Gloria Guevara, Chief Executive of WTTC, the World Travel & Tourism Council, has said that global tourism can recover from the Covid-19 pandemic by early 2022. However, the timeframe will require a great deal more co-operation between governments.
“We can recover in 18 months – but it depends on co-ordination at an international level. Some countries did a good job containing this pandemic, but they do not have a plan to reopen. You cannot work in silos; travel depends on a lot of partners working together. It is our role to facilitate these relationships and to help countries to work together to reopen.”
Gloria pointed to the possibility of opening airline routes between London and Dubai or London and New York to evaluate testing procedures designed to remove quarantine. If the world fails to act to reopen tourism, as many as 100 million jobs could be lost, the WTTC has argued.
She added that a vaccine would play a vital role in the reopening of the sector. “We believe that there is going to be a vaccine before the end of the year – the challenge is going to be the distribution of the vaccine. Again we will need the co-ordination in order to make sure everybody who needs it, gets it.”
Gloria Guevara was speaking at the Future Hospitality Summit, a hybrid virtual conference in Riyadh developed to explore big ideas and tackle the challenges facing the hospitality industry.