$186b loss for UK travel and tourism sector

UK: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has estimated that the country is likely to lose “a staggering” $186 billion from the sector’s contribution to UK GDP.

The loss amounts to a 73 per cent drop compared with 2019 records.

The WTTC said: “The confusing patchwork of bans, quarantines and uncoordinated international testing and tracing measures have deterred many people from travelling at all with the peak summer 2020 travel season all but being wiped out.”

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and chief executive, added: “However, we still have time to turn this around if we act together now as one and replace ineffective quarantines with comprehensive rapid testing, a worldwide accepted standard of contact tracing and widespread face mask usage. Employing the latest technology, combined with mass adoption of protective face coverings, will help restore confidence to the traveller.

She continued: “Governments around the world must align their policies and work hand in hand with the private sector to revive travel and tourism, so we can restore jobs and help revive the global economy. We strongly believe that by working as one we can beat Covid-19 and return to safe travels with world-class standards of hygiene to travellers and regenerate the jobs and livelihoods of the 300 million people who worked in the sector before Covid-19.”

WTTC had urged governments to follow a four-point plan to avoid the “worst case scenario” it feared could take place.

The plan recommended the immediate removal and replacement of travel bans and 14-day quarantine measures, with ‘air corridors’ to stimulate the travel and tourism sector and the wider economy.

It also urged the adoption of global health and safety protocols, such as the ‘Safe Travels’ initiative launched by WTTC, to provide assurance to travellers and those working within the sector.

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