Saturday, 17 October 2020

Solving the Covid-19 travel lockdown and saving jobs. Simple.


The World Travel & Tourism Council is an international organisation that thinks it can find  a way to end the Covid-19 travel lockdown.

The WTTC says it plans to "kickstart" the economic global recovery through a major drive to revive international travel with the public and private sector working together.

It says its Jobs Recovery Plan could save 65 million jobs across all G20 countries and could help save millions of jobs. Could, could, might. 

So far, the WTTC is long on on rhetoric and short on details.

It intends to establish a structure to deliver on its goals, led by a global steering committee, comprised of 12 WTTC member CEOs and other business and institutional leaders to establish international consensus to take action.

Specialised working groups will address how to open up travel by creating crucial "air corridors" and a globally recognised standard for an airport test-and-trace regime. 

Gloria Guevara, the Mexican WTTC President and CEO, said: "WTTC is uniquely positioned to provide a platform at the highest level where the private and public sector can work together to help revive international business and leisure travel and save 100 million jobs globally.

"It is vital that 'air corridors' be restored between the world's leading financial hubs, such as the hugely important transatlantic route between London and New York.

"Restoring these routes for international business travellers must be coupled with the agreement and adoption of globally recognised standards for a rapid, cost-effective airport test-and-trace regime.

"Together these will help create a safe and hygienic environment to travel and aid the beleaguered travel and tourism sector which continues its fight for survival.

"This, in turn, will act as an engine to help kickstart the economic global recovery to benefit the whole travel and tourism sector and millions of jobs throughout the supply chain which are dependent upon international travel.

"The economic fallout from Covid-19 continues to relentlessly burn its way through the travel and tourism sector. However, our plan could save 100 million jobs through strong international cooperation, removing travel barriers and introducing an international testing protocol at airports to minimise the spread of Covid-19."

The WTTC has been at the forefront of leading the private sector in the drive to rebuild international travel - but I'm not convinced.

Meanwhile, flights between the UK and mainland Europe may be at risk from January 1. 

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed that the UK was yet to reach a deal with the EU that would allow flights to continue the start of the new year. 

"It's critical that flights between the UK and the EU can continue to operate as normal at the end of the transition period, regardless of the outcome of these negotiations," Schapps said.

Eurostar train services are unaffected by the negotiations. 

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