With the aim of establishing actions and commitments to restart international travel, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Spanish Government hosted a hybrid conference, where leaders from the industry both from the public and private sector participated, covering 95 countries and more than 100 Travel & Tourism companies.
This event was organised as a result of WTTC's call for the leaders of G7+Spain, South Korea and Australia for an agreement at the highest level, to save the sector and the millions of jobs that depend on it.
Opening the conference, Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain, said: "The priority is to make it possible to restart international travel, and to do so, we must use new tools available, such as more accessible and reliable diagnostic tests, so that international travel ensures safety".
During his address, he made it clear that we must turn the crisis into an opportunity to modernise the international tourism sector and make it more inclusive, accessible, and sustainable, and to spread wealth better.
In conclusion, he said that a world without COVID-19 is drawing closer, but as this future comes, we have an obligation to mitigate the effects of this crisis on the Travel & Tourism sector.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “WTTC is delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with closely with the government of Spain in organising this vital conference, as the biggest challenge the industry faces is international coordination.
“I would like to recognise and congratulate Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, as well as Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Reyes Maroto, for their leadership and commitment to public-private collaboration. This is an historic meeting, and will be fundamental to restarting international travel through close collaboration that will result in the implementation of key measures that will be necessary to recovery millions of jobs.”
She also highlighted that an international protocol of rapid test at departure is crucial for the sector, and therefore the La Palma Declaration will support in the execution of this and all of the proposals presented by WTTC at the G20 meeting last month.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, gave the closing speech, said: "We want Spain to remain the most competitive country in the world in terms of tourism and for this we will mobilise more than €3.4 billion over the next three years in transformative projects, that make tourism a more sustainable, digital, accessible and inclusive sector," she said.