The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) welcomed the agreement on the EU digital COVID-19 certificate reached by the block’s Member States and called on EU countries’ governments to search for alternative ways to facilitate the travel process amid the ongoing pandemic.
In a SchengenVisaInfo.com report, the new document is believed by Senior Vice President of WTTC, Virginia Messina, to be the most practical option to save the jobs of millions of people working in the travel and tourism industry.
“WTTC welcomes the agreement reached on the EU Digital COVID Certificate, which has now been given the green light by all member states. This new certificate could be the key to unlocking international travel and save thousands of businesses and millions of jobs across Europe and beyond,” Messina pointed out.
According to her, with that decision, EU Member States will welcome vaccinated passengers and those with proof of a COVID-19 negative test or a positive antibody test this summer season. As a result, it will provide a massive boost to economies.
In the name of the Council, she urged all Member States to have the document up running by July 1 with no additional restrictions.
“The European Commission must be applauded for its incredible efforts in introducing this major initiative, which could be the driving force behind the resurrection of Travel & Tourism,” Messina stressed.
The travel and tourism sector had suffered a financial loss like never before since the beginning of the pandemic, WTTC’s Senior Vice President pointed out. A total of 62 million people worldwide lost their jobs, adding that this initiative will “aid the restoration of safe international travel.”
In this regard, the European Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement concerning the EU Digital COVID-19 document. They ensured that this certificate eases the travel within the EU and will be finalized by the end of June.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, about €3,8 trillion financial loss had occurred in the travel and tourism sector in 2020, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. The WTTC published such figures through the annual Economic Impact Report (EIR) of the Council.
In addition, the World Travel and Tourism Council’s annual EIR revealed that the contribution of the travel and tourism sector to world GDP marked a 49.1 percent decrease last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.