Covid-19: Ensuring the safety and health of workers in travel and tourism

IOSH’s latest free Covid-19 webinar: Ensuring the safety and health of workers in travel and tourism, hosted by IOSH President, Dr Andrew Sharman, explored the global protocol for the new normal. 

Dr Andrew Sharman welcomed Vice-President of Policy, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Tiffany Misrahi as she kickstarted a series of presentations from OSH experts, about the global protocols that are required, to ensure tourism workers are protected as travel restrictions are beginning to be relaxed by governments around the world. 

The WTTC is comprised of 200 CEOs and Chairs from all industries in travel and tourism, with representatives covering all geographic locations, conducting over 30 years of research. 

Tiffany Misrahi stated: 

“If we look at the baseline scenario, of current restrictions start easing from June for domestic travel, July for short-haul/regional and September for international travel, there will be 121.1 million T&T job losses, which is a 37% reduction from 2019 statistics."

This projects an $3,435 bn loss in T&T GDP which is a 39% reduction in GDP compared to losses in 2019. However, if international travel begins in November we could be looking at 197.5 million T&T job losses, with a $5,543 bn loss in T&T GDP.”

As of 24 June, there have been over 9.2 million reported cases of Covid-19, forcing the closure of international borders, domestic travel, and placing residencies under a period of lock-down, in which governments prohibited outdoor gatherings, with many individuals only able to leave for essential items. 

However, with international travel now being relaxed in some countries, there is some good news. Research from WTTC has found that the Travel and Tourism sector is becoming increasingly resilient, with the average recovery time after major incidents decreasing rapidly. From 2001- 2018, the T&T sector recovery time for events ranging from terrorism, geopolitical shocks and disease outbreak decreased from 26 months to just 10 months. 

The WTTC has found that the four principles for recovery are: 

  • A global consistent and co-ordinated approach
  • Enhance existing seamless traveller journey 
  • Implement global protocols 
  • Support the T&T sector with enabling policies

Head of Corporate Engagement, IOSH, Jonathan Nobbs informed delegates about how IOSH has dealt with Covid-19, as well as member benefits and how the IOSH Returning Safely campaign is actively providing free Covid-19 related guidance and advice for OSH professionals and businesses worldwide. 

Marc Jordan, Group Director of Security Health and Safety, Crisis and BCM at TUI Group gave a detailed account of how the TUI is approaching to re-start operations for our customer and colleagues including airport and flight operations. 

Joining the expert panel, Director of ESH, London Gatwick Airport, Arlette Anderson gave delegates an in insight into the Covid-19 OSH protocols required to resume safe airport operations. 

Delegates heard how Gatwick airport which typically generates 1.6 billion for the UK economy is implementing a health risk control strategy. View the details here

Regional Medical Director, International SOS, Dr Mark Parrish closed the presentations by offering industry insight into the considerations that need to be made in regards to Domestic and International travel. 

To watch Covid-19: Ensuring the safety and health of workers in travel and tourism, hosted by in full, visit Covid-19 webinars

Register for the upcoming webinarCovid-19 webinar series: Back in Business - strategies for optimising individual and organisational wellbeing- 2 July 2020 12:30 (BST).

  • Covid-19
  • Transport - Aviation
  • Sport / Leisure / Tourism
  • IOSH News release