WTTC Says Unvaccinated Travellers Should Not Be Discriminated Against

WTTC Says Unvaccinated Travellers Should Not Be Discriminated Against

London, United Kingdom, January 14, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Comprehensive testing will allow free and safe movement for all. Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “WTTC wholeheartedly supports the testing on departure of all travellers to ensure passengers can prove they are COVID-19 free and thus avoid the spread.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Press Releases here.

“It will take a significant amount of time to vaccinate the global population, particularly those in less advanced countries, or in different age groups, therefore we should not discriminate against those who wish to travel but have not been vaccinated.

“Only a tiny percentage of people around the world have so far received the vaccine, whereas there are vast numbers who have not, but who could be tested, show a negative result, and travel safely.

“The common sense approach is to allow the free movement of people who can prove a negative test result, rather than reserve travelling or jobs for a small minority who have been vaccinated.

“Furthermore, the most vulnerable groups should be prioritised, a blanket vaccination requirement would simply discriminate against non-vulnerable groups, such as Generation X, Z and Millennials, who should be able to travel with proof of a negative COVID test.

“WTTC has long been calling for an internationally recognised rapid and cost-effective testing regime at departure points worldwide. This would avoid exporting the virus and aid the restoration of international travel.”

Anantara Siam Receives Thailand’s First Health Security Verification from Sharecare

Anantara Siam Receives Thailand’s First Health Security Verification from Sharecare

Bangkok, Thailand, January 15, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel announces it is the first hotel in Thailand to become Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED® with Forbes Travel Guide. The comprehensive facility verification helps ensure that guests and travel planners can book with confidence at properties that have appropriate health safety procedures in place.

“This recognition is a tribute to the hard work and dedication every team member at Anantara Siam has devoted to ensure that our hotel remains a safe and welcoming destination for current and future guests,” said Daniel Simon, General Manager of Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel.

By becoming Sharecare VERIFIED® with Forbes Travel Guide, Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel has demonstrated its commitment to creating a culture of accountability and following global best practices to ensure guest and team member health and wellbeing.

WTTC Releases Mental Health Guidelines to Aid the Recovery of Tourism

WTTC Releases Mental Health Guidelines to Aid the Recovery of Tourism

London, United Kingdom, January 15, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX /  The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched its new mental health guidelines for the Travel & Tourism sector, which have been compiled to support businesses of all sizes to support the mental health of their employees.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Press Releases here.

The Mental Health Guidelines build on the Diversity & Inclusion Guidelines released by WTTC in 2020, going one step deeper to focus on mental wellbeing. It will help businesses better prepare for the recovery period following the COVID-19 crisis, and will ensure that as the sector rebuilds, it comes back stronger and better than before.

The guidelines come at a time when mental health could not be more important. With lockdowns, quarantines, job losses and uncertainty looming larger than ever all against the backdrop of winter, it is crucial that mental health support is given space in the conversations around recovery.

Research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) showed that more than 95% feel that poor mental health affects their performance at work, while 85% say it is difficult to concentrate when struggling with poor mental health, and 64% feel that it takes them longer to complete tasks.

Furthermore, research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed a US$4 return in improved health and productivity, for every US$1 investment in improved treatment for common mental disorders.

WTTC compiled these guidelines, with the advice of leading health authorities and private sector leaders, to aid the Travel & Tourism sector. Maintenance of and support for good mental health should be part of an organisation’s culture and strategy.

The Mental Health Guidelines are divided into four pillars:
1.    Developing a Supportive System
2.    Creating Safe Spaces
3.    Supporting an Agile System
4.    Exemplifying Support for Good Mental Health

Examples of the guidelines include:

  • Provide appropriate mental health support within the organisational structure to the extent possible. This could include access to professional and specialised support through the local health authority and/or the business itself.
  • Develop leave policies that offer equivalent time off and/or concessions for mental health and physical health, without prejudice.
  • Develop feedback systems that allow employees to share if and how the current systems are working well and not working well to meet staff needs.
  • Foster an environment that respects the value of wellbeing, at all levels of the organisation, and does not ostracise those with mental health conditions whether common or less common.
  • Consider incorporating intentional wellness elements in the design of new buildings, offices, locations, and/or spaces, where possible.
  • Engage with like-minded businesses and associations to share best practice and improve support for and awareness of mental health.

Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC said: “WTTC is proud to release these important high-level guidelines focusing on mental wellbeing, which will help Travel & Tourism businesses of all kinds and their employees.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Press Releases here.

“The sector employs people from all socio-economic backgrounds regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, with almost 50% of whom are women and up to 30% youths. After nearly a full year of insecurity and hardship that has come from the COVID-19 pandemic, the time could not be more appropriate to invest in the mental well-being of this sector.

“Furthermore, throughout its very nature, the Travel & Tourism sector is one that brings joy to people of all walks of life, therefore it makes perfect sense for the sector to reflect these values within the workplace as well. We look forward to seeing these guidelines make real change within the workforce.”

According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism supported one in 10 jobs (330 million total), made a 10.3% contribution to global GDP, and generated one in four of all new jobs.

View the guidelines.

IATA: Passenger Demand Recovery Grinds to Halt in November

IATA: Passenger Demand Recovery Grinds to Halt in November

Geneva, Switzerland, January 13, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the recovery in passenger demand which had been slowing since the Northern hemisphere’s summer travel season, came to a halt in November 2020.

  • Total demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 70.3% compared to November 2019, virtually unchanged from the 70.6% year-to-year decline recorded in October. November capacity was 58.6% below previous year levels and load factor fell 23.0 percentage points to 58.0%, which was a record low for the month.
  • International passenger demand in November was 88.3% below November 2019, slightly worse than the 87.6% year-to-year decline recorded in October. Capacity fell 77.4% below previous year levels, and load factor dropped 38.7 percentage points to 41.5%. Europe was the main driver of the weakness as new lockdowns weighed on travel demand.
  • Recovery in domestic demand, which had been the relative bright spot, also stalled, with November domestic traffic down 41.0% compared to the prior year (it stood at 41.1% below the previous year’s level in October). Capacity was 27.1% down on 2019 levels and the load factor dropped 15.7 percentage points to 66.6%.

“The already tepid recovery in air travel demand came to a full stop in November. That’s because governments responded to new outbreaks with even more severe travel restrictions and quarantine measures.  This is clearly inefficient. Such measures increase hardship for millions. Vaccines offer the long-term solution. In the meantime, testing is the best way that we see to stop the spread of the virus and start the economic recovery. How much more anguish do people need to go through—job losses, mental stress—before governments will understand that?” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

International Passenger Markets

  • Asia-Pacific airlines’ November traffic plunged 95.0% compared to the year-ago period, which was barely changed from the 95.3% decline in October. The region continued to suffer from the steepest traffic declines for a fifth consecutive month. Capacity dropped 87.4% and load factor sank 48.4 percentage points to 31.6%, the lowest among regions.
  • European carriers saw an 87.0% decline in traffic in November versus a year ago, worsened from an 83% decline in October. Capacity withered 76.5% and load factor fell by 37.4 percentage points to 46.6%.
    Middle Eastern airlines’ demand plummeted 86.0% in November year-to-year, which was improved from an 86.9% demand drop in October. Capacity fell 71.0%, and load factor declined 37.9 percentage points to 35.3%.
  • North American carriers had an 83.0% traffic drop in November, versus an 87.8% decline in October. Capacity dived 66.1%, and load factor dropped 40.5 percentage points to 40.8%.
  • Latin American airlines experienced a 78.6% demand drop in November, compared to the same month last year, improved from an 86.1% decline in October year-to-year. This was the strongest improvement of any region. Routes to/from Central America were the most resilient as governments reduced travel restrictions—especially quarantine requirements. November capacity was 72.0% down and load factor dropped 19.5 percentage points to 62.7%, highest by far among the regions, for a second consecutive month.
  • African airlines’ traffic sank 76.7% in November, little changed from a 77.2% drop in October, but the best performance among the regions. Capacity contracted 63.7%, and load factor fell 25.2 percentage points to 45.2%.
  • Australia’s domestic traffic was down 79.8% in November compared to November a year ago, improved from an 84.4% decline in October, as certain states opened up. But it continue
  • India’s domestic traffic fell 49.6% in November, an improvement over a 55.6% decline in October, with more improvement expected as more businesses reopen.

UNWTO: Opportunities for Women in Tourism Increasing Across Middle East

UNWTO: Opportunities for Women in Tourism Increasing Across Middle East

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, January 12, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Fewer than one in 10 tourism workers in the Middle East are women though this proportion is steadily increasing, new research has found. The Regional Report on Women in Tourism in the Middle East, released today by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Ministry of Tourism of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, highlights the progress that has been made, as well as opportunities to further advance gender equality in the sector.

The new publication, which complements the Global Report on Women in Tourism, Second Edition, was compiled within the framework of the Saudi Arabia G20 2020 Presidency. It highlights the positive steps that have been taken at a policy level in recent years while demonstrating the work still needed to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 in the Middle East, particularly when compared with other world regions.

The key findings of the report show that:

  • 8% of people employed in tourism in the region are women, compared to 16% in the overall economy of the region. At a global level 54% of people employed in tourism are women compared to 39% in the broader global economy
  • Women are well-educated but not entering the tourism workforce.
    Women have higher rates of tertiary education than men yet remain considerably underrepresented in employment.
  • The public sector is leading the way for women in leadership roles.

21% of tourism Ministers are female in the region compared to 23% at a global level

UNWTO Secretary General, Zurab Pololikashvili, said “Tourism has historically provided abundant opportunities for women’s empowerment all over the world.  In the Middle East, while there is much progress still to be made, our Member States are leading the charge. As tourism restarts, we will work with them to ensure gender equality remains center stage in their recovery plans, empowering women to become financially independent, challenge stereotypes and start their own businesses.”

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Announcements here.

Gender gaps in employment and entrepreneurship

The reports also shows that in employment, self-employment and SME ownership, women’s participation is significantly lower that men’s across the region with a reluctance towards working in tourism. Concerns over balancing family and work life conciliation and legislative barriers were all found to be among the primary contributing factors for this.

Public sector providing opportunities

According to the latest data, 21% of regional tourism minister positions were filled by women in 2019. The report also highlights a rich mosaic of women in senior tourism positions and a raft of policy level initiatives such as Saudi’s Vision 2030, Egypt’s Tourism Reform Programme and the United Arab Emirates’ Gender Balance Council.

The recent nature of many of these policy initiatives mean it is still too early to evaluate the results, particularly in the private sector. This report aims to act as a benchmark for future research into the effects of these policies and to catalyze further work towards gender-equality. Research is also considerably hampered by the lack of sex-disaggregated tourism data being collected and reported, with participation in UNWTO’s fledgling ‘Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism’ initiative forming one of the key recommendations of the report.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Announcements here.

The General Supervisor for International Cooperation at the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Tourism, Ms. Haifa Al-Jedea, said: “Historically, women have played a vital role in tourism, and in light of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, Saudi has made a concerted effort to facilitate and encourage more women to participate in the sector through improved legislation, new policies, education, supporting SMEs and career development. We hope to be a leader for women’s empowerment in tourism and look forward to cooperating with our neighbors and international partners to break any remaining gender barriers in tourism locally and internationally.”

PATA Set to Organise Virtual PATA Annual Summit 2021

PATA Set to Organise Virtual PATA Annual Summit 2021

Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, January 11, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) today announced that the PATA Annual Summit (PAS) 2021 will take place online from April 27-29.

The three-day virtual event, organised with the support of Platinum Sponsor, the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), will bring together international thought leaders, industry shapers and senior decision-makers who are professionally engaged with the Asia Pacific region.

The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (TDA) was established in May 2011 under the government of Ras Al Khaimah and aims to develop the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and establish Ras Al Khaimah as a world-class destination for leisure and business travel, creating sustainable investment opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for its residents.

PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy said, “Ras Al Khaimah has strongly committed to supporting the revitalization of the travel and tourism industry in a more resilient, responsible and sustainable manner by not only supporting the virtual event this year, but also by agreeing to host the Annual Summit in 2022 in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates (UAE). That is why we are honoured to be working with RAKTDA in bringing together our public and private sector members and partners to discuss the challenges and issues facing our industry, and look forward to 2022 where we can welcome our members and industry colleagues to this amazing destination.”

One of the world’s fastest growing tourism destinations, Ras Al Khaimah boasts a rich culture and long-standing history dating back 7,000 years. The Emirate boasts an array of archaeological sites and breath-taking natural vistas, from golden sand beaches, awe-inspiring terracotta dunes and a green belt of date palms to Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the UAE.

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority said, “Strengthening the Emirate’s MICE sector by showcasing our world class resorts, authentic Arabian hospitality, beautiful pristine beaches and the abundance of cultural and outdoor adventure experiences, has always been at the forefront of our wider destination strategy. This joint venture with PATA gives us a chance to demonstrate Ras Al Khaimah’s breadth of offer to key industry leaders and delegates from around the world. We are immensely proud to be the first city worldwide and the first Emirate to be certified as a ‘Safe Destination’ by the WTTC and Bureau Veritas, the global leader in testing, inspection and certification, and believe this will go a long way to promoting confidence in the safety of Ras Al Khaimah amongst our visitors.”

The PATA Annual Summit embraces a global forum for enhancing the sustainable growth, value and quality of tourism and includes a half-day conference, the PATA Annual General Meeting and the PATA Youth Symposium that allows students and young tourism professionals that opportunity to engage with senior industry leaders.

As part of the event programme, the Association will also once again organise the PATA Leaders Debate which brings together senior executives from both the public and private sector to address thought-provoking issues currently affecting the industry.

Registration for Virtual PAS 2021 is complimentary for all PATA members, Chapter members and non-members.

For more information about the event including sponsorship opportunities and registration, please email events@PATA.org.

About PATA
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for-profit membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its more than 750 member organisations, including 84 government, state and city tourism bodies, 14 international airlines and airports, 81 hospitality organisations and 77 educational institutions, as well as thousands of young tourism professional (YTP) members across the world. The PATA network also embraces the grassroots activism the PATA Chapters and Student Chapters, who organise numerous travel industry training programmes and business development events across the world. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 32 local PATA Chapters worldwide, while hundreds of students are members of the 26 PATA Student Chapters globally. The PATA mPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing and London.

About Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA)
The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (TDA) was established in May 2011 under the government of Ras Al Khaimah. Ras Al Khaimah TDA aims to develop the Emirate’s tourism infrastructure and establish Ras Al Khaimah as a world-class destination for leisure and business travel, creating sustainable investment opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for its residents. In order to achieve its goals, the Ras Al Khaimah TDA has a government mandate to license, regulate and monitor the Emirate’s tourism and hospitality industry.

WTTC New Travel Measures to Curb COVID-19 Should Replace Quarantines

WTTC New Travel Measures to Curb COVID-19 Should Replace Quarantines

London, United Kingdom, January 10, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “WTTC supports measures designed to curb COVID-19 and protect public health but calls for the complete removal of unnecessary quarantines.

“Requiring inbound travellers and holidaymakers to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test should ensure safe travel. This will be critical to encourage essential bookings for future flights and holidays.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Press Releases here.

“However, there is still uncertainty around the type of tests which will be accepted upon arrival, and they must be made widely accessible and affordable for all.

“But unlike many other countries where the proof of a negative test has replaced quarantines, to further insist all arriving travellers must isolate for ten days or undergo a further test five days later is an unnecessary precaution. It will only stifle travel, putting yet more pressure on the embattled Travel & Tourism sector.

“Continuing with these damaging quarantines and added unnecessary restrictions will impact forward bookings which will be vital to revive international air travel, bring back Travel & Tourism sector jobs and resuscitate the global economy, while also protecting public health.

“WTTC has long called for an internationally recognised rapid and cost-effective testing regime upon departure at airports worldwide. This would avoid exporting the virus, especially by departing outbound passengers, and aid the restoration of international travel.

“According to the WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, the importance of inbound international visitors is laid bare; international visitor spend in 2019 contributed £28.2 billion, representing 4.2% of the UK’s total exports.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Press Releases here.

“Travel & Tourism is critical to the UK’s economic well-being and is responsible for almost four million jobs, or 11% of the country’s total workforce. It also generated nearly £200 billion GDP, or 9% to the UK economy.”

WTTC Statement on Brexit

WTTC Statement on Brexit

London, United Kingdom, January 9, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “The whole Travel & Tourism sector will be breathing a sigh of relief that the EU and UK government have been able to agree a deal at the 11th hour.

“It is good news for a sector which has been crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic and which feared the consequences of a no-deal Brexit. Thankfully this worrying outcome has been avoided and now the sector can look ahead to 2021 with more confidence.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Press Releases here.

“But British holidaymakers could face higher health costs and added red tape. The devil will be in the detail of the deal – and only time will tell what the true consequences are for travellers.

“WTTC stands ready to work closely with governments and other key organisations in Travel & Tourism to help implement testing and WTTC Safe Travels protocols to enable the recovery of the sector.

“We continue to call for the end of crippling quarantines and damaging travel restrictions which will only set back further the economic recovery, and instead replace them with a comprehensive, quick turnaround testing regime on departure. This is the only way this sector, which is critical to powering the UK – and the global economy – will survive. ”

Seychelles Resort Leads the Way in Sustainability and Green Tourism

Seychelles Resort Leads the Way in Sustainability and Green Tourism

Beau Vallon, Mahé, Seychelles, January 8, 2020 / VISITSEYCHELLES / Seychelles is increasingly winning a reputation for being a stand-out holiday destination for discerning travellers in search of authenticity, harmony, safety and one of the most extraordinary experiences of nature on the planet.

The H Resort Seychelles is very proud to be the leading resort in best practice, standards and values sustainable and environmental tourism to the islands. With its consistent and ground-breaking initiatives which has seen everything from dedicated ecological areas, education and local projects within and outside of the property it has earned them the award for the ‘Leading Green Resort Seychelles 2020’ for the third year running.

H Resort continually looks for ways to preserve and protect natural resources by reducing waste and energy, while providing experiences and service to their guests, without compromising on the beauty of the guest experience.

Our 5 Pillars in Sustainability:

– Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
– Protect Wildlife – Flora & Fauna
– Reduce Water Consumption
– Energy Conservation
– Local Care & Fair Trade

“We communicate with our guests and create awareness of our efforts while encouraging them to join us in the simplest practices to reach our goals. Our Eco-project is based on 5 interconnected pillars. It is impossible to think about nature, wildlife and an Eco-friendly life separately. These elements are all intertwined, like a group of Hawksbill Sea Turtles swimming through a marine current, if you improve something in your local environment, it will be projected to the rest of the world”.

A tranquil, boutique and culturally connected, the resort offers guests a chance to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Located on Beau Vallon beach which lays northwest on the island of Mahé, the H Resort is a contemporary & chic property featuring 100 rooms comprising of villas and suites, an award winning spa and 7 eclectic dining experiences. As your paradise home away from home, the resort offers you the opportunity to enjoy all the modern comforts in this beautiful tropical paradise entwined with chic décor, sumptuous food & beverages and spacious luxury to relax in.

Offering an unparalleled collection of opulently appointed accommodations, relaxation and recreational spaces that showcase the true heritage of their Seychellois surroundings. The 100 villas and suites redefine paradise – stylish comfort and idyllic bliss. Designed to represent a blend between creole and colonial architecture – the resort is an epitome of a lush paradise all overlooking the topical tropical gardens that surround it and lead you to the beach.

For a detailed travel guide on the Seychelles, go to VisitSeychelles.org

IATA: Passenger Demand Recovery Grinds to Halt in November

IATA: Passenger Demand Recovery Grinds to Halt in November

Geneva, Switzerland, January 7, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the recovery in passenger demand which had been slowing since the Northern hemisphere’s summer travel season, came to a halt in November 2020.

  • Total demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 70.3% compared to November 2019, virtually unchanged from the 70.6% year-to-year decline recorded in October. November capacity was 58.6% below previous year levels and load factor fell 23.0 percentage points to 58.0%, which was a record low for the month.
  • International passenger demand in November was 88.3% below November 2019, slightly worse than the 87.6% year-to-year decline recorded in October. Capacity fell 77.4% below previous year levels, and load factor dropped 38.7 percentage points to 41.5%. Europe was the main driver of the weakness as new lockdowns weighed on travel demand.
  • Recovery in domestic demand, which had been the relative bright spot, also stalled, with November domestic traffic down 41.0% compared to the prior year (it stood at 41.1% below the previous year’s level in October). Capacity was 27.1% down on 2019 levels and the load factor dropped 15.7 percentage points to 66.6%.

“The already tepid recovery in air travel demand came to a full stop in November. That’s because governments responded to new outbreaks with even more severe travel restrictions and quarantine measures.  This is clearly inefficient. Such measures increase hardship for millions. Vaccines offer the long-term solution. In the meantime, testing is the best way that we see to stop the spread of the virus and start the economic recovery. How much more anguish do people need to go through—job losses, mental stress—before governments will understand that?” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

For a detailed information on airlines, airports, private aviation and air travel in general, go to AirlineHub.com