WTTC Welcomes European Commission Guidelines to Safely Restart Travel and Tourism

WTTC Welcomes European Commission Guidelines to Safely Restart Travel and Tourism

London, United Kingdom, May 19, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), has welcomed a major new EU initiative which aims to help restart summer holidays across Europe in 2020 and beyond, and save millions of jobs in the Travel & Tourism sector.

The European Commission’s Tourism & Transport Package has been designed to ensure a coordinated approach at a European level, to ease restrictive measures and restore mobility.

The move by the European Commission is hoped to herald a phased restart of travel across Europe this summer, while ensuring the safety and health of travellers and those who work in the Travel & Tourism sector.

The initiative follows a similar drive by WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, which on Tuesday launched global ‘Safe Travel’ protocols for travel in the ‘new normal’.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO comments:

“We are delighted that the European Commission recognises the strategic importance of the Travel & Tourism sector, not only to the European economy, but also to boost jobs. Its initiative acknowledges the sector is in a critical situation, which needs a long-term pathway to recovery.

“WTTC has been in constant discussions with the European Commission and we encourage all member States to follow these important guidelines. Strong coordination and cooperation across Europe will avoid unilateral and fragmented measures which would only lead to confusion and disruption for travellers and businesses alike.

“We fully support the European Commission’s stance on quarantines and agree these should not be necessary if appropriate and effective containment measures are in place at departure and arrival points for flights, ferries, cruises, road and rail transport. We urge Member States to carefully reflect before deciding whether arrivals need to self-isolate as this would be a major deterrent to travel and put those countries at a competitive disadvantage. We call on governments to find alternative solutions rather than maintaining or introducing arrival quarantine measures, as part of post-pandemic travel restrictions. Once a traveller is tested and confirmed as safe to travel, further restrictions such as quarantines should not be necessary.

“Our research shows at least 6.4 million jobs will be impacted across the EU this year if a coordinated approach for the Travel & Tourism sector isn’t followed. By following these guidelines and supporting these protocols, we have a chance of saving these jobs and protecting the livelihoods of millions of people across the EU.

“We look forward to continuing to work with, and support the European Commission, specifically Commissioner Breton and his team, to create a more sustainable and innovative Travel & Tourism sector.”