The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, is calling upon G20 tourism ministers to lead a united recovery out of the COVID-19 crisis, saying only the G20 has the power to influence and drive forward a coordinated recovery effort needed to preserve the travel and tourism sector.
The Tourism Ministers meeting, due to take place on Friday, April 24, is set to discuss how to combat the crisis crippling the entire travel and tourism sector. According to WTTC analysis, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is threatening the jobs of 75 million people around world and 1 million jobs daily. Ahead of the meeting, WTTC has already praised the G20 for freezing the debt of the world’s poorest countries as a major step towards enabling them to bolster their health systems, to save lives and combat COVID-19.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and CEO, said in an official release, “WTTC proposes tourism ministers participating in the meeting, fully, jointly commit with the private sector to four key principles to achieve a faster recovery. This would involve including the private sector in the coordinated response, ensuring all measures put the traveler at the heart of their actions; this would include a seamless traveler journey with enhanced health security standards enabled through technology, developing joint public-private and G20-wide health protocols, as well as ongoing support packages for the tourism sector beyond lifting of lockdown and into the recovery.”
Further, WTTC’s four principles to ensure swift recovery for the travel and tourism sector and the global economy following the end of the COVID-19 outbreak, are:
- A joint public/private coordinated approach to reestablish effective operations, remove travel barriers and reopen borders; this would ensure the resumption of flights, movement of people and widescale travel essential to re-build confidence in travel and tourism
- Enhance seamless traveler journey experience, combining the latest technology and protocols to increase health standards
- Work with the private sector and health experts to define global standards for the new normal, grounded in science and that which can be easily adopted by businesses of every size across all travel industries around the world
- Support to the travel and tourism sector, including financial aid for workers and businesses to promote a swift recovery
Following these four principles, according to the WTTC, will reduce the recovery timeframe of the global economy and offer reassurance to travelers that the time is right once more to explore and visit. The economic importance of travel and tourism sector to the G20 is demonstrated by the latest WTTC 2020 Economic Impact report, which shows it supported more than 211 million jobs, or 9.5 percent of the G20’s total workforce. In addition, the G20 includes some of the key source markets to the majority of regions around the world: Travel and tourism across the G20 represented 76 percent of global travel and tourism GDP in 2019. The sector also generated $6.7 trillion to the GDP, or 9 percent to the total G20 economy, growing by 3.7 percent from the previous year. The comprehensive report shows this growth outperformed the overall G20 GDP growth in 2019 of 2.6 percent in the same year.