UNWTO calls for action to help virus-hit tourism

April 3, 2020 - 22:7

TEHRAN – The UNITED Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has recently released a set of recommendations, calling for urgent and strong support to help the global tourism sector in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has crippled traveling and jeopardized related jobs all over the globe.

Formulated with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), the recommendations calls on innovators and entrepreneurs to put forward new solutions to help the tourism sector recover from COVID-19.

“I am deeply convinced that there is no other way to deal with global challenges, than with global responses,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, according to the World Tourism Organization.

“This challenge is a global call to reach the most disruptive startups, entrepreneurs and drive solutions to mitigate Covid-19 impacts on tourism through health, economic and destination management solutions. A step forward for Sustainable Development in a crisis situation,” the UNWTO noted.

Commenting on recommendations, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili has said they are aimed to safeguard tourism-related jobs and support the companies that are at risk.

“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,” Pololikashvili explained.

“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 programs for tourism will translate into jobs and economic growth.” added the Secretary-General.

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”.

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.

According to the nonprofit World Travel and Tourism Council, which represents the international tourism industry, travel and tourism contributed $8.8 trillion to the global economy in 2018 and was responsible for 10.4 percent of all economic activity. The council estimates that travel and tourism are responsible for 319 million jobs around the world.


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