Hope on the horizon: Global tourism body calls for end to travel bans – The South African

Travel bans have had a grim effect on the worlds travel and tourism sectors. They have severely impaced everything from hotels, airlines and car rental companies to tour operators, travel agencies and other related businesses.

Several governments have closed their borders to South Africans since December 2020. This was when the new strain of the COVID-19 virus was detected in the country. Travel bans have left South Africans feeling like lepers who are unwelcome as overseas visitors.

South Africans have had their wings clipped ever since certain foreign governments began to impose travel restrictions for fear of importing the new variant.

South Africans are currently banned from entering countries including the United Arab Emirates, Spain, the United Kingdom, United States and Republic of Ireland. These governments have also implemented travel bans on nationals from other countries considered high risk.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) represents the global travel and tourism sectors. This body is now calling on governments to shift their focus away from so-called high-risk countries. The council believes travel restrictions should apply to individual travellers rather than stigmatising entire nations.

We cannot continue labelling entire countries as high-risk, which assumes everyone is infected, council CEO Gloria Guevara said, as quoted by breakingtravelnews.com.

Not only does it stigmatise an entire nation, but it also halts travel and mobility when many people who test negative on departure and arrival could safely travel without exporting the virus.

Preventing entire nations from entering a country is detrimental to the travel and tourism sectors of many countries, and affects a broad spectrum of other sectors.

Guevara said: Risk-based on entire countries is neither effective nor productive. Redefining risk towards individual travellers instead will be key for unlocking the door to the return of safe international travel.

The council has called for the testing of individuals before travelling and upon arrival as a means of getting the worlds travel and tourism sectors working again. This will stop the haemorrhaging of a once-thriving sector which accounted for about 10% of the GDP of most countries before COVID-19 struck.

A comprehensive testing programme will be less expensive than the economic cost brought on by blanket quarantines and lockdowns, Guevara said.

Read more:

Hope on the horizon: Global tourism body calls for end to travel bans - The South African

Related Post

Comments are closed.