WTTC warns about another "lost summer" for British tourism
The warning comes on the day of the launch of the European EU Digital Covid Certificate
UK families face another 'lost summer' thanks to controversial traffic light system, quarantines, costly COVID-19 testing and confusing travel rules and regulations, says the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) .
The world tourism body, which represents the global private travel and tourism sector, says that this combination has put much of Europe off-limits to tourists for the second year in a row, despite the successful launch of vaccination.
As well as being hugely disappointing for those yearning for a summer break, it has also brought the beleaguered UK travel and tourism sector to its knees.
WTTC has urged government leaders across Europe to take a coordinated approach to reopen borders and enable safe resumption of travel for double-punctured tourists.
However, the call comes on the day the EU launches its Covid Digital Certificate, designed to reopen safe travel on the continent.
WTTC has already warned the government that it faces a loss of £ 19.8 billion to the country if international travel remains off limits during July and fears similar losses if August suffers the same fate.
Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President of WTTC, said: “It is hard to believe that the UK travel and tourism sector and tourists are facing another 'lost summer' with no major travel in sight, despite the enormous success of the launch of the vaccine.
“The vaccination program should have opened the door to international travel. Instead, we are looking at the second summer with only limited travel in the offing, while Europe is reopening and enjoying a summer break and jump-starting its economies.
“Meanwhile, British travel and tourism companies are still struggling to survive and tourists are still stuck at home once again.
"But it does not have to be like that. Health and safety can remain the priority while reopening international travel safely.
“We must seize the opportunity afforded us by a high percentage of the population that has been fully inoculated to allow them to safely travel abroad again, and return to their lives, colleagues, family and friends.
“We must also be very careful not to discriminate against entire nationalities due to the appearance of variants. A combination of vaccines and tests will provide the necessary protection to minimize the risk of transmission.
"A coordinated response from leaders across Europe is critical for the UK to have any hope of sparing some of the peak summer season for travelers and the struggling travel and tourism industry."
Earlier this month, the WTTC revealed that an investigation showed that if international travel remained off-limits for the whole of July, the UK would lose a staggering £ 639 million *, every day, severely affecting the recovery. economic and competitiveness of the United Kingdom.
The WTTC also called for the controversial travel traffic light system, which has been widely criticized, especially by the UK's troubled travel and tourism sector, to be dropped.
Another month of delayed travel would put as many as 218,000 more Travel & Tourism jobs at serious risk of being lost, on top of the 307,000 jobs that were lost in the UK last year.
He urged the government to immediately open the doors to international travel to avoid inflicting severe long-term damage to the country's economy and to avoid putting the competitiveness of the UK travel and tourism sector at risk.
International visitors to the UK spent £ 35.6 billion in 2019, generating growth and prosperity across the country, helping it to become 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, global travel restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the pandemic have resulted in the loss of 62 million Travel & Tourism jobs worldwide, and many more are at risk.