Consistent and harmonised travel protocols, enhanced safety measures and the protection of jobs were needed for the restart of tourism, according to the UNWTO.
UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili made clear that, with many millions of livelihoods at stake, inaction was not an option, and that the rapid and sustainable recovery of tourism is essential.
He said: “Strong coordination is needed to accelerate the lifting of travel restrictions in a safe and timely manner, to increase investment in systems that support safe travel, including testing on departure, and to sustain and support businesses and jobs. If we fail to address these three priorities, we will fail to restart tourism, and so fail to save millions of livelihoods.”
At a practical level, a proposal for a new set of common travel protocols was put forward by Harry Theoharis, minister of tourism of Greece, and welcomed by UNWTO’s leadership and other members of the Committee. Furthermore, illustrating how safe, international travel can return, Marco Troncone, CEO of Rome Fiumicino Airport highlighted the role robust hygiene protocols and innovation can play in boosting consumer confidence.
Along the same lines, ICC Secretary-General John Denton, explained plans for a comprehensive system of testing on departure to raise consumer confidence and take away the need for quarantine on arrival.