Global travel agency associations believe border closures are hurting industry

Global travel agency associations have come together to call on government leaders to lift travel bans for countries and regions.

American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), Association of South African Travel Agencies (ASATA), Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA), Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), European Travel Agents ‘and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA) and World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA) said in a statement that “when elected officials make public policy decisions in the interest of public health, these governments have an obligation to provide financial resources to industries and individuals. more affected by their decisions “.

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The group noted that border closures and restrictions are affecting millions of people in the travel and tourism industry, further endangering vulnerable businesses.

“We collectively call on the leaders of world governments to follow the best scientific evidence available when determining border measures, including testing and bans. Many countries follow strict biosecurity protocols, including masking, distancing social and vaccination requirements, “the statement said.

The associations also noted that government support for travel-related companies was uneven and said Canada’s policy of supporting travel companies until May 2022 should set a global example for other countries.

They also pointed out that the World Health Organization (WHO) doesn’t think travel restrictions are working.

“In general, the evidence shows that restricting the movement of people and goods during public health emergencies is ineffective in most situations and may divert resources from other interventions … is not effective in preventing the importation of cases, but can have a significant economic and social impact, ”the WHO said.

The associations said governments should also prioritize the global distribution of vaccines in addition to supporting travel-related businesses and easing restrictions.

“ASTA, ASATA, ACTA, CHTA, ECTAA and WTAAA call on government leaders around the world to provide dedicated financial support to travel dependent businesses and lift travel bans as quickly as possible,” the statement said. “Relaxing restrictions on fully vaccinated travelers for entry into the United States and other markets should continue to be a top priority, but more needs to be done to ensure that travel-dependent businesses have access to immediate help when government action is the direct cause of economic hardship. “


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