UN Policy Brief on Tourism and COVID 19 launched
ROME - This week the United Nations Secretary-General launched the Policy Brief “COVID-19 and Transforming Tourism”, which UNWTO assumed the lead role in producing.
This landmark report makes clear what is at stake – the threat of losing tens of millions of direct tourism jobs, the loss of opportunities for those vulnerable populations and communities who stand to benefit most from tourism and the real risk of losing vital resources for safeguarding natural and cultural heritage across the world.
Tourism needs to thrive, and this means that travel restrictions must be eased or lifted in a timely and responsible manner. It also means that policy decisions need to be coordinated across borders to face up to a challenge which does not care about borders! “COVID-19 and Transforming Tourism” is a further element in the roadmap for the sector to regain its unique status as a source of hope and opportunity for all. This is true for both developing and developed nations and all governments and international organizations have a stake in supporting tourism.
But UNWTO can only call on governments to back up strong words with equally strong actions if they move first and take the lead. As destinations open up again, UNWTO is resuming in-person visits, to show support, to learn, and to build confidence in international travel.
On the back of successful visits to destinations in Europe, UNWTO delegations are now seeing first-hand how the Middle East is ready to restart tourism safely and responsibly. “The pandemic is far from over. As cases across the world make clear, we must be ready to act fast to save lives. But it also now also clear that we can also take decisive action to protect jobs and safeguard the many benefits tourism delivers, both for people and planet”, stated Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili.