New normals for travel

UNWTO launches media push to restart travel

June 3, 2020

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has joined forces with CNN International to launch a major new campaign designed to inspire business and leisure travellers to get ready to travel again.

As many destinations look to relax their travel restrictions, the pair have created a 60-second film under the campaign #TravelTomorrow to celebrate the unique power of tourism to inspire and bring people together.

The film, which covers different types of travel including adventure, culture and corporate travel, will be shown on CNN International and its social media, and will also be promoted on UNWTO’s own media channels.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “In these challenging times we must all play our part – staying home today, supporting the efforts of the global healthcare community in combating COVID19 – so that we can #TravelTomorrow. But this does not mean we should stop dreaming about the places we will one day travel to. I am excited by this new initiative created by CNN, a valued partner of the UNWTO, to keep the world connected to the people and places that wait for us when we can once again enjoy the gift of travel – a sector that will be critical to global economic recovery, unity and opportunity.”

CNN Worldwide commercial president Rani Raad added: “Travel and tourism is by far one of the most affected sectors as a result of this pandemic. Our commitment to supporting this industry is based on our work over many years with the UNWTO, its members around the world and other travel and tourism destinations. It is important to share this responsible yet aspirational message with CNN’s global audience, reminding people that while many have to stay home today, to not stop dreaming about where they want to travel to tomorrow.”

View the video.

Travel manifesto urges action

May 27, 2020

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, the voice of the European travel and tourism sector, has called on EU national governments to provide a coordinated, consistent reboot for tourism, and to reconsider plans for 14-day self-isolation periods post travel.

The alliance of over 60 European public and private organisations has called on the national governments of the EU to urgently follow the European Commission’s new recommendations to lift travel restrictions in a coordinated way and implement harmonised health and safety protocols.

The comprehensive package on Tourism and Transport announced on May 13 acknowledges the importance of the travel and tourism sector for the economy and employment in Europe, and represents a first step to facilitating travel in Europe.

A response statement from the Manifesto group said: “We need a well-coordinated and timely approach across the EU to re-establish effective operations, remove travel barriers and re-build confidence in travel. Unilateral and fragmented measures should be avoided as they would only lead to confusion and disruption for travellers and businesses alike.

“Governments should implement harmonised protocols for health and safety that seek to protect all travellers including those from vulnerable groups, senior travellers and people with disabilities or long-term health conditions, as well the workers providing services in travel and tourism.

In regards to proposed quarantining of travellers, it added: “We ask governments to carefully reflect before deciding whether all arrivals need to self-isolate and before encouraging domestic tourism only. Travellers will be deterred from embarking on trips of any kind if a blanket quarantine is imposed when they arrive at the destination of their choice and then again when going back to their original destination.”

According to a survey carried out by IATA in April 2020, 69% of recent travellers would not consider travelling if it involved a 14-day quarantine period. Quarantine requirements for travellers can be avoided if Member States follow the guidelines proposed by the European Commission.

The group supports a Commission proposal to set up a dedicated website with a map combining real-time tourism information related to tourism including detailed and up-to-date information on the situation of the borders of all EU countries (air, land, sea borders), travel restrictions, public health and safety measures, and available tourism services including openings of tourist attractions and events across the EU.

The Commission has also proposed financial rescue programmes and these have been welcomed adding: “Availability of liquidity remains a big issue. Therefore, further action from the EU and governments including direct grants is fundamental to help them during the recovery phase and after.

The alliance concludes: “Tourism is an engine for economic recovery. However, it needs continuous support and strategic policy integration in order to contribute to the recovery and growth of economies. Working together is key to ensure that we have common rules and offer certainty to travellers.”

WTTC outlines the new normal for travel

May 6, 2020

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has outlined what the “new normal” will look like as countries begin to end their COVID-19 lockdowns and ease travel restrictions.

Based on public-private collaboration, ‘Travelling in the New Normal’ is part of WTTC’s strategy to envision the new health protocols that will provide strong reassurances for those travelling before a vaccine becomes widely available.

The council predicts travel is likely to return first to domestic markets; then to a country’s nearest neighbours, before expanding across regions, and then finally across continents. Younger travellers in the 18-35 age group, are predicted to begin travelling first.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “It is vital for the survival of the travel & tourism sector that we work together and map out the road to recovery, through coordinated actions. We have learned from past experiences that when the protocols from private sector are taken into account and we have a coordinated approach the recovery timeframe is significantly reduced, so the private-public sector collaboration is crucial.

“We should avoid new, unnecessary procedures that create bottle necks and slow down the recovery. However, a quick and effective restart of travel will only happen if governments around the world agree to a common set of health protocols developed by the private sector, such as those we’ve outlined.
These must provide the reassurance travellers and authorities need, using new technology, to offer hassle-free, pre-vaccine ‘new normal’ travel in the short term.”

WTCC is collaborating with International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Airport Council International (ACI), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), United States Travel Association (USTA), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) the European Travel Commission (ETC) and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

World-class cleanliness, improved hygiene standards and protocols that protect in travel and in hotels will require protocols based on learnings from frontline healthcare workers. They will include new protocols for check-in involving digital technology; hand sanitiser stations at frequent points including where luggage is stored; contactless payment instead of cash; using stairs more often than lifts to ensure distancing; and repositioning of fitness equipment.

Cruise operators will take further measures including staff wearing gloves at all times which are then frequently changed; and more frequent room cleaning. And aircraft will also be subject to intensive cleansing regimes.

Full details of the proposed protocols will be announced in the next two weeks.

WTTC reports that the travel & tourism sector is now facing over 100 million job losses worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, at a cost of up to US$2.7 trillion of GDP.