WTTC calls on the UK to restore its international connectivity

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The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) sent an open letter to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking for his leadership ahead of next week’s announcement, urging him to support his recovery plan and provide evidence of a clear strategy for exit. , to save the beleaguered UK travel and tourism industry.

The WTTC letter outlined its four key principles for safely restoring international mobility, including a coordinated international approach, led by the UK, with public and private collaboration, to establish an international mobility framework to enable safe movement. of people and eliminate restrictions such as general and hotel quarantine.

Continued to urge the UK government to move from country-based risk assessments to individual travelers, through a robust and comprehensive testing regimen backed by technology and digital health passes; reinforce health and hygiene protocols including the mandatory use of masks, in addition to the deployment of vaccination, as part of a comprehensive solution; and provide a significant government support package for the travel and tourism sector.

Following extensive consultation with WTTC members and governments around the world, the WTTC also made clear that there was strong and determined opposition to air corridors and that the UK could be in danger of ‘burning bridges’ with governments. foreigners looking to agree to trade deals and other deals after Brexit, which puts the UK at a competitive disadvantage, if this policy continues.

WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report shows that in 2019 Travel & Tourism generated £ 200bn or 9% of UK GDP. It was responsible for nearly four million jobs, or 11% of the country’s total workforce, hence its importance in helping fuel economic recovery.

Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “While we applaud the incredible progress of the government in launching vaccines to combat the virus, the travel and tourism sector is still greatly exposed to the terrible impact of anti-travel restrictions. -COVID-19.

“This is why we call on UK government leaders to take urgent action to support the sector, without which we fear UK Travel & Tourism could face a total collapse.

“We have charted a path using four clear principles for the government to come out of the travel and tourism industry lockdown and re-drive the UK’s economic revival.

“Our members and overseas governments believe that air corridors should not be reestablished as they could jeopardize relationships with overseas governments seeking trade and other deals in the post-Brexit period.

“We know from extensive consultation with WTTC members and governments around the world that there is strong and determined opposition to air corridors.

“They are not the answer and have created great uncertainty for countries, consumers, airlines and travel agents across the country, causing more problems than they have offered solutions.

“The way to save travel and tourism while avoiding the import and export of the virus is to shift the focus from entire countries to risk assessment of individual travelers, regardless of which country they are traveling from, using leading UK practices. in border control technologies. and implement a comprehensive arrival and departure testing regime, which is less destructive and detrimental to the economy than general quarantines.

“What is very clear from everything that we have experienced in the last 12 months is that we will not see a full return to the days before the pandemic. We will have to adapt to coexist with the virus and the future of travel and tourism will see the widespread use of digital and biometric technology, along with the use of masks and hygiene protocols, to create a seamless, contactless travel experience”.

The four key principles are based on the global vision of WTTC and the assessment of best practices around the world, in order to save thousands of travel companies and SMEs throughout the ecosystem that depend on our sector, and the many millions livelihoods at risk.

Together, WTTC says these four principles will help restore an industry that will be key in helping the economic recovery and saving thousands of jobs and many more livelihoods across the country; and allowing the UK government to rebuild a better Britain.

WTTC believes that only these actions will save travel and tourism, while effectively managing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting public health.

WTTC, which has been at the forefront of private sector leadership in efforts to restore international travel and rebuild global consumer confidence, applauded Boris Johnson and his government for the world’s leading vaccine launch and program. Specific tests recently implemented, to stop the spread of the virus.