Tourism leaders spell out recovery measures

LONDON, 3 December 2020: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Spanish Government successfully hosted a hybrid conference in La Palma, that focused on global tourism recovery and delivered a formal declaration on the way forward.

Leaders from the industry both from the public and private sector participated, covering 95 countries and more than 100 travel and tourism companies. 

The event was organised as a result of WTTC’s call for the leaders of G7+Spain, South Korea and Australia for an agreement at the highest level, to save the sector and the millions of jobs that depend on it.

Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, reiterated his commitment to the sector and confirmed the leadership of Spain by holding a major conference to discuss key measures needed to revive international travel and tourism.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the ‘La Palma Declaration’ was signed by all key parties.

The ‘La Palma Declaration’ includes recommendations such as the adoption of international protocols for Covid-19 tests prior to departure, and acceptance of results upon arrival at destination. This testing regime has proven successful in a number of countries, such as Spain and the Canary Islands.

The establishment of health control measures such as this will allow shorter quarantine periods when returning to the country of origin or could lead to eliminating quarantines completely.

It also proposes international agreements to implement travel corridors to facilitate the return of both leisure and business travel between countries or cities with similar epidemiological situations.

Travel and tourism companies were also invited to propose further measures to adapt and facilitate travels in the context of the pandemic. These options included offering flexible bookings, payment terms, or changes, due to positive Covid-19, or offering affordable or higher value products to incentivise domestic and international travel.

WTTC president and CEO, Gloria Guevara said: “WTTC is delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with closely with the government of Spain in organising this vital conference, as the biggest challenge the industry faces is international coordination.

“I would like to recognise and congratulate Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, as well as Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Reyes Maroto, for their leadership and commitment to public-private collaboration. This is a historic meeting, and will be fundamental to restarting international travel through close collaboration that will result in the implementation of key measures that will be necessary to recover millions of jobs.”

CEO’s from some of the world’s biggest travel and tourism companies and WTTC members taking part included: President and CEO Iberia, Javier Sánchez-Prieto; CEO Radisson Hotel Group, Federico J Gonzalez Tejera, CEO TUI, Friedrich Joussen; Founder and Managing Partner Certares, Greg O’Hara; Senior Vice-President Expedia Group, Jean-Philippe Monod.