Global Travel Recovery from Covid-19 Slower Than Expected

Allowing fully vaccinated travellers to travel freely would help the sluggish tourism sector recover.

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travel-covid-tourism

Allowing fully vaccinated travellers to travel freely would help the sluggish tourism sector recover.

© Shutterstock

Sluggish tourism 

Global travel and tourism is making a slower than expected recovery from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) said the sluggish recovery has been hampered by a lack of international coordination, severe travel restrictions and slower vaccination rates in some parts of the world. 

In 2020, the pandemic brought the travel and tourism sector almost to a standstill which resulted in a 49% drop in its contribution to the global economy, representing a punishing loss of nearly US$4.5 trillion, it said. While this year its contribution to the global economy was set to partially bounce back 30%, this is mainly being driven by domestic spending.  

Recovery not fast enough

"While next year is looking more positive in terms of the global economy and jobs, the current rate of recovery is simply not fast enough and is in the most part driven by domestic travel, which will not achieve a full economic recovery," said WTTC president & chief executive Julia Simpson.

According to the research by Oxford Economics, the following measures would boost global travel and tourism in 2021 and 2022:

  • Allowing fully vaccinated travellers to move freely, irrespective of their origin or eventual destination, removing complex tiered systems.
  • The implementation of digital solutions which enable all travellers to easily prove their Covid status, thereby speeding up border processes around the world.
  • Recognition of all vaccines authorised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and/or any authorised by national bodies that apply stringent standards. 
  • Agreement from relevant authorities that international travel is safe with enhanced health and safety protocols.

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