A “confusing patchwork of bans, quarantines and uncoordinated international testing and tracing measures”, have deterred many people from travelling in the UK, according to the WTTC.
The organisation said that nearly three million jobs in the UK - and 197 million worldwide in the Travel & Tourism sector globally - look set to be lost due to the collapse of travel.
The WTTC estimated that the UK now looked close to losing $186bn from the Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to UK GDP, equating to a 73% drop compared with 2019.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “It’s heartbreaking to see our worst fears for the UK and global Travel & Tourism sector coming true. The jobs and livelihoods of millions of people who work throughout the sector are disappearing by the day, despite our warning this could happen.
“While we acknowledge the UK government’s efforts to support Travel & Tourism during this crisis, the UK alone looks set to lose three million jobs in the sector, creating an economic black hole of $186bn in the country’s finances. This is due to an international failure to implement proper coordination to combat the pandemic.
“However, we still have time to turn this around if we act together now as one and replace ineffective quarantines with comprehensive rapid testing, a worldwide accepted standard of contact tracing and widespread face mask usage. Employing the latest technology, combined with mass adoption of protective face coverings, will help restore confidence to the traveller.
“Governments around the world must align their policies and work hand in hand with the private sector to revive Travel & Tourism, so we can restore jobs and help revive the global economy.
“We strongly believe that by working as one we can beat COVID-19 and return to safe travels with world class standards of hygiene to travellers and regenerate the jobs and livelihoods of the 300 million people who worked in the sector before COVID-19. That is a much more, cost effective and efficient option which will alleviate the terrible economic impact of mass unemployment.”
WTTC believes the implementation of a rapid test and trace strategy is a critical step to help contain the spread of the virus, while still allowing people to travel responsibly and encouraging greater and sustained collaboration between the public and private sectors to ensure a standardised, global approach to the crisis.