The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has asked for more consistent travel rules and Covid-19 advice by European countries to respond to travelers’ confusion. People traveling to Europe for the first time since travel restrictions began to ease have faced various types of travel rules and advice. Recovery is delaying, with each country across the continent emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic at different stages.
Unnecessary and inconsistent border constraints are stopping travelers and suppressing tourism’s revival
Every 2.7% increase in travelers would generate or recover one million jobs in the sector, WTTC research showed. With the right co-0rdicated measures, travel will increase by as much as 27%, recovering ten million jobs in tourism. Wearing face masks is mandatory for public transport in some countries like France and Germany, but only recommended in Norway and Sweden. Meanwhile, in Malta, masks must be worn in all public places, while in Poland they are not if people follow physical distancing.
The use of face masks helps reduce the risk of transmission up to 90%, according to Medical advice, including from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. However, WTTC stresses that unless European governments make better policies, tourism’s recovery will slowdown, putting 16 million jobs at risk.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC chief executive, said: “It is urgent that governments learn from the past and take quick and effective action to coordinate and harmonize travel rules and border requirements to bring consistency for everyone across Europe. Previous crises, including the 2008 financial crash, shows where governments coordinate to align policies, their leadership resulted in a quicker recovery.”
“We are encouraged to see that more travelers are spending time searching for holiday destinations across Europe following the easing of travel restrictions. Unfortunately, the lack of coordination among countries has created inconsistencies which means we are failing to rebuild the trust of potential travelers. Anyone traveling from one European country to the next faces a bewildering difference in travel advice, covering masks, testing and contact tracing which could seriously hinder the return of the tourism sector,” she added.
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