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The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) released a statement in response to the United States extending international travel restrictions despite other countries—including England—reopening to Americans.
Earlier this week, an unnamed White House official reported the U.S. would not lift any existing travel restrictions in the foreseeable future due to concerns regarding the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant.
WTTC officials said that while coronavirus cases continue to rise in the U.S., the effectiveness of vaccines continues to provide tourists with the confidence necessary to book travel once again.
On Wednesday, the United Kingdom’s transport minister announced that fully vaccinated visitors from the European Union and U.S. would be allowed to skip COVID-related quarantine when visiting England.
With travel from Europe to the U.S. contributing more than $35 billion to the economy in 2019, the WTTC is calling for the American government to safely resume transatlantic travel for vaccinated tourists.
WTTC Senior Vice President and Acting CEO Virginia Messina released a full statement regarding the travel restrictions and the damage being done to the tourism industry.
“While daily cases have risen across the U.S., the effectiveness of vaccines in protecting against severe infection from the spread of new variants, including delta, remains intact. As the U.K. and additional countries use the combined vaccine rollout and effectiveness of inoculation to resume access across borders for vaccinated Americans, WTTC urges the Biden administration to do the same. A consistent and standardized approach to vaccine recognition, testing, and mask-wearing is the pathway forward to safely allowing Americans and international visitors to resume mobility.”
“The latest announcement from President Biden on continuing restrictions in international travel, despite many countries announcing dates to begin allowing vaccinated Americans to once again visit, works to only further delay the economic recovery for the U.S. and globally.”
“As visitors from the EU to the U.S contributed more than $35 billion to the economy in 2019, and UK visitors contributed more than $11 billion, the much-needed restoration of transatlantic travel cannot occur unless reopening to vaccinated travelers is made reciprocal. With nearly 80% of U.S. travelers stating they plan to take four or more trips in the next 12 months, based on a survey conducted by WTTC’s knowledge partner YouGov, the desire to resume access to destinations around the globe continues to grow.”
“WTTC calls on the U.S. government to take advantage of its successful vaccination rollout and reopen international travel with key markets that present low risk. Economic revitalization cannot begin without the resumption of international mobility, both to and from the U.S.”