connect with us
Greece's latest tourism industry news by Greek Travel Pages (gtp)

Global Travel Agency Associations Agree: Closing Borders is Not the Answer

Photo source: WTTC

The global travel agency associations of ASTA, ASATA, ACTA, CHTA, ECTAA and WTAAA, which collectively represent workers at travel agencies and related businesses around the world, are calling on government leaders around the world to provide dedicated financial support for travel reliant businesses and to lift Covid-19 travel bans as quickly as possible.

“Closing borders and implementing new restrictions affects untold millions of employees in the travel and tourism industry,” the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), Association of South African Travel Agencies (ASATA), Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA), Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA) and World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA), said in a joint announcement.

The travel agency associations highlight that “when elected officials make public policy decisions in the interest of public health, those governments have an obligation to provide financial resources to those industries and individuals most affected by their decisions”.

According to the associations, travel restrictions are already putting vulnerable businesses at further risk from ever recovering, while government revenues continue to be eroded due to the loss of economic activity from the industry, which represents one in every ten jobs globally (World Travel and Tourism Council data).

The associations call on governments to “take responsibility for their actions” by sustaining travel reliant businesses until such time as they lift restrictions and normal travel patterns re-emerge.

“Thus far, government responses to this economic factor have been uneven at best,” the associations said.

Lifting travel bans

Underlining that the World Health Organization (WHO) has continued to advise against the application of travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks, the travel agency associations are calling on global government leaders to follow the “best available science” when determining border measures, including testing and prohibitions.

Photo source: WTTC

“Many countries follow strong biosecurity protocols, including masking, social distancing, and vaccination requirements. The addition of new border measures has significant economic impacts on travel and tourism businesses that may not add additional community protection.”

The associations said that governments around the world must prioritize the global distribution of vaccines while continuing to support the freedom of movement using the scientifically tested and sensible measures – masking, enhanced sanitation protocols, reasonable testing requirements and now, vaccination credentials.

“Restricting access to travel only perpetuates the economic impact and postpones global recovery in terms of travel and multiple other economic drivers around the globe,” the associations said.

Follow GTP Headlines on Google News to keep up to date with all the latest on tourism and travel in Greece.
About the Author
This is the team byline for GTP. The copyrights for these articles are owned by GTP. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner.

Add your comment