UNWTO recommendations for global tourism recovery

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has released a set of recommendations calling for urgent and strong support to help the global tourism sector not only recover from the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19, but to grow back better. They give countries a checklist of possible measures to help the sector sustain the jobs and support the companies at risk.

The recommendations are the first output of the Global Tourism Crisis Committee, established by UNWTO with representatives from across the tourism sector and from within the wider United Nations system.

Recognising that tourism and transport has been among the hardest hit of all sectors, the recommendations are designed to support governments, the private sector and the international community in navigating the unparalleled social and economic emergency that is COVID-19.

Acknowledging the diverse realities in each country as well as the evolving nature of this crisis, the document will continue to be updated.

The recommendations are the first comprehensive set of actions that governments and private sector actors can take now and in the challenging months ahead.

In all, this new guide provides 23 actionable recommendations, divided into three key areas:

Managing the Crisis and Mitigating the Impact:

  • Key recommendations relate to retaining jobs, supporting self-employed workers, ensuring liquidity, promoting skills development and reviewing taxes, charges and regulations relating to travel and tourism. A global economic recession looks likely. Given its labour intensive nature, tourism will be hard hit, with millions of jobs at risk.

Providing Stimulus and Accelerating Recovery:

  • This set of recommendations emphasises the importance of providing financial stimulus, including favourable tax policies, lifting travel restrictions as soon as the health emergency allows for it, promoting visa facilitation, boosting marketing and consumer confidence, to accelerate recovery. The recommendations also call for tourism to be placed at the centre of national recovery policies and action plans.

Preparing for Tomorrow:

  • Emphasising tourism’s unique ability to lead local and national growth, the recommendations call for greater emphasis to be placed on the sector’s contribution to the sustainable development agenda and to build resilience learning from the lessons of the current crisis. The recommendations call on governments and private sector actors to build preparedness plans, and to use this opportunity to transition to the circular economy.

In the full set of recommendations, there is no mention of medical tourism or heath tourism.