seamless traveller journey with enhanced health security standards enabled through technology, developing joint public-private and G20-wide health protocols as well as ongoing support packages for the tourism sector beyond lifting of lockdown and into the recovery.”

And Guevara pointed out that: “As the premier forum of international cooperation, the G20 is the best proven vehicle to help achieve global economic stability and sustainable growth, which has successfully partnered with the private sector to achieve such objectives. Millions of people around the world depend on their actions.”

WTTC’s boss said that: “Under the leadership of Saudi Arabia as the G20 Chair, a country which recorded the fastest growth in Travel & Tourism GDP in 2019 with four times the global average, this meeting offers the best platform to ensure a coordinated approach for a faster recovery.”

She noted that: “We must remember up to 75 million jobs are at risk, and without swift action from the G20 one in four new jobs around the world and the 10.3% (US$8.9 trillion) contribution to global GDP, will not be generated and the global economy will struggle to recover. We also have to learn from past experiences that when the private sector is involved the recovery has been faster.”

To sure a swift recovery for both travel and tourism and the global economy after the COVID-19 outbreak has passed, the WTTC has adopted four principles that include:

  • A joint public-private coordinated approach across the G20 to re-establish effective operations, remove travel barriers and reopen borders. This would ensure the efficient resumption of flights, movement of people and widescale travel essential to re-build confidence in travel and tourism.
  • Enhancing the seamless traveller journey experience, combining the latest technology and protocols to increase health standards. Consider the “new normal” for the sector with components of health, security, hygiene and sustainability with a traveller centric approach.
  • Working with the private sector and health experts to define global standards for the new normal, grounded in science which can be easily adopted by businesses of every size across all travel industries and can be implemented across the world.
  • Continuing to provide support to the Travel & Tourism sector during the recovery phase, throughout the entire travel eco-system. Financial aid for workers and businesses to promote a swift recovery. It is vital the domino effect is fully realised so that businesses large and small can all recover and prosper.

By following these four principles, the WTTC said that this will reduce the recovery timeframe of the global economy and offer reassurance to travellers that the time is right once more to explore and visit.

Go to www.wttc.org for more.