The head of the World Travel and Tourism Council cautioned
governments against overreacting to the spreading Covid-19 coronavirus, saying
drastic measures against travel are ineffective.
“Governments and those in authority must not seek to choke
travel and trade at this time,” CEO Gloria Guevara said in a statement. “Closing borders, imposing blanket travel
bans and implementing extreme policies are not the answer to stopping the
spread of coronavirus.”
Guevara has first-hand experience of containing a major,
viral incident after dealing with the H1N1 influenza virus in Mexico in 2009 as
Mexico’s tourism secretary.
“Past experience shows that taking such extreme action has
been ineffective at best. We urge governments to explore fact-based measures
which don’t affect the vast majority of people and businesses for whom travel
Guevara said now is not the time to panic.
“It’s important to
remember that fatality rates remain very low and the chances of contracting the
virus, for the vast majority of people, are very remote if they travel
responsibly and observe simple hygiene measures,” Guevara said.