Industry Update
Press Release 3 March 2021

WTTC calls on EU leadership during Tourism Minister Meeting

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World Travel & Tourism (WTTC)

At the EU Tourism Ministers Meeting, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) called on leadership from the EU to save the Travel & Tourism sector which has been left in ruin by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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During the critical meeting, Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: "On behalf of WTTC and our 200 members, I would like to thank the Portuguese Presidency of the EU, Commissioner Breton and all European ministers for their alignment to do everything they can to prepare for the summer season. According to our recent data, 174 million jobs have been impacted globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Europe alone, the most important region in the world, a staggering 23 million jobs have been impacted.

"A major issue our sector faces is that different countries have different protocols that are not integrated with one another, and the lack of international coordination. We believe that the key to recovery is to restore international mobility - and we must work together to do so. It is critical that we have a clear roadmap to resume economic activity in a safe and secure way includingrapid and cost-effective testing supported by technology through interoperable health digital passes or certificates."

"WTTC believes that while the vaccination rollouts are providing relief to the sector, vaccines should not be a requirement for travel.. Instead, we should focus on testing, mandatory mask wearing and enhanced health and hygiene measures to bring certainty and confidence. The sector also desperately needs further support from governments around the world. Without it, more businesses will collapse and many more will lose their jobs."

"We have one single request: we need to see the restoration of international mobility. We need clear rules for mobility. Europe must define protocols, so it's clear how mobility can be safely resumed within the EU, to the EU and from the EU."

"We must replace ineffective quarantines and move from a country-based assessment to individual based assessment. Not entire populations are infected, and we must not treat them as such."

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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