We are in uncarried territory, nobody can doubt. The pandemic of coronavirus is posing a threat to the world that is not seen in peace on many fronts. The tourism and travel industry is special, and it is estimated that 50 million jobs are at risk worldwide. To put it simply Travel & Tourism is in a fight for survival.
The travel sector is calling on the governments to make immediate changes to the package travel regulations to prevent: innumerable company collapses and the loss of many thousands of jobs.
In compliance with the current legislation, tour operators shall give a full refund if holiday elements can not be delivered. However, travel companies argue that the laws are not fit for purposes in the current global crisis and that it contributes to the end of several other profitable travel companies.
Established frameworks and legislation of financial security have not been structured to cope with the collapse of large corporations.
In order to comply with refund claims, the travel industry is seeking a customer distress fund from the governments and calls for credit as an alternative to money refunds. Therefore, the existing 14-day period is demanded to suspend refund payments.
The existing financial protection structures and regulations were not designed to cope with a large-scale collapse of businesses.
In addition to calling for state action in connection with PTR, we also encourage tourists to help, be vigilant and postpone trips instead of canceling trips. Travel companies do whatever they can to have flexible reservations. It is very frustrating [for clients] if you don’t know where you are when it comes to your journey, but businesses are actually overwhelmed so that they have to be cautious. The best advice to get credits or changes on an alternate date is to contact the travel service.
Travel is the foundation of the world’s economies. It creates core currency and investment, creates opportunities and stimulates every sector. Travel & Tourism estimates show that industry makes up 10.4% of the world’s GDP and 320 million jobs. It generates one in five new jobs and has outpaced the growth of the world economy for eight consecutive years.
Economics around the world face an existential challenge without travel and tourism.
The global tourism and travel industry, calls upon the governments of all countries to take urgent steps to ensure the sustainability of this vital field of job growth. Not fast. Not a few weeks from now. There are millions of lost jobs and almost incalculable losses worldwide that cost any delay.
The time has come to act. In addition to the recovery funds, we propose three important steps that safeguard the livelihoods and welfare of millions of people dependent on Travel & Tourism in tumultuous weeks and months to come:
- Financial aid must be given in order to protect the incomes from extreme economic difficulties of the millions of employees of the industry.
- In order to prevent them from failure, governments must distribute essential, unrestricted interest-free credit to global travel & tourism companies as well as to million small and medium-sized enterprises.
- The travel sector must be exempted immediately, at least for the next 12 months, from all government duties and taxation and financial demands.
Travel & tourism companies play their part in protecting their workers. Together, these measures could save an already failing market.
We call on the world to take concrete and decisive steps to prevent a global health crisis from being a global economic disaster. Doing this is not an option nowadays.
In order to sustain and secure the contribution from the Travel & Tourism industry which more than 320 million people and family members depend on, we call on all government to act urgently and effectively now.