More than 100 travel and business leaders have joined the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in calling for urgent coordinated action from governments to save the global tourism sector.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is among a cohort of national and international leaders sent open letters by the council, calling for “strong leadership” and “unprecedented international collaboration” between the world’s major tourism source markets.
Among the measures urged by the WTTC, which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, are four that will require a concerted international framework to combat the coronavirus.
These include ensuring masks are mandatory throughout the entire traveller journey; investment and agreement on extensive, rapid, and reliable testing capable of delivering results within 90 minutes; quarantining of positive tests only; and reinforcing global protocols and standardised measures.
In the letter sent to Morrison, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne, Minister for Tourism Simon Birmingham, and Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese, the Prime Minister was urged to continue Australia’s legacy of “showing leadership” on world issues.
“The restart and recovery of travel and tourism, and its associated economic and social benefits, is highly dependent on rebuilding traveller confidence and consistent alignment amongst countries,” the WTTC wrote.
“We are convinced that our leaders of the G7 can rescue the world from this unprecedented crisis by acting in an effective and coordinated way that will allow us to bring back more than 120 million jobs and livelihoods affected.
“We are calling on the leaders of the G7, plus Australia, The Republic of Korea and Spain (as 10 of the top global tourism source markets) to work together to commit to and deliver the measures needed.
“You have understandably focused on your important domestic priorities during the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, but now the hope and the future of the world is in your expert hands as one of the most important global leaders we have.
“With power comes the responsibility of global leadership, and now is the time to act.”
You can read the WTTC’s open letter to ScoMo in full here.
According to the WTTC, at least 120 million people working in tourism have had their livelihoods affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
During 2019, travel and tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million total) – 53 per cent of who are women – making a 10.3 per cent contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.
The news comes as WTTC continues to promote the adoption of its ‘Safe Travels’ protocols, developed for businesses across the travel and tourism sector to provide them with best-practice regimes to enable them to reopen for business.
Close to home, the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) last week revealed it had received approval to utilise the Safe Travels protocols.
Featured image source: Flickr/Australian Pacific Training Coalition