The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has released a set of guidelines to help the tourism sector emerge stronger and more sustainably from COVID-19. The guidelines highlight the need to act decisively, to restore confidence and, as UNWTO strengthens its partnership with Google, to embrace innovation and the digital transformation of global tourism.
The guidelines were produced in consultation with the Global Tourism Crisis Committee and aim to support governments and the private sector to recover from an unparalleled crisis. Depending on when travel restrictions are lifted, the UN specialised agency warns that international tourist arrivals could fall by between 60% and 80%. This puts 100-120 million jobs at risk and could lead to USD 910 billion to USD 1.2 trillion lost in exports.
Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary-general of UNWTO said: “These guidelines provide both governments and businesses with a comprehensive set of measures designed to help them open tourism up again in a safe, seamless and responsible manner. They are the product of the enhanced cooperation that has characterised tourism’s response to this shared challenge, building on knowledge and inputs from across the public and private sectors and from several UN agencies as part of the UN’s wider response.”
The UNWTO Guidelines also highlight the opportunity to foster a digital transformation of destinations, companies and employees with initiatives such as the free online training with the UNWTO Online Academy and the implementation of apps such as the Hi Card to improve international interoperability at the airports and hotels. The role of technology in promoting social distancing in hotels and tourist destinations is also highlighted.
This comes as UNWTO strengthens its partnership with Google. Through this enhanced collaboration, it will work with Google to promote digital learning and online skills training so as to provide new opportunities across the global tourism sector.