The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is calling for uniform rules on the movement of tourists in Europe to deal with the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, stressing that the many different measures applied in European countries after the lifting of travel restrictions discourage traveling all over Europe while at the same time delay recovery.
In the Schengen area, the Council emphasizes, the measures must be uniform and not a deterrent to cross-border traffic. Unnecessary and different border restrictions act as a deterrent for travelers, at a time when recovery is urgently needed for destinations to gain tourists and employees of the tourism sector get back to their jobs.
According to the WTTC, every 2.7% increase in travel traffic generates one million jobs in the tourism sector. Governments adopting well-coordinated measures could increase travel by 27%, re-creating 10 million jobs in Travel and Tourism, the Council said. The WTTC cited the confusion of travelers using a face mask. In some countries it is mandatory to use public transport. These countries are for example France and Germany. While in others not, such as Norway and Sweden. In Italy, masks should be worn in all enclosed public places, while in Switzerland, in these areas, it is recommended to keep a distance of 1.5 meters and the mask is only necessary if there is no such distance.
According to medical advice for example from the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, the use of a face mask helps reduce the risk of transmitting the virus by up to 90%. Also, protects the user and those around him and restores a greater sense of normalcy to travelers. However, the WTTC warns that if European governments will not align their policies, they will stagnate and slow the fragile tourism recovery, putting 16 million jobs in travel and tourism at risk.
Gloria Guevara, President & CEO of WTTC called the leaders of European countries to unite and come up with uniform regulations for the benefit of the millions of people who depend on tourism in Europe. The past, she emphasizes, shows that only by coordinating and harmonizing travel rules can the recovery be accelerated, as travelers’ confidence will be restored. Different approaches to mask use, testing and contact detection create a climate of uncertainty for travelers, points out Gloria Guevara. She is also emphasizing in her statements how important especially this year is the restoration of travelers’ trust. The time to work together is now, she says. The private sector wants to work with governments and destinations using WTTC’s carefully crafted Safe Travels protocols to clarify and eliminate tourist confusion. Tourism contributes 9.1% of Europe’s GDP, generating a turnover of over 2 trillion dollars, while last year the sector offered 37.1 million jobs.
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