Coast KZN

25 Aug 2020

UN Secretary-General: ‘It’s imperative that tourism sector is rebuilt in safe, climate-friendly manner’

(IOL: Travel) Picture: Supplied: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres shared the impact Covid-19 had on the tourism sector at a briefing this week..

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres shared the impact Covid-19 had on the tourism sector during a “Tourism and Covid-19” briefing this week.

The latest data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), warns that as many as 100 million direct tourism jobs are at risk, and the massive drop in export revenues from tourism could reduce global GDP by as much as 2.8 percent. Guterres said tourism was an essential pillar of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)and the most vulnerable workers and nations at greatest risk. The pandemic has hurt the global tourism and how this affects everything from jobs and economies to wildlife conservation and the protection of cultural heritage.

“It is imperative that we rebuild the tourism sector” in a “safe, equitable and climate friendly” manner and so ensure tourism regains its position as a provider of decent jobs, stable incomes and the protection of our cultural and natural heritage.

“Tourism is one of the world’s most important economic sectors, providing livelihoods to hundreds of millions more, while it boosts economies and enables countries to thrive. At the same time, it allows people to experience some of the world’s cultural and natural riches and brings people closer to each other, highlighting our common humanity,” he said.

He warns that the impacts of the pandemic on tourism are already placing conservation efforts in jeopardy. He said the sudden fall in tourism revenues has cut off funding for biodiversity conservation.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said that tourism touches on nearly every part of our societies and is a cornerstone of growth and employment, both in developed and developing economies.