AssociationThe meeting called for G-20 nations to strengthen collaboration with the private sector to reopen global travel.

WTTC's plan to save 100 million jobs in travel sector

Gloria Guevara at the World Travel and Tourism Council’s first Climate & Environment Action Forum last year.
Gloria Guevara at the World Travel and Tourism Council’s first Climate & Environment Action Forum last year.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) last week presented a plan to the tourism ministers of the world's largest economies, known as the G-20, to save the embattled travel sector.

The WTTC said the plan will help save 100 million jobs globally, in a presentation made along with more than 45 travel industry leaders during a virtual G-20 meeting hosted by Saudi Arabia.

The 24-point plan is divided into what both the private and public sectors should do to incentivise travel, with an emphasis on standardised health protocols and ways to make travel more seamless and safer.

"The private sector cannot reduce the time frame of recovery and bring back 100 million jobs alone; public-private collaboration is essential to the success of the plan," the WTTC said, calling on G-20 nations to strengthen collaboration and work with the private sector to implement the plan.

Among the 24 points, the WTTC asks governments for more coordination to resume international travel and reopen borders; "air corridors" between countries or cities with similar epidemiological situations, such as London, New York, Dubai and Shanghai; and international standardisation of health protocols, testing regimens and contact tracing. The plan also calls on nations to support travel promotion campaigns to incentivise and attract both leisure and business travel.

From the private sector, WTTC calls for standardised health protocols across all industries to create a consistent and safer travel experience; the development and adoption of digital technologies to enable seamless travel and better manage visitor flow; and for companies to offer flexible booking policies and make travel more affordable to increase demand.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC CEO, said the meeting represented the first time that many travel industry leaders had been invited to sit in the same forum as G-20 tourism ministers. The meeting was led by the tourism minister of Saudi Arabia, who currently holds the presidency of the economic forum.

Chris Nassetta, CEO of Hilton and WTTC chair, called the plan "hugely important in supporting the recovery of the sector and bringing back 100 million travel and tourism jobs globally".

According to the WTTC's 2020 Economic Impact Report, the tourism sector will be critical to the global recovery from the pandemic. In 2019, the sector was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million in total) and a 10.3% contribution to global GDP.

This story was first published in Travel Weekly.

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