The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has urged the UK Government to prioritise the restart of international business travel.

The call comes a week after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a ban on non-essential international travel to and from the country until at least 17 May.

WTTC president and CEO Gloria Guevara said: “As the Chancellor prepares to announce his critical budget, WTTC today calls on the UK Government to prioritise the urgent resumption of international business travel – in line with the reopening of mobility and the easing of restrictions to domestic travel from the beginning of April.

“We need to capitalise on the huge success of the vaccine rollout and unblock the myriad of confusing rules and regulations which has stalled essential business travel. Now is the time to show that the UK Government really means business.”

In addition, UK State Secretary Grant Shapps held the first meeting of the new Global Travel Taskforce to outline plan for restarting international travel in a safe and sustainable way.

A report will be submitted to the prime minister on 12 April.

The WTTC represents the global private travel and tourism sector.

It recently warned that delaying international travel until the given time will cost the UK Government nearly £27bn.

Guevara added: “The resumption of safe international business travel will generate a much-needed revenue boost for businesses up and down the country and provide a critical economic lifeline to the government and enable the Chancellor to begin balancing the books.

“Resuming international travel also means the country’s economy can reopen more quickly, giving the UK a distinct competitive advantage as the globe slowly recovers and emerges from the ravages of the pandemic.”