If tourism brings us together, then travel restrictions keep us apart: UNWTO Secretary-General

August 30, 2020 - 18:28

TEHRAN – In his latest massage regarding the impact on the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General has said “If tourism brings us together, then travel restrictions keep us apart.”

Zurab Pololikashvili added, “Tourism needs to thrive, and this means that travel restrictions must be eased or lifted in a timely and responsible manner. It also means that policy decisions need to be coordinated across borders to face up to a challenge that does not care about borders! ‘COVID-19 and Transforming Tourism’ is a further element in the roadmap for the sector to regain its unique status as a source of hope and opportunity for all.”

“More importantly, restrictions on travel also prevent tourism from delivering on its potential to build a better future for all.”

Last week, Pololikashvili launched the “Policy Brief COVID-19 and Transforming Tourism”, which UNWTO assumed the lead role in producing. The landmark scheme makes clear what is at stake – the threat of losing tens of millions of direct tourism jobs, the loss of opportunities for those vulnerable populations and communities who stand to benefit most from tourism, and the real risk of losing vital resources for safeguarding natural and cultural heritage across the world, according to the UNWTO website.

“The pandemic is far from over. As cases across the world make clear, we must be ready to act fast to save lives. But it also now also clear that we can also take decisive action to protect jobs and safeguard the many benefits tourism delivers, both for people and planet,” he concluded.

In June, the World Tourism Organization praised efforts made by Iran’s tourism ministry to manage the travel industry during the coronavirus pandemic. UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said in a letter to Mounesan that the country's measures have truly earned plaudits to mitigate the impact on tourism. “A series of measures that the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts of Iran has taken, in accordance with the guidelines and recommendations of UNWTO, has truly earned plaudits as an effective practice to mitigate the impact on tourism,” part of the letter reads.

AFM/MG

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