LONDON — The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is paying tribute to the millions of people around the world in the Travel & Tourism sector for their incredible efforts during the global coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking on behalf of travel companies throughout the world’s private sector, WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara praised the millions of “amazing coronavirus heroes” for selflessly going the extra mile to help their communities combat the COVID-19 threat.
“We recognize their quiet heroism and phenomenal dedication through using their incredible people skills developed during their normal working lives and wealth of experience to step up and offer essential help and assistance to those on the front line fighting this terrible virus,” she said.
“Whether it’s tending to the sick, opening hotels for health workers or manning foodbanks, they, like countless others, have risen to the challenge and shown with their hearts and actions that we are stronger together and we will win this battle.”
Examples of inspiration in the Travel & Tourism sector include:
- Hotel giants like Hilton have teamed up with American Express to launch the ‘Rooms for Responders’ initiative, offering free accommodation to more than a million healthcare professionals across 10 medical associations fighting the pandemic.
- Carnival has offered a number of its ships to act as floating hospitals to treat patients suffering from less-critical, non-coronavirus-related conditions.
- In the U.S. and Spain, Room Mate has also offered up hotels in New York, Madrid and Barcelona to be transformed into temporary hospitals to help fight COVID-19.
- United Airlines, the fourth largest carrier in the world, has offered free flights to New York and California to medical personnel.
- Spanish flag carrier Iberia is working with the Spanish Federation of Healthcare Technology Companies (Fenin) and the Oesía Group to bring medical supplies from China.
- In the U.K., TUI Airways’ furloughed airline cabin crew has provided essential support to the health system in an effort to relieve pressure on healthcare workers.
- In China, Trip.com has donated more than three million surgical masks to more than 25 countries around the world.
Like many other industries, the Travel & Tourism sector has faced near collapse due to the extensive travel restrictions and lockdowns ordered by global governments to stop the spread of COVID-19. The latest WTTC research shows that up to 75 million jobs in the sector are at risk.