Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has argued the time has come to restart tourism.
“At both the local and the global level, the crisis we have faced up to together has shown the importance of making the right decisions at the right time,” he said.
“The time has come to restart tourism!”
His words echo those of European Union leaders, who earlier urged member states to remove border restrictions by the end of the month.
Pololikashvili continued: “This crisis has affected us all.
“Many, at every level of the sector, have made sacrifices, personally or professionally.
“But in the spirit of solidarity that defines tourism, we united under UNWTO’s leadership to share our expertise and abilities.
“Together, we are stronger, and this cooperation will be essential as we move onto the next stage.”
International bodies such as IATA and the WTTC have warned of the huge financial and personal cost of an ongoing shutdown.
At the same time, research from the UNWTO shows that several countries around the world are starting to ease restrictions on travel.
“At the same time, governments and the private sector are working together to restore confidence build and trust – essential foundations for recovery,” said Pololikashvili.
“In the first stage of this crisis, UNWTO united tourism to assess the likely impact of Covid-19, mitigate the damage to economies, and safeguard jobs and businesses.”
Last week, the UNWTO convened the fifth meeting of the Global Tourism Crisis Committee.
“Here, we launched the UNWTO Global Guidelines to Restart Tourism.
“This important document outlines our roadmap and priorities for the sector in the challenging months ahead, from providing liquidity for vulnerable businesses to opening borders and coordinating new health protocols and procedures,” concluded Pololikashvili.