The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is calling on governments around the world to implement comprehensive testing facilities at airports.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC president & CEO said: “WTTC is calling upon Governments around the world to begin a substantial program of investment to ensure comprehensive testing facilities are implemented at airports, which will help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and see the return of safe travels.”
Guevara said that: “It is imperative that all airports, catering for international travel, implement globally recognized testing standards for both inbound and outbound passengers. This will provide reassurance to all travellers, maintain ‘air corridors’ between countries, and remove damage and disruption caused by blunt quarantines which massively impact the recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector.”
And the WTTC’s president & CEO made it clear that: “Removing the whole of Spain from the UK travel corridors exception list risks causing irreparable damage to the Travel & Tourism sector. It also makes no sense; while Spain as a whole, and Catalonia in particular, has a higher rate of coronavirus cases than then UK, the rate in Andalucía, the Balearics and Canaries is actually lower than the UK.”
Guevara said that: “As part of the screening process, testing must involve temperature checks and swab tests for all arriving and departing passengers with results back within 24 hours, and only those testing positive – with or without symptoms – should be put into quarantine. Where there are apps to assist in effective Test & Trace regimes, passengers must be advised to sign up and use them.”
And she added: “We are going to have to live with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future so we must do all we can to protect public health and save lives, whilst restoring consumer confidence, driving the global economic recovery, and saving the jobs of millions of people whose very livelihoods depend upon a thriving Travel & Tourism sector.”
A little insurance
The WTTC also launched insurance guidelines for the industry designed to rebuild consumer confidence to travel.
The guidelines are designed to drive the return of safe, healthy and responsible travel and ensure the insurance sector is fit for purpose to operate for travellers in the ‘new normal’ of the COVID-19 world.
Insurance is a vital part of the travel and tourism experience, providing peace of mind and risk mitigation to consumers, suppliers, and organizations across the sector.
These new guidelines were compiled based on input from leading companies, many of which have partnered with trusted experts in public health and governments to support safe, healthy, and responsible travels.
The guidelines aim to promote consistent standards across all relevant functions with an increased focus on health and safety, in line with what travellers need and expect.
And they provide practical insights and guidelines around insurance for the travel and tourism private sector to equip them with the knowledge of risks, what insurance coverage they need to look for, and how to attain appropriate coverage for their needs.
Said Guevara: “Insurance is vital for travellers to have peace of mind and confidence to travel and it is now more important than ever to create confidence for consumers travelling in the ‘new normal’ of COVID-19.
She noted that: “We have worked closely with key players across the travel insurance industry to make recommendations to ensure individual travellers, groups and organisations can feel safe and confident enough to travel, sure in the knowledge they have the protection they need.”
And Guevara added: “The measures outlined in our Insurance Guidelines should help guide travel insurers to create products which contain every contingency needed offer reassurance to enable travel to recommence to those countries which have relaxed their border controls and travel restrictions.”
Protecting and supporting
Robin Ingle, MSH Ingle International, Travel Navigator and Novus Health CEO, observed that: “The survival and growth of travel and tourism is important in many ways, particularly for the global economy and for promoting cross-cultural understanding transcending borders.”
Ingle noted that: “The COVID-19 global pandemic has made governments, travellers, and the travel and tourism industry across the world experience how deeply integrated and interdependent we are on each other.”
Said Ingle: “Insurance protects and supports the operations of these stakeholders and thus plays a key part in the successful transition of the industry into the ‘new normal.’ WTTC and its insurance, risk management and travel assistance members have worked closely to develop guidelines and an FAQ to address insurance-related issues and considerations.”
He concluded: “These guidelines will be an evolving document, and we will be on hand to answer questions to help guide and assist the industry toward a successful restart.”
four pillars including operational and staff preparedness; ensuring a safe experience; rebuilding trust and confidence; innovation; and implementing enabling policies.
Go to www.wttc.org for more.