Home » Tourism: WTTC unveils health & Safety protocols to re-establish confidence in travel

Tourism: WTTC unveils health & Safety protocols to re-establish confidence in travel

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A range of worldwide measures to restart travel and tourism with confidence have been unveiled by the World Travel & Tourism Council (Wttc).

The news comes just days after the world’s peak tourism body, the UNWTO, revealed tourism faces its worst crisis since records began, with as many as 1.1 billion fewer people travelling in 2020.

In Africa, where travel and tourism comprises 80 per cent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), this drastic downturn in travel could see the continent’s tourism sector (which represents 7.1 per cent of its GDP) “collapse”, taking with it the livelihoods of at least 24.6 million people.

“The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is being felt across the whole travel and tourism value chain,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said.

“The sector is particularly exposed with millions of livelihoods across the world, especially within vulnerable communities, supported by the sector.

“International financial support is key to ensuring that travel and tourism can lead to wider economic and social recovery in these communities.”

The UNWTO has now joined IATA, the WTTC, the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) in an urgent appeal for support for the industry from international financial institutions, country development partners and international donors.

According to the WTTC, many countries lack the necessary resources to help the industry and the livelihoods of its airline, hotel, guesthouse, lodge, restaurant, meeting venue, SME and related business employees through the COVID-19 crisis.

“Travel and tourism is the backbone of many economies across Africa and its collapse will lead to hundreds of millions of livelihoods being impacted and enormous financial pressure for years to come,” Guevara said.

“Now, more than ever, it is vital that governments work together on a global coordinated approach towards a swift recovery and ongoing support for travel and tourism.

Moreover, there are fears from wholesalers, like Bench Africa, that the financial risks of the coronavirus pandemic could impact tourism-dependent community and conservation projects across the continent.

The WTTC, the UNWTO, IATA, the AFRAA and the AASA are now calling for $10 billion in relief to support the industry and help protect the livelihoods of those it supports directly and indirectly.

They’re also calling for access to as much grant-type financing and cash flow assistance as possible, and financial measures that can help minimise disruptions to much-needed credit and liquidity for businesses.

This includes the deferral of existing financial obligations or loan repayments; and ensuring that all funds flow down immediately to save the businesses that need them urgently, with minimal application processes and without impediment from normal lending considerations such as creditworthiness.

Source: travelweekly.com.au

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