The World Travel & Tourism Council has praised millions of people around the world in the tourism sector for going the extra mile to lend crucial help to combat the global coronavirus pandemic.
The huge thank you from WTTC president and chief executive, Gloria Guevara, was made on behalf of travel companies throughout the private sector around the world.
Millions of people employed by WTTC member companies large and small have volunteered their time and expertise, many putting their own lives on the line, to provide essential help to their beleaguered communities with relief efforts.
This has ranged from furloughed airline cabin crew being deployed to help in hospitals, to operating additional flights for medical cargo, luxury hotels opening their doors to provide free rooms to healthcare workers or helping with grocery shopping and running errands for the elderly self-isolating.
Guevara said: “WTTC wants to pay tribute to the millions of amazing coronavirus heroes throughout the global tourism sector for selflessly going the extra mile to help their communities to overcome and combat the Covid-19 pandemic threat.
“We recognise their quiet heroism and phenomenal dedication through using their incredible people skills developed during their normal working lives and wealth of experience to step up and offer essential help and assistance to those on the front line fighting this terrible virus.
“Whether its tending to the sick, opening hotels for health workers or manning foodbanks, they, like countless others have risen to the challenge and shown with their hearts and actions that we are stronger together and we will win this battle.”
Examples abound of tourism sector workers going the extra mile to provide essential aid to their communities.
Hotel giants like Hilton have teamed up with American Express to launch their Rooms for Responders initiative, offering free accommodation to more than a million healthcare professionals across ten medical associations fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, employees working for Carnival have offered a number of its ships to act as floating hospitals to treat patients suffering from less-critical, non-coronavirus related conditions.
In the US and Spain, Room Mate have also offered up hotels in New York, Madrid and Barcelona, to be transformed into temporary hospitals to help in the Covid-19 fight.
United Airlines, the fourth largest carrier in the world, has offered free flights to New York and California to medical personnel.
Spanish flag carrier Iberia is working with the Spanish Federation of Healthcare Technology Companies and the Oesía Group to bring medical supplies from China to fight Covid-19.
Furloughed airline cabin crew have responded in numerous ways. In the UK, those working for TUI Airways have provided essential support to the health systems, in order to help relieve pressure on health workers.
In China, Trip.com has donated more than three million surgical masks to more than 25 countries around the world.
WTTC praises all of its members, across all sectors and regions for their dedication, and those of their selfless employees for going above and beyond to help.
Like many other industries, the tourism sector has faced near collapse and a battle for survival due to the extensive travel restrictions and lockdowns ordered by governments across the world to stop the spread of the pandemic.
Latest WTTC research reveals up to 75 million tourism sector jobs are at risk globally.
The World Travel & Tourism Council represents the global private sector of tourism, with a mission to ensure the sector is seamless, secure, safe, inclusive and sustainable.
The body seeks to raise awareness of the of value tourism, not just as one of the largest economic sectors in the world, but also to the many communities and travellers enriched through their experiences.
Find out more on the official website.