Virginia Messina, WTTC Senior Vice President, said: “Today we should reflect on how hard won our newly re-found ‘freedoms’ are, which have been curbed for the best part of 18 months as together we have fought against the pandemic – at huge social, economic and personal cost.
“We know it will come as a sigh of relief that our lives are beginning to return to normal, albeit with mask-wearing where appropriate, to continue prioritising public safety.
“However, while the domestic holiday market is reaping the benefits of ‘Freedom Day’, with staycations booming, we are not out of the woods yet.
“International travel remains either off limits or frustratingly difficult for many. This means the door to significant overseas travel still remains effectively closed, especially following the new ‘amber list-plus status’ for France which caused such chaos last week.
“We need international travel; economically, socially and emotionally. Our pent-up desire to travel remains undimmed, and we must take advantage of the hugely successful vaccine rollout to safely resume it.
“We hope the UK government will extend these revived domestic ‘freedoms’ to include the freedom to travel safely internationally, so we can reconnect with the world and harness all the benefits that it brings to us as individuals, and collectively to the Travel & Tourism sector and the country.”
WTTC is the body which represents the Travel & Tourism private sector globally. Members consist of CEOs of the world’s Travel & Tourism companies, destinations, and industry organisations engaging with Travel & Tourism.
WTTC has a history of 25 years of research to quantify the economic impact of the sector in 185 countries. Travel & Tourism is a key driver for investment and economic growth globally. The sector contributes US$8.8 trillion or 10.4% of global GDP, and accounts for 319 million jobs or one in ten of all jobs on the planet.
For over 25 years, WTTC has been the voice of this industry globally. Members are the Chairs, Presidents and Chief Executives of the world’s leading, private sector Travel & Tourism businesses, who bring specialist knowledge to guide government policy and decision-making and raise awareness of the importance of the sector.