Travel Agent Appreciation
Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Mar 30, 2020
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Governments must act now to save industry: WTTC

An existential threat


Global travel and tourism is in a fight for survival and governments everywhere need to take immediate and concrete steps to ensure the sector’s important contribution to their economies continues through the long term.

In an open letter signed by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) president Gloria Guevara, she identified three courses of action states have to take, because “without travel and tourism, economies around the world face an existential threat.”

Firstly, financial help must be granted to protect the incomes of the millions of workers in the sector facing severe economic difficulties.

Secondly, governments must extend vital, unlimited interest-free loans to global travel and tourism companies, as well as the millions of small- and medium-sized businesses as a stimulus to prevent them from collapse.

And thirdly, all government taxes dues and financial demands on the travel sector need to be waived with immediate effect for at least the next 12 months.

Guevara stressed, “We propose these vital measures which, in addition to recovery funds, will protect a sector which is already facing collapse, and we are calling on the world to take urgent and immediate action to prevent this global health crisis becoming a worldwide economic catastrophe.”

And she declared “Doing nothing is not an option,” adding that immediate action will help ensure the survival of a critical job-creating sector.

In order to drive the point home, the chief exec of the private sector organization cautioned. “Not soon. Not in a few weeks. NOW. Any delay will be costed in millions of lost jobs and almost incalculable damage worldwide.”

According to the WTTC, “Travel is the backbone of economies around the world. It brings in essential currency and inward investment, creates jobs and stimulates every sector.”

WTTC figures show travel and tourism is responsible for 10.4% of global GDP and 320 million jobs. It is the catalyst for creating one in five new jobs and, for eight successive years, has outpaced the growth of the global economy.

Guevara signed off by stating, “We implore every government to take drastic and decisive action now to preserve and protect the contribution of the sector, of which those 320 million people and their families depend on for their livelihoods.”