WTTC Calls on London to Safely Restore International Mobility

Caribbean News…
18 February 2021 7:32pm
London, Big Ben, Thames

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

The WTTC letter referred to its four key principles to safely restore international mobility including an international coordinated approach, led by the UK, with public and private collaboration, to establish an international mobility framework to allow the safe movement of people, and remove restrictions such as blanket and hotel quarantines.

It went on to urge the UK government to move from risk assessments based on countries to individual travellers, through a robust and comprehensive testing regime supported by technology and digital health passes; to reinforce health and hygiene protocols including mandatory mask wearing, in addition to the vaccination rollout, as part of an integral solution; and provide a major government support package for the Travel & Tourism sector.

Following extensive consultation with WTTC Members and governments around the world, WTTC also made clear there was strong and determined opposition to air corridors and that the UK could be in danger of ‘burning bridges’ with overseas governments looking to agree trade and other deals post-Brexit, putting the UK in a competitive disadvantage, should this policy continue.

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

“While we applaud the government’s incredible progress on the rollout of vaccines to combat the virus, the Travel & Tourism sector is still massively exposed to the terrible impact of anti-COVID-19 travel restrictions,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO.

“That is why we are calling on the UK government's leadership to take urgent action to support the sector, without which we fear Travel & Tourism in the UK could face complete collapse,” she added.

The four key principles are based on WTTC’s global view and assessment of best practices around the world, in order to save thousands of travel businesses and SME’s across the ecosystem that depend on our sector, and the many millions of livelihoods at risk.

Together, WTTC says these four principles will help restore a sector which will be key to aiding economic recovery and saving thousands of jobs, and many more livelihoods throughout the country; and enable the UK government to build back a better Britain.

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

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