The President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Julia Simpson, has announced that since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation she leads has pushed hard to create digital systems that have simultaneously improved travel and tourism business.
Meanwhile, global leaders have sought a unified health permit to promote hassle-free travel to tourist destinations and, at the same time, help increase economic recovery this summer, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“But the problem’s been, digital solutions to Covid have been uncoordinated as nations made up their own rules to tackle the pandemic. And despite global leaders like the Saudis calling for harmonisation, we have a patchwork of systems that hit customer confidence with costly tests and changing rules,” President Simpson said.
According to her, to survive another pandemic, a traveller’s health status must be fully integrated into their digital travel documents, emphasising that a good example is the EU Digital COVID Certificate, now approved by 62 countries.
On June 9, 2021, the Parliament of the European Union had approved the EU digital certificate for the COVID-19 vaccine. The EU digital certificate for COVID started to function on July 1, 2021.
This certificate includes all information on a person’s vaccination records if he or she has received a negative test result or has even recovered from COVID-19. It is free of charge in digital or paper form with a QR code, while other digital certificates are issued by specific countries such as the United States, Australia, India, and China.
President Simpson also stressed that the global tourism body is already talking to the Asia-Pacific officials about this issue, trying to coordinate at the ministerial level, which is a responsibility of governments.
According to a WTTC 2022 EIR report, released on April 21, it was revealed that the travel and tourism GDP over the next decade is projected to move forward at an average annual rate of 5.8 per cent.
On April 21-23, the Philippines hosted the 21st WTTC Global Summit at the Manila Marriott Hotel from April 21-23, which gathered around 1,000 delegates worldwide to discuss “Travel Rediscovery”.
In this regard, the President of the Marriott International Group, Craig S. Smith, said that this effort should be made public and not private to ensure that it becomes a very efficient and easy way to travel.
Moreover, the Philippines currently recognises Covid vaccine certificates in over 70 countries by mutual agreement.