Economy

WTTC Outlines 3 Ways To Restart Global Economy

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is asking world leaders to make the industry a bigger priority ahead of the 47th G7 Summit in the United Kingdom this weekend.

In an open letter to U.K. Prime Minister and Chair of the G7 group of nations in 2021, Boris Johnson, WTTC outlined three keys to restarting the global economy nearly 15 months into the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The first measure outlined is to put travel and tourism at the center of all governmental decision-making around the world. The WTTC is asking officials to recognize the industry’s economic and social importance and to commit to a stronger global public-private collaboration.

WTTC is also asking G7 leaders to commit to putting forth a consistent framework to safely reopen international travel by leaning on testing, enhanced health and hygiene protocols and digital health travel passes that can help ensure the safe and seamless movement of people around the world.

Lastly, the organization is seeking the reopening of international borders between countries with similar successful vaccination rollouts and low levels of COVID-19 infection. WTTC uses the United States and the United Kingdom as an example, pointing out that such a decision would provide a significant boost to more economies around the world.

“With the global travel and tourism sector hanging by a thread, Prime Minister Johnson, President Biden, and the additional G7 leaders are in a unique position to make real strides toward the restart of international travel and save the millions of jobs and livelihoods that depend on a thriving sector,” said Virginia Messina, WTTC Senior Vice President and Acting CEO, in a statement. “The situation is critical, so we must put travel and tourism at the heart of all governmental decision-making globally and agree on a consistent framework to reopen international borders.”

“The risks of not doing so are enormous. In the G7 countries alone, the sector accounts for 5.11 percent of the total economy and almost one in 10 of all jobs globally (9.07 percent). If we don’t save international travel, we simply won’t achieve global socio-economic recovery,” added Messina. “However, we can and should harness the opportunity presented by the vastly successful vaccination rollout, to remove travel restrictions and build bridges not walls, which will allow the safe and free movement of people who are fully vaccinated or can show proof of a negative test.

“We urge the U.S. government, having made significant strides in the vaccine rollout across the 50 states, and the other leaders of the G7 to take this courageous step and save a sector which will be crucial in reinvigorating individual and global economies.”

Painting a dire picture, WTTC notes that some 62 million travel and tourism jobs have been lost around the world, and the sector’s contribution to global GDP has decreased by a remarkable $4.5 trillion.