The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) was invited to address EU Tourism Ministers on behalf of the private sector at a closed high-level meeting in Dijon.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO praised European Ministers for their resolve and solidarity with the people of Ukraine. WTTC was present to highlight the importance of the recovery of tourism for Europe creating employment for 24 million in the EU.
During this landmark event, Julia Simpson said: “WTTC and its members stand with the people of Ukraine. First and foremost, this is a humanitarian disaster as well as an economic one. We have all witnessed the shocking scenes on our TV screens and our hearts go out to the innocent victims.
“After almost two years without international travel, the loss of businesses and millions of jobs, we can finally see light at the end of the tunnel.
“If restrictions continue to be removed, the sector could employ almost 24 million people across the EU and contribute some €1.3 trillion to the region’s economy this year.
“As Presidency of the Council of the European Union, France is in a unique position to make a real difference. Europe’s recovery is at a critical juncture. We need to keep the economy open and restore unrestricted travel.”
Julia also highlighted the importance of a sustainable recovery and addressed the role EU ministers can play in reducing carbon emissions by 25 million tons of carbon a year.
“Aviation is making great strides in sustainability, but it needs urgent support. For 20 years airlines have been promised a Single European Sky allowing planes to fly on the shortest routes. Today planes zig-zag across Europe burning extra fuel. The time for talking is over. If the EU is to meet its sustainability targets, it must act.”