The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has warned governments around the world that further country-wide border closures could seriously jeopardize global economic recovery. Rather, WTTC is urging authorities to take a more carefully calibrated approach and introduce localized measures—and only when necessary. By avoiding blanket travel restrictions, it would prevent the stalling of the fragile economic recovery and not cripple the already bruised and battered travel and tourism sector.
WTTC would support the opening of city-to-city “air corridors” between global financial centers, such as London, Frankfurt and New York. This would help restart business travel, which is crucial to kickstarting the economic recovery. Restoring business travel, especially via transatlantic flights, is key to help kickstart the economic recovery, according to WTTC. Its research shows that business travelers account for one U.S dollar in every three spent in New York and one pound out of every four spent in London.
Unfortunately, a number of countries around the world are experiencing local coronavirus spikes, which is forcing a number of governments to consider reintroducing tough and unwelcome new “anti-travel” measures. According to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, the worldwide COVID-19 death toll has passed 617,000 while the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has nearly reached 15 million.
To that end, WTTC has also called for more consistent COVID-19 travel rules to be adopted by European countries to counter confusion by travelers who faced an array of different types of travel rules advice. The organization has been concerned that the uneven patchwork of border restrictions would deter travelers and suppress the resurgence of the travel and tourism sector. Unless European governments make a greater effort to align their policies, WTTC says it will cause the fragile recovery to stutter and slowdown, putting 16 million jobs in the industry at risk.
WTTC also recently issued a ten-point "Traveler Guideline for Safe & Seamless Travel," including testing and contact tracing to ensure people can enjoy Safe Travels in the “new normal.”