Millions of travel and tourism workers praised for fight against coronavirus

Millions of people around the world in the travel and tourism sector have been praised for ‘going the extra mile’ to lend crucial help to combat the global coronavirus pandemic.

World Travel & Tourism Council president and chief executive Gloria Guevara made the gesture on behalf of travel companies throughout the globe’s private sector.

Staff employed by WTTC member companies have volunteered to provide essential help to beleaguered communities with relief efforts.

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The support has ranged from furloughed airline cabin crew being deployed to help in hospitals, to operating additional flights for medical cargo, luxury hotels opening their doors to provide free rooms to healthcare workers or helping with grocery shopping and running errands for the elderly self-isolating.

Latest WTTC research reveals up to 75 million sector jobs are at risk globally with up to a million jobs immediately under threat in the UK alone as travel and tourism battles for survival amid extensive travel restrictions and lockdowns ordered by governments across the world to stop the spread of the pandemic.

Guevara said: “WTTC wants to pay tribute to the millions of amazing coronavirus heroes throughout the global travel and tourism sector for selflessly going the extra mile to help their communities to overcome and combat the Covid-19 pandemic threat.

“We recognise 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.

“Whether its 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.”

Furloughed UK airline cabin crew have responded in numerous ways.

Those working for Tui Airways have provided essential NHS support including a new St John Ambulance initiative to relieve pressure on health workers.

Others have utilised their customer and people-skills to work at the new emergency Nightingale hospitals across the UK, while some pilots have swapped with flight decks to drive ambulances and deliver much needed groceries to those most at risk.

Ride service Uber has offered frontline NHS staff access to up to 200,000 free trips and 100,000 complimentary Uber Eats deliveries during the pandemic in the UK.

Intercontinental Hotels Group is providing hundreds of rooms to the homeless in London in partnership with mayor Sadiq Khan to provide them with protection from Covid-19 so they can self-isolate in safety.

Carnival Corporation has offered a number of its ships to act as floating hospitals to treat patients suffering from less-critical, non-Covid-19 related conditions.

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