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WTTC urges governments to focus on high-risk travelers vs. high-risk countries
08 February 2021

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World Travel & Tourism Council

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) - which represents global private-sector travel and tourism businesses - has called for governments to redefine their approach to risk management and focus on how individual high-risk travelers are treated at borders, vice labeling entire countries as high-risk.

WTTC claims that this approach, along with the adoption of an international consensus on the metrics used to assess risk and a comprehensive arrival and departure testing protocol, could remove obstacles to the meaningful return of travel.

WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara said:

“...We cannot continue labelling entire countries as ‘high-risk’ which assumes everyone is infected. While the UK is currently seeing high levels of infections, clearly not all Britons are infected; the same goes for all Americans, Spaniards, or the French.

“The reality is much more complex. Not only does it stigmatise an entire nation, but it also halts travel and mobility when many people who test negative on departure and arrival could safely travel without exporting the virus.

“This refocus would avoid exporting the virus and enable the free movement of travellers, while still observing enhanced hygiene protocols such as mask wearing and social distancing.

“We must learn to live with the virus, as it will take time for the global population to be vaccinated. This is why WTTC has long advocated introducing a comprehensive and cost-effective test on departure and arrival for all international travellers, as a way of preventing those carrying the virus from spreading it..."

In 2019, travel and tourism contributed more than 10% to global GDP, and accounted for 10% of global jobs.

David Boggs President/CEO ACRO Global|Publisher Tourism Marketer
David H. Boggs
ACRO Global

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