WTTC warns UK about effects of restrictions
The world tourism body predicts a monthly loss of £ 19.8 billion
The UK will lose a staggering £ 639 million a day during July if international travel remains off limits, according to an open letter to the UK Prime Minister from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
The world tourism body, which represents the global private travel and tourism sector, has written to the UK prime minister, warning that the UK faces a potential loss of £ 19.8 billion if international travel is effectively delayed until August.
Up to 218,000 more jobs in the sector are also at serious risk of being lost, if action is not taken now, in addition to the 307,000 jobs that were lost in the UK last year.
He urged the government to open the doors to international travel to avoid inflicting severe long-term damage to the country's economy and to avoid jeopardizing the competitiveness of the UK travel and tourism sector.
The letter, signed by WTTC members including TUI, Expedia, Meliá Hotels, Silversea Cruises, Iberostar, The Travel Corporation and Certares, among others, praised the progress made with the successful launch of the vaccine, which the government should leverage to enable resuming safe international travel and reviving its economy.
He also outlined four steps the government could take immediately, which would provide a critically needed boost for struggling travel and tourism companies across the country, fearful that the summer season is slipping away.
Virginia Messina, WTTC Senior Vice President, said: “If international travel remains off limits for the entire month of July, WTTC research has shown that every day the UK would lose a staggering £ 639 million * , severely delaying the UK's economic recovery and competitiveness. .
“Stopping the resumption of international travel could cost the country dearly. We simply cannot afford any more delays - we are running out of time and money, with many more companies in danger of failing, resulting in further job losses.
“However, there are steps the government can take now so that by June 24, when the green list of travel destinations is updated, we can make trips move safely again, bring certainty to a market that calls for stability. and help drive economic recovery.
“Only through these measures will the future be brighter for many and can we achieve a long-term, inclusive and sustainable recovery. Restoring free cross-border mobility is essential to help drive economic recovery from the pandemic. "
WTTC's open letter to Boris proposes the following four key measures:
Reopen international travel by allowing fully vaccinated citizens to travel freely without quarantine, both inbound and outbound. They should be able to visit countries with similar vaccination levels and proven low infection rates, such as the EU, the US and Canada, through a transparent, data-driven approach that will help restore consumer confidence.
Eliminate PCR testing requirements for travel from green list countries and replace with quick test or no test
Requires only one test for those traveling from countries on the amber list of travel destinations. PCR tests are expensive and inconvenient, and their use will continue to deter people from traveling for business or pleasure.
Set a date to reopen international travel, to be announced on June 24 and implemented by July 19, in line with the final unlocking of social measures in England.
International visitors to the UK spent £ 35.6 billion in 2019, driving growth and prosperity across the country, helping to make it the world's fifth-largest economy in terms of travel and tourism GDP.
In 2019, the travel and tourism sector contributed 10.1% to UK GDP and generated 4.3 million jobs, representing 12% of total employment.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic turned this world upside down, devastating the travel and tourism sector with 62 million jobs lost worldwide, while many more remain at risk.