Following its annual global summit in Cancun, Mexico last month, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is pointing to it as an example of how live international events can be safely and successfully staged.
The event was held following months of planning and included rigorous health and safety protocols, along with measures to ensure the safety of all attendees, including close to 1,500 PCR and Antigen tests being administered during the event.
Over 600 delegates from over 40 countries attended the Global Summit, and COVID-19 tests were taken by delegates upon arrival, during, and upon departure from the hugely successful event.
Of those attending, 99.8% returned with a negative result, with only two individuals testing positive on arrival and declined admittance within the ‘summit bubble.’
Just one individual tested positive prior to departure, but due to enhanced health and safety protocols, such as mask wearing and physical distancing, no further positive cases were reported.
To deliver the world’s first international event safely, the WTTC Health & Safety committee reviewed the global requirements and recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the UK Government, and the Government of Quintana Roo.
The global tourism body also worked closely with Global Rescue, a WTTC Member and Strategic Sponsor, and a global expert in travel risk and crisis management.
Virginia Messina, WTTC senior vice president, said: “After months of meticulous planning, we are delighted to have delivered a safe and successful Global Summit with more than 600 delegates from over 40 countries.”
Messina continued: “The event was a platform for the recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector which has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We truly believe we have shown the world how international events, and indeed international travel, can take place by observing the latest health and safety protocols.”
Messina pointed out that: “For many months, we have been calling on governments around the world to implement a comprehensive rapid testing regime, which can get restore international travel safely.”
And she concluded: “Our Global Summit was proof that testing, along with enhanced health and hygiene measures, and mandatory mask wearing – complimented by the global vaccine rollout – is the key to safely reopening international travel.”