WTTC and WTN differ on reopening travel and tourism industry

Published on : Thursday, January 28, 2021

Leaders of the newly-established World Tourism Network (WTN) disagree in the appeal announced by Gloria Guevara, the President & CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) regarding how an immediate response should look like about reopening the travel and tourism industry.

WTTC wants to open travel and tourism now, while WTN wants to wait regarding the same. Both agree on safety but disagree whether an immediate stop to quarantine and opening borders can be done safely.

Gloria Guevara said, “The UK Travel & Tourism sector is in a fight for survival – it’s that simple. With the sector in such a fragile state, the introduction of hotel quarantines by the UK government could force the complete collapse of Travel & Tourism.”

WTTC also states that in spite of months of forced quarantines post-travel, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the method is working.

“Even the government’s own figures show quarantines have not proved to be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Community transmission continues to pose a far greater peril than international travel. WTTC believes the measures introduced by the government just last week – proof of a pre-departure COVID-19 test, followed by short quarantine and another test if necessary – could stop the virus in its tracks and still allow the freedom to travel safely,” Guevara stated.

Juergen Steinmetz, the founder of WTN, said: “Mandatory pre-arrival tests and quarantines have been the norm for a number of travel and tourism destinations, including my home here in Hawaii. Ever since my State allowed tourists back on October 15, there has been an increase in cases and deaths. Taking a look at the strict arrival measures Seychelles implemented with Israel, such a measure did not work at all. The end result put the Republic of Seychelles in a dire health situation with regard to COVID-19. Seychelles now allows tourists to come in from anywhere in the world with a COVID vaccine. This may be an acceptable way forward.”

“As much as rejecting WTTC’s recommendation may be a tragic short-term blow to our industry, we will all win if every destination will hang in there until a majority of people are vaccinated. Only a vaccine will bring confidence back to people and make it safe to travel. No certificate, no stamp, no hygiene level, and no expensive advertising will replace this,” Steinmetz added.

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