WTN and US Travel Avisories
Travel warnings are issued by governments to protect their citizens from crime, murder, and wars.
The US State Department issues travel warnings for US citizens and these warnings impact individual travelers, group travel, cruise travel, and conventions.
Going against a travel warning can have for a travel agency, cruise line, or meeting planner severe economic or legal consequences
Travel warnings are issued from least severe 1 -to most severe 4. A 4 rating means high danger, “do not go.”
Currently, the State Dept does not distinguish between issues of health and issues of war and security
It often uses a broad stroke approach, painting entire countries with the same rating and therefore causing false conclusions
The current State Dept advisories paint a place like Afghanistan or North Korea, with the same warning currently in effect for countries including the Bahamas or Jamaica. The economies of both countries rely heavily on US visitors.
In addition, the World Tourism Network finds the current US Travel advisories issued against the US Territory Guam surprising, discriminatory, and misleading. A US State Department and CDC have no authority to advise against travel or issue advisories against another US territory or state, according to the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association.
COVID requires a new approach and there should be travel warnings based on crime and security and the second set of warnings for COVID. These latter warnings should distinguish the vaccinated from the unvaccinated and consider the availability of rapid testing and serological easy to administer exams, upon entering and exiting a country.
The broad and undistinguishable issuing of travel advisories leads not only to economic chaos but to a devaluation of the travel warnings, discrimination, and political problems.
The WTN urges the US State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a more nuanced approach and work to create a more sophisticated approach to its travel.