LONDON, 22 March 2022: The World Travel & Tourism
Council (WTTC) addressed EU Tourism Ministers confirming the tourism private
sector’s solidarity with the people of Ukraine at a closed high-level meeting
in Dijon last week.

WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson 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.

Julia Simpson.

During this landmark event, Simpson said: “WTTC and its
members stand with the people of Ukraine. First and foremost, this is a
humanitarian disaster and 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 the 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 EUR1.3
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.”

Simpson 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.”