Industry Update
Press Release22 December 2020

WTTC Says Closing Countries Are Counterproductive And Will Seriously Delay The Economic Recovery

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World Travel & Tourism (WTTC)

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: "While protecting public health is paramount, blanket travel bans cannot be the answer. They have not worked in the past and they will not work now."

"If a comprehensive and quick turnaround testing regime were in place at airports across the country to test all travellers before they depart, it would ensure only those infected with COVID-19 are isolated and are prevented from travelling. There would be no need for countries to introduce damaging and counterproductive wholesale bans on UK travellers."

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"People should not be deterred from travelling because they simply can't find or arrange to get tested at a local testing centre or lab. We need to make it much easier for travellers to get a test prior to their journey."

"Travellers pose no higher risk than other members of the community if they follow all the internationally recognised health safety protocols, including the mandatory wearing of masks and regular testing."

"While we understand the concern and need to curb the spread of COVID-19, the growing number of blunt travel bans are incredibly disruptive and economically damaging. We should not underestimate the terrible social impact of increasing isolation and its effect on mental health."

"Every sector of the economy, not just Travel & Tourism, will suffer - as will those countries imposing the ban as their own economies feel the impact of border closures and the loss of business."

"The Travel & Tourism sector will be critical to powering the economic recovery, which is why it is absolutely crucial that action must be taken now to save it. If not, it will collapse, and millions of people will lose their jobs."

About WTTC

WTTC is the body which represents the Travel & Tourism private sector globally. Members consist of CEOs of the world's Travel & Tourism companies, destinations, and industry organisations engaging with Travel & Tourism.

WTTC has a history of 25 years of research to quantify the economic impact of the sector in 185 countries. Travel & Tourism is a key driver for investment and economic growth globally. The sector contributes US$8.8 trillion or 10.4% of global GDP, and accounts for 319 million jobs or one in ten of all jobs on the planet.

For over 25 years, WTTC has been the voice of this industry globally. Members are the Chairs, Presidents and Chief Executives of the world's leading, private sector Travel & Tourism businesses, who bring specialist knowledge to guide government policy and decision-making and raise awareness of the importance of the sector.

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