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WTTC appreciates Indian government’s support to travel and tourism industry in this pandemic crisis

NITN | @notintownlive | 10 Oct 2020

WTTC appreciates Indian government’s support to travel and tourism industry in this pandemic crisis

London: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) acknowledged India’s support to the travel and tourism industry by working with the private sector in the face of the pandemic crisis at the recently held G20 Tourism Ministers meeting in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking at the G20 Tourism public-private event, as part of the official G20 programme, Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC, said, “We would like to thank the Government of India for its continued support and commitment to Travel & Tourism. We also express our gratitude for recognising that cooperation between the public and private sectors will be critical for the recovery.”

Guevara said India is a major tourist destination and is therefore a strategic ally to strengthen the recovery of Travel & Tourism activity in the region.

“In 2019, India’s Travel & Tourism sector made up 6.8% of the country’s total GDP, and 8% of total employment,” she said.

She also pointed out that it is essential to work towards a single agenda and the reactivation of international travel to benefit the millions of people in India who depend on the sector for their livelihoods.

"To that end, it is vital to implement an international testing protocol upon departure to eliminate harmful quarantines and travel restrictions. This will require international collaboration," said Guevara.

During their G20 Chairmanship of the Tourism Track, Saudi Arabia requested the collaboration of the global travel and tourism sector on developing insights to help accelerate the global recovery.

As a result, the WTTC presented a plan which aims to restart international Travel & Tourism and recover 100 million jobs globally.

Chaired by Ahmed Al Khateeb, Saudi Arabia’s Minister for Tourism, the event marks a huge milestone, as for the first time, the G20 Tourism Ministers listened directly to CEOs representing major international markets.

The session discussed and explored key initiatives which could deliver the prompt recovery of the sector and save millions of lost jobs.

Puneet Chhatwal, MD and CEO of Indian Hotels Company Limited (Taj) said, “In India, travel and hospitality contributes 9.3 per cent to the overall Indian GDP and accounts for over 8 per cent of India’s total employment. It is therefore imperative to come together and focus on the revival of the sector across the globe with optimism, hope and unity in solidarity of the industry.”

The recovery plan presented to the G20 Tourism Ministers included 12 points for the private sector and 12 for the public sector, which focus on key measures to reactivate international tourism.

The measures include a globally recognised international testing programme; strengthening and standardising protocols between countries to reduce risk and regain confidence from the traveller; and international coordination for the reopening of the sector, with the highest priority to health, safety and certainty for the traveller.

According to the most recent WTTC research, the Travel & Tourism sector generated one in 10 jobs globally (330 million) and 10.3 per cent of global GDP.

In addition, it is responsible for every one out of four new jobs globally.

It is also one of the most diverse sectors in the world, employing people of all socio-economic levels, regardless of gender or ethnicity, employing 54 per cent women and 30 per cent young people.

Image source: WTTC/Facebook

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