WTTC urges G20 tourism ministers to steer Covid-19 recovery

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has called upon G20 tourism ministers to lead a united and coordinated recovery for the travel and tourism sector out of the Covid-19 crisis.

The UN body said that only the G20 has “the power to influence and drive forward a coordinated recovery effort needed to preserve the sector”.

Only the G20 can drive forward a coordinated recovery response to the Covid-19 crisis: WTTC

The Tourism Ministers meeting, due to take place on April 24, is set to discuss how to combat the crisis crippling the entire travel and tourism sector.

The Covid-19 outbreak is threatening the jobs of 75 million people around the world, with one million jobs being lost daily, according to WTTC data.

Ahead of the meeting, WTTC has 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 & CEO, said: “The G20’s proven record, which powered the recovery following the financial crisis in 2008, and the recent decisive action to freeze debt proves this forum is the best platform with the speed and agility needed to drive forward the urgent actions required to set the pace and save the global travel and tourism sector, and enable it to survive and thrive.”

As such, Guevara said that WTTC proposed for the tourism ministers participating in the meeting to fully jointly commit with the private sector to four key principles to enable a faster recovery.

“This would include a seamless traveller 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 lockdowns and into the recovery,” she said.

In detail, 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 re-establish effective operations, remove travel barriers and reopen borders. This would ensure the efficient resumption of flights, movement of people and wide-scale travel essential to re-build confidence in travel and tourism.
  • Enhance seamless traveller 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, which is grounded in science and can be easily adopted by businesses of every size across all travel industries globally.
  • Continue providing support to the travel and tourism sector during the recovery phase, including financial aid for workers and businesses to promote a swift recovery.

Following these four principles will “reduce the recovery timeframe of the global economy and offer reassurance to travellers that the time is right once more to explore and visit”, said WTTC.

The economic importance of the 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 per cent of the G20’s total workforce.

The G20 includes some of the key source markets to the majority of regions around the world, with travel and tourism across the G20 representing 76 per cent of global travel and tourism GDP in 2019.

The sector also generated US$6.7 trillion to the GDP, or 9 per cent to the total G20 economy, growing by 3.7 per cent from the previous year. The comprehensive report shows this growth outperformed the overall G20 GDP growth in 2019 of 2.6 per cent in the same year.

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