WTTC provides recommendations to boost tourism recovery
The published report highlights that the high costs of the tests and the continuous travel restrictions hinder the accessibility of the trips and create an elitist system
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Tourism today released a major new report highlighting pain points for restoring international mobility and recommendations to boost the recovery of the travel and tourism sector. while improving your resilience.
With the pandemic almost completely paralyzing international travel, due to border closures and severe travel restrictions, Travel & Tourism suffered more than any other sector during the last 18 months.
The sector's contribution to global GDP fell from almost $ 9.2 trillion in 2019 to just $ 4.7 trillion in 2020, representing a loss of almost $ 4.5 trillion. Additionally, as the pandemic swept through the heart of the sector, 62 million Travel & Tourism jobs were lost.
This new report highlights the latest economic projections from WTTC revealing that the sector's recovery will be slower than expected this year, largely linked to continued border closures and challenges linked to international mobility.
The sector's contribution to GDP is expected to increase by a modest 30.7% year-on-year in 2021, representing an increase of just US $ 1.4 trillion, and at the current rate of recovery, the contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP you could experience a similar year. 31.7% year-on-year increase in 2022.
Meanwhile, jobs in the sector are forecast to rise just 0.7% this year, representing just two million jobs, followed by an 18% rise next year.
Representing the worst crisis for the travel and tourism sector, COVID-19 not only impacted the global economy, but also the well-being and livelihoods of people around the world.
Before the pandemic began to severely affect the sector, Travel & Tourism was one of the largest sectors globally, responsible for one in four new jobs created worldwide between 2015-2019 and was a key enabler for the socio-economic development and poverty reduction, offering opportunities for women, minorities, rural communities and youth.
This new report from the WTTC, in partnership with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Tourism, reveals weaknesses that focus on the urgent challenge of restoring international mobility, framed in the need to address the weaknesses of the sector shown during the pandemic through redesign of a more sustainable strategy, inclusive and resilient future.
This important new report demonstrates how international border closures, uncertainty due to changing rules, prohibitive cost of testing, and the lack of reciprocity and uneven deployment of vaccination have hampered the travel and tourism sector's recovery over the years. last 18 months.
By June 2020, all countries still had some form of travel restrictions, which played a major role in dropping international spending by 69.4% that year. These ever-changing and confusing restrictions continued to significantly affect traveler confidence to book, as there was no clear path, or global consensus, in terms of testing requirements, quarantine, and vaccination standards.
According to the report, the latest global traveler sentiment survey released by Oliver Wyman shows that only 66% plan to travel abroad in the next six months, and fewer than one in 10 (9%) have booked a future trip. , which shows the continuous uncertainty of decision making of the traveler. Costly PCR tests continue to have a detrimental impact on travelers, reversing any progress to make travel accessible and creating more inequalities.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “The travel and tourism sector is key to many livelihoods that continue to be affected by the lack of harmonization and standardization of COVID-19 regulations around the world. There is no excuse for a patchwork of regulations, countries must join forces and harmonize the rules. Many developing countries depend on international travel for their economy and have been devastated.
“As it stands, only 34% of the world's population has been fully vaccinated, showing that there are still huge inequalities in vaccine deployment globally. A swift and equitable immunization plan, along with global reciprocal recognition of all WHO-approved vaccines, is needed to safely reopen international travel and quickly resume economic activity.
“WTTC recognizes the importance of restoring consumer confidence, and we have developed, with the public and private sectors working together, a set of harmonized safe travel protocols for 11 industries across the travel and tourism sector. Our globally recognized Safe Travels seal has been adopted by more than 400 destinations around the world ”.
His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, said: “This report shows the impact that COVID-19 has had on the global travel and tourism industry, and the uneven recovery now under way. We must be clear: unless tourism recovers, economies will not recover.
“We must come together to support this critical industry, which before the pandemic was responsible for 10% of GDP worldwide. With this report, Saudi Arabia calls on the sector to come together to redesign tourism for a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient future. "
The report outlines recommendations for a rapid recovery in the travel and tourism sector as COVID becomes endemic.
An approach based on international coordination to reopen borders, fair testing conditions and digitization to facilitate travel, together with sustainability and social impact at the core of the sector, will restore international mobility and the Travel & Tourism sector. These measures will save millions of jobs and allow communities, businesses and destinations that depend on the travel and tourism sector to fully recover and prosper again.
Read the report here.