UNWTO Recommendations For Tourism’s ‘Green Transformation’ Get G20 Ministers Backing

by Olamilekan Okeowo

Tourism Ministers from the Group of 20 countries, or the G20, on Tuesday pledged support for the safe restart of international travel and supporting jobs and businesses.

In addition, the G20 Tourism Ministers reiterated their commitment to taking action in driving the digital transformation of the sector, with particular reference to ensuring everyone has fair access to the opportunities that will come from greater innovation, and in promoting more investment in green tourism infrastructure.

The ministers agreed that a normalized global tourism industry was crucial to the world’s economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Italy’s Minister of Tourism, Massimo Garavaglia, outlined the G20’s priorities, including safe mobility, supporting tourism jobs and businesses, building resilience against future shocks, and advancing the green transformation of the sector.

Furthermore, the Tourism Ministers recalled that the current crisis represents an opportunity to rethink and restart tourism, with an emphasis on guiding the sector towards greater sustainability.

On his part, Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) while addressing participants called for a global standard for travel.

“We need common, harmonized criteria for the easing of travel restrictions, and for increased investment in systems that support safe travel, including testing on departure and on arrival,” Pololikashvili said.

The new UNWTO Recommendations for the Transition to a Green Travel and Tourism Economy, which was developed in partnership with the G20 Tourism Working Group, were identified as a key resource for advancing progress in the policy area of “Green Transformation” of the world’s leading economies.

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The Recommendations present the main lines of action and showcase frontrunning initiatives of tourism businesses and destinations leading the way in achieving greater sustainability while also outlining steps that can help tourism recover from the worst crisis in its history safely and responsibly.

Recall that UNWTO has served as tourism’s global voice to devise a way forward for an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable recovery for the sector.

The organization has reiterated its commitment to continue to work with the Italian G20 Presidency as well as the previous and forthcoming presidencies, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia, in advancing the contribution of tourism to the G20 objectives.

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