09 November 2022
Global tourism has currently reached around 70 percent of the pre-pandemic levels, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
The UN travel body, however, said innovative and urgent measures needed to develop the sector further as “the window of opportunity will not stay open forever”.
“We need to rethink tourism – as a provider of jobs, an economic pillar, and, against the backdrop of COP27, as a solution to the climate emergency,” UNWTO Secretary-General Pololikashvili said.
“Our job is to create jobs,” Pololikashvili told tourism sector leaders at the ministers’ summit at the World Travel Market on Tuesday.
The joint platform for public and private sector leaders addresses tourism’s most pressing issues and sets the agenda for the years ahead.
Held around the theme of ‘Rethinking Tourism’, the 16th summit gathered ministers and high-level delegates from 19 countries, alongside business leaders.
Opening the event, Pololikashvili emphasised the unique opportunity to transform the sector.
Juliette Losardo, exhibition director at World Travel Markets, also echoed the UNWTO stance and said a post-pandemic world has revealed exciting opportunities and given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reconsider tourism and ask how to rebuild and better prepare for the future.
While the summit promoted diversity of thought, background and experiences, a focus on tourism’s unique power as a driver of sustainability and as a promoter of peace and understanding proved a common theme.
Participants emphasized that now is the time for the tourism sector to focus more on cooperation rather than competition.
Ministers also acknowledged UNWTO Secretary-General’s call for tourism to be mainstreamed within the political agenda and for greater collaboration between ministries of tourism and those of economy, business and environment.
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