The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is calling upon governments of all countries to take immediate action to help ensure the survival of the travel and tourism sector following the global spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Without Travel & Tourism, economies around the world face an existential threat,” WTTC President Gloria Guevara said in open letter expressing the concerns of the Council’s members, which include over 200 CEOs, chairpersons and presidents of the world’s leading travel and tourism companies from all geographies, covering all industries.
“The coronavirus pandemic means the world is facing a threat on multiple fronts not seen in peacetime. The Travel & Tourism sector is uniquely exposed, and we estimate 50 million jobs globally are at risk. To put it bluntly, Travel & Tourism is in a fight for survival… Now is the time to take action.”
The WTTC has proposed three measures, which in addition to recovery funds, are expected to protect the survival of the millions of people who rely on Travel & Tourism for their livelihoods and welfare in the turbulent weeks and months ahead:
Firstly, financial help must be granted to protect the incomes of the millions of workers in the sector facing severe economic difficulties.
Secondly, governments must extend vital, unlimited interest-free loans to global Travel & Tourism companies as well as the millions of small and medium sized businesses as a stimulus to prevent them from collapse.
Thirdly, all government taxes, dues and financial demands on the travel sector need to be waived with immediate effect at least for the next 12 months.
“WTTC is calling upon governments of all countries to take immediate action to help ensure the survival of this critical job-creating sector. Not soon. Not in a few weeks. NOW. Any delay will be costed in millions of lost jobs and almost incalculable damage worldwide… Together, these measures could save a sector which is already facing collapse.”
WTTC figures show that Travel & Tourism contributes to 10.4 percent of Global GDP and 320 million jobs.