Published on : Thursday, October 22, 2020
Reliable and harmonized travel protocols, improved safety standards and the protection of jobs and livelihoods are the prime ingredients required for tourism restart. The Sixth meeting of the UNWTO Global Tourism Crisis Committee made the participants remember the need to work as a team as the only means of advancing the sustainable recovery of tourism. The meeting produced a commitment to produce a new UNWTO Committee on Common Safety Protocols. This would increase confidence in foreign travel, along with solid plans in regard to enhanced consumer protection for consumers and steps for job protection.
Setting the tone for the meeting, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili clearly said that millions of livelihoods are at stake, non-functioning is not an option, and rapid and sustainable recovery of tourism is the need of the hour.
“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”, Mr. Pololikashvili said.
This urge for coordination was seen in diverse range of voices from the top level of politician 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 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Khaled El-Enany, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt; Dato’ Sri 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.
A proposal for a new set of common travel rules was laid down by Harry Theoharis, Minister of Tourism of Greece, and welcomed by UNWTO’s leadership and other members of the Committee. In addition, demonstrating how safe, international travel can be when it’s returning, Marco Troncone, CEO of Rome Fiumicino Airport emphasized the role robust hygiene protocols and innovation can play in boosting up the confidence of the consumers.