The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has sent an open letter to UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, urging him to support its recovery plan for the travel sector.
It comes ahead of an expected announcement on Monday about a roadmap out of lockdown and for lifting restrictions.
The WTTC letter lays out four key principles needed to safely restore international mobility.
Firstly, an international coordinated approach led by the UK with public and private collaboration, to establish an international mobility framework which allows for the safe movement of people and removes restrictions such as blanket and hotel quarantines.
Secondly, it urges the UK government to move from risk assessments based on countries to risk based on individual travellers; thirdly, to reinforce health and hygiene protocols including mandatory mask wearing, in addition to the vaccination rollout; and fourthly, to provide a major government support package for the tourism sector.
Following extensive consultation with WTTC members and governments around the world, WTTC also made clear there was strong and determined opposition to air corridors and that the UK could be in danger of ‘burning bridges’ with overseas governments looking to agree trade and other deals in the post-Brexit era, putting the UK at a competitive disadvantage.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC chief executive, said: “While we applaud the government’s incredible progress on the rollout of vaccines to combat the virus, the tourism sector is still massively exposed to the terrible impact of anti-Covid-19 travel restrictions.
“That is why we are calling on the UK government to take urgent action to support the sector, without which we fear tourism in the UK could face complete collapse.
“We have laid out a pathway using four clear principles for the government to navigate the tourism sector out the lockdown, and back to powering the UK economic revival.
“Our members and overseas governments believe that air corridors should not be reinstated, as they could put in jeopardy relationships with overseas governments who are looking to agree trade and other deals in the post-Brexit period.”