‘Travel the world. Make a difference’

By | Category: Travel rumblings

This is the slogan devised and being promoted by the WTTC – the World Travel and Tourism Council.

Looking down on the beaches around Bodrum. Turkey is still open for British visitors

At any other time I would be a supporter of such a view, my long-held thoughts being that travel does indeed broaden the mind and helps us to understand different cultures.

But during a pandemic when it has been conclusively shown that travel has contributed in its own way to the spread of the virus is, it seems, to be wrong to encourage it just now.

According to the WTTC, this initiative “asks travellers to think about the positive social impact that travel makes to people, places and communities dependent upon the travel and tourism sector for their livelihoods.  It also encourages people around the world to share stories of how tourism has made a difference and changed their lives.”

This follows on from another campaign by the organisation which is to call for a global co-ordinated approach to recovery from the pandemic.

It says “We strongly believe that by working as and by taking a co-ordinated approach, we can beat Covid-19 and return to safe travels with world class standards of hygiene to travellers and regenerate the jobs and livelihoods of the 330 million people who worked in the sector before Covid-19.”

But how?

That is the sixty-four dollar question for which we all want an answer. Making airey-fairy statements and calls doesn’t really help much unless backed by suggestions on how to achieve this.

All holidaymakers and travellers know the importance of tourism and even more so now, we are aware of how many lives of those working in tourism and travel have been affected.

But how we will protect people’s lives and at the same time, protect the jobs of those affected, is a conundrum. The more travel that has to be in confined spaces the more likelihood of an infection spread. At least until a vaccine is proven to be efficient.

Luckily the cruise industry has reported few outbreaks since cruise ships began to sail again so it could be that basic hygiene and continuous hand-washing, sanitising things we would normally touch may be the answer after all.

The hotel industry has also had few cases in the last few months.

But is what both are doing sufficient for the travel industry to be economic?

In the meantime wouldn’t it be easier for WTTC to say we are investigating how mass tourism can co-exist with health provisions so that both travellers and tourism and travel workers can be safe.

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