According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), due to the international collapse of travel this year, the UK economy will lose over £22 billion. Under these circumstances, WTTC wants more rampant Covid-19 testing to help revive the tourism sector.
Even though certain travel restrictions have been lifted, travellers are still uncertain and treading cautiously when it comes to travel. This could lead to a drop of international travellers by 78 percent when compared to the 2019 figures. This could amount to a loss of £60 million a day, or £420 million a week.
This will also have a direct impact on the jobs of the people in the UK tourism sector. Over three million people could lose their jobs if a worst-case scenario arises. Till now, figures from ABTA show that over 39,000 people have already lost their jobs or are at risk.
What part will COVID-19 testing play in reviving the tourism sector?
Gloria Guevara, Chief Executive, WTTC, said, “The economic pain and suffering caused to millions of households across the UK, who are dependent upon tourism for their livelihoods, is evident from the latest WTTC figures. We urgently need to replace stop-start quarantine measures with rapid, comprehensive, and cost-effective test and trace programmes at departure points across the country.”
She further explained that this move will be significantly less impactful than the impact of blunt quarantines. Quarantines till now have had devastating socio-economic consequences.
Targeted test and tracing will rebuild consumer confidence to travel. It will also enable the restoration of vital air corridors between countries and regions with similar Covid-19 case rates.