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10 AUGUST 2020


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Article from BTNews 10 AUGUST 2020

ON TOUR: Covid-19. The WTTC Webinar Scientific Summit.

According to WTTC's 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330m total), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.

More than 17,000 people from around the world signed up to participate in the WTTC/Carnival Corporation Global Scientific Summit on Covid - 19 last week to hear directly from 12 renowned public health experts and scientists, sharing their knowledge and the latest evidence-based practices related to the prevention, detection and mitigation of Covid-19. 

The free, open-to-the public event was hosted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, and Carnival Corporation & Plc, the world's largest cruise company.

The virtual summit explored the most up-to-date science and medical evidence related to Covid-19 to help inform practical, adaptable and science-based solutions for the "new normal."

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President and CEO, said: "The summit accomplished exactly what it set out to do, as a platform for leading health experts and scientists to discuss the latest thinking, best practices and evidence-based protection and mitigation measures, such as testing and tracing, which is going to be crucial in the recovery. It was also interesting to learn that the widespread adoption of protective face masks can dramatically improve the current situation.

"We'd like to thank our esteemed panellists, our WTTC members and viewers who joined us from around the globe. It is clear that after hearing from our panellists, we must support a more vigorous programme of testing and tracing globally, if we want to transition to a new normal and return to safe travels. As the world learns to live with Covid-19, it is imperative that we continue to prioritize public health and saving lives, whilst restoring consumer confidence, driving global economic recovery, and saving the jobs of millions of people whose very livelihoods depend upon a thriving travel and tourism sector.

"We are delighted to be working with Carnival Corporation, and this unique summit gave the public and our members in the travel industry a chance to hear facts directly from scientists, which was an invaluable experience."

"This summit allowed us to put the general public in direct communication with the leading experts working on science-based solutions to mitigating and living with Covid-19," said Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation, and a member of the WTTC Executive Committee and its Vice-Chair for North America. "The pandemic touches all corners of society and is in one way or another affecting everyone and all industries. We are grateful to the distinguished panellists who shared straightforward, easy-to-understand insights about living in a world with the virus, and we appreciate WTTC partnering with us to present this event."

The summit covered epidemiology, transmission, screening and testing, therapeutics and practical risk mitigation in three one-hour sessions.

A session on "The Science of Covid-19" focused on epidemiology, transmission and testing, with featured speakers Dr. Steven Gordon, Chair of Infectious Disease at Cleveland Clinic; Dr William Morice II, President of Mayo Clinic Laboratories; Dr Stacey L. Schultz-Cherry, Co-Principal Investigator, St Jude Centre for Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance; and Dr Joshua Wolf, Associate Member of the Infectious Diseases Department at St Jude Children's Research Hospital.

The prestigious line-up of speakers for the "Treatment & Prevention" session, where discussion included vaccines, were Dr Julio Frenk, President of the University of Miami and former Minister of Health for Mexico; Dr Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, Head of Pathology at Mount Sinai Hospital; Dr Jewel Mullen, Associate Dean for health equity at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas Austin; and Dr Vivek Murthy, the 19th Surgeon General of the United States.

The final session on "Life in a Covid-19 World," looked at best approaches in mitigating spread and featured Dr Thomas Cahill, physician and venture capitalist with Scientists to Stop Covid-19; Dr Michael Lin, Neurobiology & Bioengineering Associate Professor at Stanford University; Dr Michael Rosbash, 2017 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine and professor at Brandeis University; and Dr Stuart Schreiber, a Harvard University chemist and co-founder of the Broad Institute.

The WTTC's Crisis Readiness report, looked at 90 different types of crises, highlighting the importance of public-private cooperation to ensure that smart policies and effective communities are in place to enable a more resilient travel and tourism sector.

The various sessions are all brought together here. https://covidsciencesummit.com

The WTTC is headquartered in London. The staff are led by the President and CEO of WTTC. Seven directors head the different sections of the organisation. The WTTC members are the chief executives, presidents, or chairs of companies from different sectors and regions within the travel and tourism industry.


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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

J.B. Burke, England

Covid, like previous plagues, stems from travel. And why is the WTTC president no longer Mexico's tourism minister?

J.B. Burke, England

Covid, like previous plagues, stems from travel. And why is the WTTC president no longer Mexico's tourism minister?

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