“The travel industry can make the current economic recovery from the pandemic occur more quickly if leaders get ahead of the regulatory and administrative requirements to prepare for the re-opening of international travel,” said Dan Richards, CEO at Global Rescue, the leading provider of medical evacuation and travel risk services.
“It’s important there is no lag behind the health solutions already underway. Any delay will unnecessarily cause more travel industry devastation and economic destruction, making conditions worse than they need to be,” said Richards during his address at the ITB Resilience Roundtable.
He added that establishing an international coalition tasked with identifying threats around the world and leveraging current technology are two critical preventive measures needed to establish a long-term strategy to counteract the impact of future human-vectored diseases.
“The technology exists today to identify pathogens that spread through the air. We can use technology in transportation hubs to identify those who are infected and then be able to take immediate action. That technology can be deployed in a way so the protocols don’t increase friction in travel,” he said.
Richards, an appointee to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board at the U.S. Department of Commerce, added that the pandemic has been a global learning experience for humanity.
“When the world encounters a systemic challenge like this it takes time to learn and respond. Initially it was a hard to identify the nature of the threat, get organized and implement a pandemic response in concert on a worldwide scale. Nevertheless, the fact that we have multiple approved vaccines and hundreds of millions of already being vaccinated a year after the pandemic started is among the greatest of human achievements,” he said.