UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a green and inclusive recovery of tourism, which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As we restart and recover from the pandemic, UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) has a key role in rethinking tourism and its interaction with societies, economies and our natural resources and ecosystems. That means green tourism, with high-emitting sectors including air and sea transport aiming for carbon neutrality,” the top UN official said in a video message to UNWTO’s General Assembly on Tuesday.
“It means inclusive tourism that benefits marginalised communities and contributes to gender equality and intercultural understanding. And it means sustainable tourism, which builds resilience, protects our planet and delivers on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” said the secretary-general.
The UN chief expressed the hope that the decisions taken at this Assembly “will help to restore trust in travel and get the world moving safely, so that developing economies can reap the benefits of sustainable tourism,” Xinhua news agency reported.
UNWTO is holding the 24th General Assembly in Madrid, Spain, from November 30 to December 3. The General Assembly is UNWTO’s main gathering and the platform for member states to approve UNWTO’s programme of work and budget for the coming biennium (2022-2023).
The coronavirus pandemic will likely cost the global tourism sector $2 trillion in lost revenue in 2021, the UN’s tourism body said on Monday, calling the sector’s recovery “fragile” and “slow.”
According to UNWTO’s latest forecast, the same amount was lost in 2020, making it one of the hardest hit sectors by the health crisis.