Consistent and harmonised travel protocols, enhanced safety measures and the protection of jobs and livelihoods are the main ingredients needed for the restart of tourism. The sixth meeting of the UNWTO Global Tourism Crisis Committee reminded participants of the need to work together as the only means of advancing the sustainable recovery of the sector.
The meeting produced a commitment to create a new UNWTO Committee on Common Safety Protocols to increase confidence in international travel, as well as firm plans for enhanced consumer protection for consumers and measures to protect jobs.
Setting the tone for the meeting, UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili made clear that, with many millions of livelihoods at stake, inaction is not an option, and that the rapid and sustainable recovery of tourism is essential.
“Strong coordination is needed to accelerate the lifting of travel restrictions in a safe and timely manner, to increase investment in systems that support safe travel, including testing on departure, and to sustain and support businesses and jobs. If we fail to address these three priorities, we will fail to restart tourism, and so fail to save millions of livelihoods,” Pololikashvili said.
This call for coordination was echoed by a diverse range of voices from the top level of politics of all global regions, including interventions from the minister of industry, commerce and tourism of Spain, Reyes Maroto; Ahmed bin Aqil Al Khateeb, minister of tourism of Saudi Arabia; Khaled El-Enany, minister of tourism and antiquities of Egypt; Hajah Nancy Shukri, minister of tourism, arts and culture of Malaysia; Abdulla Mausoom, minister of tourism of the Maldives; Rita Marques, secretary of state for tourism for Portugal and Jose Luis Uriarte, sub-secretary of tourism of Chile.