Zulab Pololi Kashvili, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, said in a written interview with Xinhua News Agency recently that the coronavirus epidemic has had a “sudden and unprecedented” impact on global tourism, and coordination and cooperation among governments and between governments and the private sector will rebuild global tourism in the future. Confidence is crucial.
Pololi Kashvili said that according to the latest issue of the World Tourism Barometer released by the World Tourism Organization in October, affected by tourism restrictions and the sharp decline in consumer confidence, the number of international tourists decreased by 70% from January to August this year compared with the same period last year, which is equivalent to a decrease of 700 million tourists worldwide. International tourism export revenue lost about $730 billion.
Pololi Kashvili pointed out that in response to the epidemic, governments have taken prompt and strong measures, and most countries have adopted economic stimulus packages and employment support measures. He stressed that international tourism is the “lifeline” of many countries and communities.
In the future, it is important to adopt a “coordinated approach” to lift or relax travel restrictions while intergovernmental and government-private cooperation is also crucial to rebuild tourism confidence.
He said that during the epidemic, the World Tourism Organization not only closely monitored short-term trends in tourism and prepared comprehensive analysis reports for the industry, but also issued a series of guidance on how to restart tourism.
In order to coordinate its position to guide the global recovery, the World Tourism Organization has formed the Global Tourism Crisis Committee, which not only coordinates and launches unified travel agreements and strengthens travel safety measures, but also focuses on protecting employment and livelihoods to help the tourism industry restart.
Compared with other industries, tourism has always shown better resilience, adaptability and rebound ability, Pololi Kashvili said.
Most members of the World Tourism Organization’s expert group predict that the international tourism industry is likely to rebound in the third quarter of 2021, but some experts believe that the rebound may not be achieved until 2022.
He said that the World Tourism Organization will be committed to promoting the development of low-carbon tourism, focusing on the contribution of tourism to global climate goals.
At the same time, tourism enterprises and governments must coordinate policies and work together at the international level to boost the ambition to address climate change.