The World Tourism Organization ( UNWTO) has issued a series of recommendations to help the tourism industry recover from COVID-19 more firmly and sustainably. The guidelines emphasize the need to act quickly, rebuild trust and welcome creativity and the digital revolution of global tourism as UNWTO reinforces its relationship with Google.
The guidelines were developed in collaboration with the Committee on Global Tourism Crisis and aim to help policymakers and the private sector rebound from an ongoing crisis. The United Nations specialized agency warns that international tourist arrivals could fall by between 60% and 80%, depending on when travel restrictions are lifted. It puts at risk 100-120 million jobs, which could result in a deficit of $910 billion to $ 1.2 trillion in exports.
Safe and security protocols for tourism recovery
A follow-up to the Committee’s already approved Recommendations for Action, the latest guide reflects on seven tourism recovery goals focused on the foundations of reducing economic effects, improving security measures and organized solutions and promoting innovation, Travel Daily News reported. 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. These protocols 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
Innovation key as UNWTO builds on Google partnership
The UNWTO Guidelines also highlight the potential to facilitate a digital transformation of destinations, businesses and employees through programs such as free online training with the UNWTO Online Academy and the introduction of applications such as the Hi Card to increase international interoperability at airports and hotels. The role of technology in promoting social distancing in hotels and tourist destinations is also highlighted. This comes as UNWTO strengthens its partnership with Google. Through this enhanced collaboration, 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.
About the Global Tourism Crisis Committee
UNWTO has formed the Global Tourism Crisis Committee to guide the sector in responding to the COVID-19 crisis and to lay the groundwork for future resilience and sustainable growth. The Committee comprises representatives of UNWTO’s Member States and Affiliate Members, alongside the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Bank Group and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The private sector is represented by Airports Council International (ACI), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to ensure a coordinated and effective response.