Published on : Thursday, June 10, 2021
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched a new campaign calling on governments around the world to restart international travel and enable the world to “reunite” once again. After more than a year of lockdowns around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new campaign will showcase the importance international travel has on individuals and businesses. It will also encourage travellers to share with the world, the positive impact travel makes to their lives and mental well-being.
Through its social media channels, ‘Reunite’ will urge people from all corners of the globe to share their own stories of how tourism made a difference and changed their lives. WTTC believes whilst travel & tourism makes a significant contribution to economies around the world, it also provides an essential way for individuals to connect, experience and discover cultures around the world. The campaign launched with a feelgood and positive video showing how now is the time to get the world moving again, to reunite families, friends, colleagues, and communities.
As vaccination rollouts advance in many countries around the world and as cases begin to drop, it is important for governments to recognise what travel & tourism brings to the economy and the population as a whole. It is equally as important to recognise that some regions and countries are still battling to put the pandemic under control, and that the majority of vaccinations have been in developed countries. This means that the pandemic will continue to spread in those countries that don’t have equal access to vaccines.
Virginia Messina, WTTC Acting CEO, said that travel gives memories which last a lifetime and the most amazing experiences to share, so WTTC is excited to launch a campaign that gets to the heart of what travel means to people. She shared that travel & tourism has a hugely positive benefit upon the world, far beyond the immediate pleasure it brings to those who are able to explore and discover people, places and amazing experiences for themselves. Right now, so many people have been separated from their loved ones for months if not over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
She mentioned that for the past year WTTC has been hugely invested in advocating for the social and mental benefits of travel & tourism. She shared that through the campaign WTTC is hoping to help kickstart the recovery of the sector through a truly worthwhile experience: reuniting with those who matter most. She concluded that with the immense pressures being faced by the global travel & tourism sector due to the current restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now more important than ever that everyone reminds everyone, how travelling can make all the difference not only to the world, but to us as individuals.
WTTC believes that “Reunite” could further encourage governments around the world to recognise the importance of international travel, not only to individuals, but also businesses, and communities, all of which benefit from a thriving sector. WTTC’s highly successful “Together in Travel” was launched in April of last year, as countries had introduced widespread global travel restrictions. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world shared their stories, which generated more than 100 million impressions.
Travel & Tourism is one of the world’s largest and most important sectors, in which around 80 per cent of all businesses are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). As a powerful driver for socio-economic development and job creation, the sector plays an important role in driving prosperity, empowering women, youth, and other societal groups. It is also one of the most diverse sectors, employing people from all socio-economic backgrounds regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity, and includes 54% women and 30% youth.
WTTC research shows that across the G20 group of countries, women account for more than half of all Travel & Tourism employment, and a high proportion of jobs for youths. It is highest in Canada, the US and UK where youths account for almost a third (30%) of the sector’s employment. Revenues generated by Travel & Tourism helps improve education, housing, health, and wellness for people. It also contributes to vital infrastructure projects, such as road, rail, and air links, as well as services which improve the quality of life for residents. WTTC is encouraging travellers from around the world to get involved and share their stories using hashtags “reunite.”