The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is speaking out against Canada's decision to tighten international travel restrictions, calling it a move that will cause "untold damage."
“The Canadian government's decision to suspend all flights to Mexico and the Caribbean until April 30, and impose hotel quarantines for all arriving passengers, will cause even further damage to its travel and tourism industry, which is already in a fight for survival due to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President and CEO, in a statement.
“Blanket flight cancellations and ineffective and costly quarantines are not the solution and will only slow down the recovery of this important sector."
She said the "drastic measures" will "continue to cause untold damage to a sector that creates more than 1.6 million jobs, and in 2019 contributed CAD $143.9BN to the country’s economy."
"The sector will be key to Canada’s economic recovery once the pandemic has been combatted," she said.
“We firmly believe that rapid, low-cost testing on departure for all travellers, along with the implementation of a contact-tracing regime is the only way to save the sector. These simple and effective measures, along with observing enhanced hygiene protocols such as mask wearing and social distancing, will avoid exporting the virus and enable the free movement of travellers."
Quarantines should only be in place for positive cases, "which is why testing passengers is absolutely critical," she added.
"We would also like to see a clear and detailed exit strategy, as the travel and tourism sector needs to restart now, before many businesses crumble and even more people lose their jobs," she said.
WTTC's latest research reveals the devastating impact COVID-19 is having on travel and tourism across North America, with between 10.8 million and 13.8 million sector jobs at serious risk.
“We hope the Canadian government will collaborate with other leaders around the world to agree on a more internationally coordinated approach to restart travel and save the ailing sector," Guevara said.
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