The world’s leading tourism ministers on Monday joined together and urged the public and private sectors to work together in partnership to save travel and tourism.
The plea came at the Global Leaders Dialogue session held during the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) annual Global Summit 2021, which is being held in Cancun Mexico this week.
Key ministers and business leaders participated in the event, which enabled those taking part in the forum to discuss how the Travel & Tourism sector could safely revive international travel and help generate the global economic recovery.
According to WTTC President & CEO Gloria Guevara, research of WTTC has shown that the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis has been 18 times worse than the 2008 financial crash.
“The seriousness of the impact of Covid-19 cannot be overestimated… But WTTC has worked tirelessly with its members to find solutions to revive the sector and save millions of jobs globally which have been lost and the terrible social impact of their disappearance,” Guevara said.
During the event, the ministers looked back over the last year and shared how devastating the pandemic had been for the sector and how vital it was that action be taken now to arrest the collapse of businesses and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.
However, the ministers attending the event with senior Travel & Tourism business leaders agreed that the need for close public and private collaboration would be key to the sector reviving the global economy.
“The debate today enabled leading ministers to share their thoughts about how the sector can tackle the pressing issues of how to save jobs, save businesses and save the global economy by safely reviving international travel,” WTTC’s president said.
“It was hugely encouraging to see there was common agreement by all those attending that collaboration and cooperation between the public and private sector, would lead the way for revival of international travel.”
This was the second major meeting this year between the two sectors, since the private sector was invited to attend an historic meeting of G20 tourism ministers for the first time.
Among those participating in WTTC’s Global Leaders Dialogue were Harry Theoharis, Minister of Tourism, Greece; Kevin McAleenan, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; Portuguese Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques; Colombian Vice Minister of Tourism, Julián Guerrero Orozco; Spanish Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés Verelst; Minister of Tourism of Honduras, Nicole Marrder; and Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, Edmund Bartlett. Mexico was represented by Carlos Joaquin Gonzalez, Governor of Quintana Roo and Federal Secretary of Tourism, Miguel Torruco Marqués.
The private sector was represented by some of the world’s top Travel & Tourism companies, including Andrea Grisdale, Chief Executive Officer and Sole Founder of IC Bellagio and Dan Richards, Chief Executive Officer of Global Rescue.
Under the theme “Uniting the World for Recovery”, the Global Summit made history by becoming the first global Travel & Tourism event where leaders gathered in person since the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the sector and brought most major events around the world to a grinding halt in March 2020.