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UNWTO launches global guidelines to reopen tourism

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has released a set of guidelines to help tourism sector emerge stronger and more sustainably from COVID-19.

The guidelines highlight the need to act decisively, to restore confidence and to embrace innovation and the digital transformation of global tourism. The UN specialised agency warns that international tourist arrivals could fall by between 60% and 80%. Globally, this puts 100-120 million jobs at risk and could lead to $910 billion to $1.2 trillion lost in exports.

UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili 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.”

Safe and security protocols for tourism recovery

The new guide, a follow-up of the Recommendations for Action already endorsed by the Committee, focuses on seven priorities for tourism recovery based on the pillars of mitigating the economic impact, developing safety protocols and coordinated responds and fostering innovation.

The guidelines highlight the importance of restoring the confidence of the travellers through safety and security protocols designed to reduce risks in each step of the tourism value chain. It include the implementation of check procedures where appropriate, including temperature scans, testing, physical distancing, enhanced frequency of cleaning and the provision of hygiene kits for safe air travel, hospitality services or safe events. The 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. 

With UNWTO strengthening its partnership with Google, the UN agency will work with Google to promote digital learning and online skills training so as to provide new opportunities across the global tourism sector.

Secretary-General Pololikashvili added: “We are thrilled to be working more closely with Google. The past weeks have highlighted the enhanced role technology plays in our lives and furthering the digital transformation of tourism will make the sector more resilient and create opportunities for people all around the world.”

Image Credit: serri_stefano/ Flickr


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