World Travel & Tourism Council chief executive, Gloria Guevara, has said global tourism can recover from the Covid-19 pandemic by early 2022.
However, the timeframe will require a great deal more cooperation between governments, she argued.
“We can recover in 18 months – but it depends on coordination 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.”
She added: “It is our role to facilitate these relationships and to help countries to work together to reopen.”
Guevara 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.
Guevara added a vaccine would play a vital role in the reopening of the sector.
She explained: “We believe 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 coordination in order to make sure everybody who needs it, gets it.”
Guevara was speaking at the Future Hospitality Summit, a hybrid virtual conference developed to explore big ideas and tackle the challenges facing the hospitality industry.
It is taking place in Riyadh over the next two days.
The event, which promises to be one of the most impactful gatherings of the hospitality community, will be delivered on a cutting-edge event platform from Bench Digital.
It will provide an immersive live experience, including a virtual exhibition, one-to-one video networking and integrated chat features to all participants.
Future Hospitality Summit is organised by ministry of tourism Saudi Arabia and G20 Saudi Secretariat as part of the International Conferences Program, honouring the G20 Saudi presidency 2020.
Find out more on the official website.