London, Great Britain, June 15, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / WTTC welcomes the beginning of the recovery of travel across Europe. Gloria Guevara, WTTC President and CEO, said:
“WTTC welcomes the reopening of borders and the easing of travel restrictions across Europe, and applauds the European Commission (EC) recommendation to Schengen Member States to lift all internal border controls by June 15 and international travellers from July 1, as well as the recently announced website Re-open EU to help travellers plan their European holidays.
“This important move will help encourage holidaymakers to begin travelling again, provide a vital boost to the Travel & Tourism sector, and kick-start the much-needed global economic recovery. We strongly urge EU Member States to follow the EC’s recommendation and coordinate efforts to restore a functioning Schengen zone as soon as possible.
“We are encouraged to see Spain and Germany working together on a new tourist pilot plan, which today saw the Balearic Island of Majorca welcoming its first visitors in three months. The new initiative saw all passengers and holidaymakers arriving from Germany receiving temperature tests upon arrival.
“This landmark move by the two European heavyweights is a significant step towards recovery, and it is important other countries implement similar measures which will kick-start the Travel & Tourism sector and save the millions of livelihoods that depend on it.
“We urge those countries with quarantine measures to reconsider and set out a clear timeline for their removal, to provide greater certainty for Travel & Tourism and the wider economy.”
During 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for 22.6 million jobs, or 11.2% of the EU’s total workforce. It also generated €1,319 billion GDP, or 9.5% to the EU economy, growing by 2.3% from the previous year.