The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is urging governments around the world to shift their focus from countries towards individual travellers.
WTTC, which represents the global Travel and Tourism private sector, is calling for governments to abandon the concept of 'high-risk countries' and instead focus on how individual 'high-risk travellers' are treated at borders.
The tourism council said governments around the world should redefine their whole approach to risk assessment for reviving international business and leisure travel, according to a press release.
Combined with a common international consensus on the metrics used to assess risk and a laser-like focus on a cost-effective, comprehensive, and rapid departure and arrival testing scheme for all travellers could pave the way forward for the meaningful return of travel.
It would also ensure only those affected are forced to isolate, while travellers who test negative can continue to enjoy safe travels through observing hygiene protocols and mask wearing.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and CEO, said, "Risk based on entire countries is neither effective nor productive. Redefining risk towards individual travellers instead will be key for unlocking the door to the return of safe international travel. We need to learn from past experiences and crises such as 9-11."
"We cannot continue labelling entire countries as 'high-risk' which assumes everyone is infected. While the UK is currently seeing high levels of infections, clearly not all Britons are infected; the same goes for all Americans, Spaniards, or the French," Gloria further said.
The WTTC president said that the reality was much more complex.
Not only does it stigmatise an entire nation but it also halts travel and mobility when many people who test negative on departure and arrival could safely travel without exporting the virus.
This refocus would avoid exporting the virus and enable the free movement of travellers, while still observing enhanced hygiene protocols such as mask wearing and social distancing, she added.
According to WTTC's 2019 Economic Impact Report, Travel and Tourism contributed $8.9 trillion, or 10.3 percent towards the world's GDP.
It accounted for one in 10 global jobs, giving employment to 330 million people through the Travel and Tourism sector.