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Restrictions on travel, introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, are slowly being eased, allowing tourism to restart in a growing number of destinations.

Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary-general, UNWTO, recently commented on the tourism restart, by saying:

“Global tourism has never been more united than it is now. Both in assessing the impact of COVID-19 and in looking at how we can restart tourism in a responsible way, based on the best that our sector has to offer: sustainability, innovation, collaboration and solidarity.

 It is more than three months since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis continues to threaten jobs and livelihoods in tourism and beyond.

 The UNWTO led Global Tourism Crisis Committee supported our guidelines to restart tourism, and we are now transforming this determination into concrete actions for recovery.

 Our efforts are being rewarded at the highest level, from heads of state to landmark support from the secretary-general of the United Nations. Antonio Guterres identified the sector as a pillar of economic growth, recognizing UNWTO’s leadership as he told the citizens of the world that ‘tourism can be a platform for overcoming the pandemic’.

 Now, as each of the UNWTO Regional Commissions is coming together virtually during these weeks, we will pool our expertise and influence to restart tourism and so get the decade of action towards the sustainable development goals back on track.

 This round of meetings enjoyed the strongest possible start as ministers of tourism from across Africa met to back our plan for action. The UNWTO Agenda for Africa has been realigned to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and to accelerate recovery. Building on this, ahead of their Regional Commission meeting {this week}, members from across the Americas will further their determination to advocate for tourism as a pillar of post-COVID-19 recovery.

 Such a commitment to international cooperation will be important as we move forward and rebuild confidence and trust. The World Committee on Tourism Ethics, an independent body convened by UNWTO, has stressed the importance of safeguarding the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism as travel restrictions are eased. Restarting our sector must be done in a timely and responsible manner, avoiding at all costs coming at the expense of fair and equal treatment of tourists. 

 As we join the world in celebrating this year’s Sustainable Gastronomy Day, chefs from every global region have given us a first taste of what to expect when we travel again, and highlighted the unique potential of gastronomy tourism to preserve unique culture and create opportunities for rural communities.   

 At the same time, our celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship makes clear that this restart offers the opportunity to reimagine not only how we travel, but how tourism can help build a better future for people and planet.”

 

Recovery and resilience were the central themes as the members of the World Tourism Organization’s Regional Commission for Africa (CAF) who recently met for the 63rd time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a 22 percent fall in international tourist arrivals during the first quarter (Q1) of this year, the latest data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) shows.

The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) paid a high-level visit to Greece to meet with the prime minister and minister of tourism and offer the United Nations’ specialised agency’s support as the country works to grow and diversify its tourism sector.

In 2019, 1,5 billion international tourist arrivals were recorded globally. A four percent increase on 2018 which is also forecast for 2020, confirming tourism as a leading and resilient economic sector, especially in view of current uncertainties.

International tourist arrivals grew four percent from January to June (H1) of this year, compared to the same period in 2018, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer published ahead of the 23rd World Tourism Organization General Assembly.

Buenos Aires has become the latest city to join the International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO), a pioneering initiative of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) aimed at helping destinations manage tourism in a smart and sustainable manner.

Exports generated by international tourism reached USD 1,7 trillion in 2018, a four percent increase in real terms over 2017, a new report from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) shows.

Guatemala partners with UNWTO to launch Sustainable Tourism Observatory which is located in the city of La Antigua Guatemala, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a leading tourism destination.