The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced their recommendations to Schengen/EU Member States and countries all over the world to restore business travel, according to an announcement published by the WTTC.
The WTTC is advocating for countries worldwide to reestablish ‘air corridors’ between the world’s top financial hubs such as New York and London and utilizing an airport-based COVID-19 testing plan to detect possibly infected passengers.
“WTTC is calling for the introduction of a pilot scheme, involving airport-based testing, followed by a second test just days later, for travel between the financial hubs of London and New York, with the aim of re-starting business travel,” the announcement reads.
According to the announcement, a confirmation of infection can be determined with 80% accuracy by passengers taking two tests “in quick succession.” Testing in this matter could reduce quarantine time periods from 14 days to 4-6 days.
The WTTC is attempting to undo the damage that has been done by the COVID-19 crisis worldwide, focusing particularly on the negative economic effects caused by worldwide shutdowns and border closures.
The results of shutdowns and border closures have sent many industries into economic crises. However, the travel and tourism and business travel sectors have been hit particularly hard. Thus, such a scheme as suggested by the WTTC would require a massive international cooperative effort.
“The WTTC pilot scheme with its twin test regime, will help reassure corporates that it is safe for their employees to travel and remove the need for unhelpful quarantines. We need a concerted international framework at the highest level to introduce comprehensive, rapid and cost-effective testing at airports, with a worldwide accepted standard of contact tracing and widespread use of face masks. To continue with the current chaos would be a huge mistake and would cause further severe economic damage and unnecessary hardship to millions around the world,” said Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of the WTTC.
International inbound business travel accounts for more than US$272 billion each year. Leisure travel makes up the majority of international travel, however, bringing in 83.77% of international travel spending, leaving business travel at 16.23% of travel spending.
Although the majority of spending on international travel is done for leisure purposes, many international airlines rely on frequent flying business travelers, particularly on highly competitive routes across the Atlantic.
WTTC is an international organization dedicated to advocating for the travel and tourism economic sector worldwide to policymakers and other government officials.
It is not yet known whether or not any countries or Member States will follow the WTTC’s advice to restart the business travel sector.