WTTC praises European efforts to reopen tourism sector
The World Travel & Tourism Council has praised European efforts to reopen borders in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Officials at the European Commission earlier recommended Schengen member states lift all internal border controls this week.
International travellers are expected to be welcomed from July 1st.
The government body also recently announced website - Re-open EU - to help travellers plan their European holidays.
In response, Gloria Guevara, WTTC chief executive, said: “WTTC welcomes the reopening of borders and the easing of travel restrictions across Europe.
“This important move will help encourage holidaymakers to begin travelling again, provide a vital boost to the tourism sector, and kick-start the much-needed global economic recovery.
“We strongly urge EU member states to follow the recommendation and coordinate efforts to restore a functioning Schengen zone as soon as possible.”
She added: “We are encouraged to see Spain and Germany working together on a new tourist pilot plan, which today saw the Balearic Island of Majorca welcoming its first visitors in three months.
“The new initiative saw all passengers and holidaymakers arriving from Germany receiving temperature tests upon arrival.
“This landmark move by the two European heavyweights is a significant step towards recovery, and it is important other countries implement similar measures which will kick-start the tourism sector and save the millions of livelihoods that depend on it.”
During 2019, tourism was responsible for 22.6 million jobs, or 11.2 per cent of the total workforce in the European Union, according to WTTC figures.
“We urge those countries with quarantine measures to reconsider and set out a clear timeline for their removal, to provide greater certainty for tourism and the wider economy,” concluded Guevara.