The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has called upon all governments to take immediate action in ensuring the survival of the sector.
WTTC President and Chief Executive Ms. Gloria Guevara emphasised on the need for the governments to act immediately stating that any further delay will lead to loss of millions of jobs and an incalculable damage globally.
She pointed out to three crucial measures that governments should adopt, in addition to the recovery of funds, which will protect the survival of millions of people who heavily rely on the sector for their livelihood.
“First, 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,” Ms Guevara said.
She urged governments to take drastic and decisive action in order to protect and preserve the contribution of the sector to the world.
“No one can doubt that we are in uncharted territory. 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,” Ms. Guevara further said.
She averred that, “travel is the backbone of economies around the world. It brings in essential currency and inward investment, creates jobs and stimulates every sector. WTTC figures show Travel & Tourism contributes to 10.4% of Global GDP and 320 million jobs. It is responsible of creating one in five new jobs and, for eight successive years, has outpaced the growth of the global economy”.
WTTC sentiments were echoed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) who held a virtual teleconference on Friday to discuss COVID-19.
They concurred that calls would need to be made urgently to governments to take immediate actions, including through financial aid packages and incentives, to help the aviation and tourism sectors withstand current COVID-19 risks and impacts.
According to WHO, the pandemic is accelerating. There has been over 424, 000 reported cases as at March 25, 18, 947 deaths and 109, 145 recoveries.