WTTC warns of new restrictions and border closures

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WTTC warns of new restrictions and border closures
Source: WTTC
January 03, 2022

The World Travel and Tourism Council affirms that new measures will hinder the 94% increase in international spending on travel and tourism for 2022 predicted by the body

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the closure of borders in the face of the new strain of the Covid-19 virus “Omicrón”, coupled with the lag in vaccination plans in some countries, make it difficult the recovery of the travel and tourism sector, while delaying the global economic recovery.

The WTTC expects international spending in this sector to increase 94 percent in 2022. This, after a decrease of 69.4 percent in 2020, due to the health crisis.
On the other hand, it projects that the global recovery of the travel and tourism sector will accelerate in its contribution to world GDP, projected for growth of 30.7 percent in 2021 and 31.7 percent in 2022.  

However, travel restrictions and the slow development of vaccination plans represent a risk for the fulfillment of these projections.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of the WTTC, highlighted that the virus does not respect borders and is an unprecedented moment for the public and private sectors to walk hand in hand.
Simpson reiterated that the closure of borders does not work, since, “the virus does not respect divisions between countries and travelers are tired of the restrictions that continue to change erratically. Let's base risk around an individual's health status rather than quarantine entire countries. "

In addition, he considered it essential to accelerate vaccination plans around the world. "We can't wait five years for 4 billion people to get their first dose," he explained.

On the other hand, Simpson reiterated that it is a priority to rigorously follow the biosecurity measures indicated by the WHO, such as the use of mouth covers, social distancing, use of alcohol gel, as well as the application of regular rapid tests. 

The WTTC has identified measures that would accelerate the global economic recovery, these include four simplified rules for fully vaccinated people that allow them to travel freely to any place, regardless of their origin or final destination:
  1. Allow free movement to all fully vaccinated travelers, regardless of their origin or destination, eliminating category systems
  2. The implementation of digital solutions that allow all travelers to easily prove their COVID status, which in turn speeds up the process at borders around the world.
  3. Recognition of all vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and / or any of the Strict Regulatory Authorities (SRA).
  4. Agreement by all relevant authorities that international travel is safe with improved health and safety protocols.
In 2020, more than 62 million jobs were lost in the travel and tourism sector due to the health crisis, and according to the WTTC, if these four measures are carried out, the global economy and jobs could improve. significantly, with a 20.1 percent recovery by 2022, which would mean reaching 2019 levels.

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