UNWTO call for action for global tourism recovery

UNWTO is also collaborating with World Health Organization (WHO) in launching “Healing Solutions for Tourism” to help the tourism sector.

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The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has released a set of recommendations calling for urgent and strong support to help the global tourism sector not only recover from the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19 but to ‘grow back better’. The Recommendations are the first output of the Global Tourism Crisis Committee, established by UNWTO with high-level representatives from across the tourism sector and from within the wider United Nations system.

Recognising that tourism and transport has been among the hardest hit of all sectors, the recommendations are designed to support governments, the private sector and the international community in navigating the unparalleled social and economic emergency that is COVID-19.

 “These specific recommendations give countries a check-list of possible measures to help our sector sustain the jobs and support the companies at risk at this very moment. Mitigating the impact on employment and liquidity, protecting the most vulnerable and preparing for recovery, must be our key priorities,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

Recognising the diverse realities in each country as well as the evolving nature of this crisis, the document will continue to be updated.

Preparing for recovery now

“We still do not know what the full impact of COVID-19 will be on global tourism. However, we must support the sector now while we prepare for it to come back stronger and more sustainable. Recovery plans and programmes for tourism will translate into jobs and economic growth.” added the Secretary-General.

The Recommendations for Action are the first comprehensive set of actions governments and private sector actors can take now and in the challenging months ahead. Pololikashvili stressed that “for tourism to fulfil its potential to help societies and whole countries recover from this crisis, our response needs to be quick, consistent, united and ambitious”.

Responding today and preparing for tomorrow

In all, this new guide provides 23 actionable recommendations, divided into three key areas:

  • Managing the crisis and mitigating the impact: Key recommendations relate to retaining jobs, supporting self-employed workers, ensuring liquidity, promoting skills development and reviewing taxes, charges and regulations relating to travel and tourism. The recommendations are made as a global economic recession looks likely. Given its labor-intensive nature, tourism will be hard hit, with millions of jobs at risk, especially those held by women and youth as well as marginalised groups.
  • Providing stimulus and accelerating recovery: This set of recommendations emphasises the importance of providing financial stimulus, including favourable tax policies, lifting travel restrictions as soon as the health emergency allows for it, promoting visa facilitation, boosting marketing and consumer confidence, in order to accelerate recoveryThe Recommendations also call for tourism to be placed at the centre of national recovery policies and action plans.
  • Preparing for tomorrow: Emphasising tourism’s unique ability to lead local and national growth, the recommendations call for greater emphasis to be placed on the sector’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Agenda and to build resilience learning from the lessons of the current crisis. The recommendations call on governments and private sector actors to become build preparedness plans, and to use this opportunity to transition to the circular economy.

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is also collaborating with World Health Organization (WHO) in launching “Healing Solutions for Tourism”, an innovation challenge to help the tourism sector recover from Covid-19, where millions of jobs are at risk as the pandemic hits hard. In the face of an unprecedented challenge, the UNWTO, with the support of the WHO, calls on innovators and entrepreneurs innovators to submit ideas that can be implemented immediately in destinations, businesses and public health efforts to help the tourism sector mitigate the impact of the pandemic and kickstart recovery efforts.

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