According to new research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), even a modest increase of just one million more international arrivals into Europe could generate an extra $0.48 billion in GDP.
The WTTC observes that this would provide a massive and much-needed economic boost for EU economies struggling to survive following the imposition of travel restrictions to combat the spread of coronavirus.
It point out that many governments are evaluating reciprocal ‘travel corridors, including the UK government and those in Europe which are under immense pressure, to enable holidaymakers to take summer holidays and prevent the collapse of the travel and tourism sector.
It also notes that for every 1% increase in international arrivals*, a massive $7.23 billion in additional GDP would be generated. So, an increase of 100 million international arrivals – equivalent to an increase of 6.7% – would result in around $48 billion in additional GDP.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC president & CEO, said: “We know restarting the Travel & Tourism sector is a huge challenge, but the economy can be restarted while also prioritising and protecting the health of travellers and those who work in the sector.”
Guevara said that: “It is vital that governments ensure that the right measures are in place, such as protocols and a comprehensive testing and tracing program.
“However,” Guevara continued: “WTTC research makes it clear that even a modest resumption of travelling can have massive economic benefits and bring thousands of desperately needed jobs back; providing a critical boost for the struggling Travel & Tourism sector and generating desperately needed GDP for economies left floundering after being struck by the pandemic.”
And she added: “It’s often said ‘a little goes a long way’; now our figures prove it. For every additional one million international arrivals from outside Europe would be able to generate nearly half a billion extra dollars in GDP.”
Said Guevara: “We encourage governments to do all that they can to ease the lockdowns and travel restrictions to allow the resumption of responsible travelling. Guided by WTTC’s Safe and Seamless Travel initiative, it should include testing and tracing, consistent with advice from WHO and local health authorities.”
And the WTTC’s boss concluded: “Together, we can control and reduce the spread of COVID-19 and at the same time protect public health and bring confidence back to travellers and to the wider travel sector.”