Islamic Lifestyle

U.N. agency releases guidelines for re-opening of tourism

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation on Thursday (May 28) released broad guidelines for tourism to re-open.

UNWTO said that depending on when COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted per country, international tourist arrivals could fall by between 60% and 80%, resulting in around 850 million to 1.1 billion fewer international tourists in 2020. This would put 100-120 million jobs at risk and lead to up to $1.2 trillion lost in exports.

The agency reported in early May that international tourism was down 22% in the first quarter, which is equivalent to 67 million fewer international tourists up to March. This translated to around $80 billion in lost exports.

The new protocols for tourism recovery are based on seven key priorities, including  providing liquidity and protecting jobs, recovering confidence through safety and security, harmonising and coordinating procedures, and adding value jobs through new tech.

They cover the cross-section of the tourism value chain, from air travel to hospitality to MICE  to attractions and destination planning.

UNWTO also on Thursday said it is partnering with Google to promote digital skills and create new opportunities for the tourism sector. Without giving details, it said the partnership aims to “promote digital learning and online skills training so as to provide new opportunities across the global tourism sector.”

“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,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili in a statement.

The agency’s new guidelines follow its recommendations for actions released in April, and the COVID-19 technical assistance package for tourism recovery announced earlier in May.

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