AfricaNews - April 2020 - N16
Dear esteemed readers,
The tourism and travel sector has been brought to an abrupt halt by the Coronavirus COVID 19 pandemic. As we have seen with past crises, our sector is resilient and will bounce back to be stronger. But one thing is clear; we will need to re-adjust our business models to adapt to the current reality and new environment. We need to continue to work together and look for innovative and sustainable solutions to adapt to these changes and to remain relevant.
The Agenda for Africa – Tourism for Inclusive Growth, approved by the 23rd session of the UNWTO General Assembly, will now guide our programme of work more than ever. It will be especially relevant as we tackle the implementation of the priority areas, including those linked to the SDGs. Its implementation will focus on critical areas such as capacity building and the promotion of sustainable solutions that will help drive our industry through the crisis recovery phase and beyond.
To help drive the recovery, we have launched in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Healing Solutions Global Tourism Challenge. This is aimed at addressing the impact of the pandemic. This Global Challenge has been discussed and endorsed by the Global Tourism Crisis Committee, the global platform of the tourism sector that the Secretary-General has convened and is leading. This group has also produced the new “UNWTO Recommendations for Recovery: Mitigating the Socio- Economic Impact of COVID19 and Accelerating Recovery”.
The Secretary-General is joined on this committee by the Chair of the UNWTO Executive Council and the Chairs of the six Regional Commissions as well as leading travel and tourism private sector stakeholders - the Chair of the UNWTO Affiliate Members, the Airport Council International (ACI), the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the International Travel and Transport Association (IATA) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and several UN Agencies – WHO, IMO, ICAO are also members of the Crisis Committee.
I encourage you to make use of these Recommendations for Recovery, which are divided into three groups: Managing the crisis & mitigating the impact; Providing stimulus & accelerating recovery and Preparing for tomorrow.
In addition, UNWTO is monitoring the situation of its member and non-member States on the measures being taken by governments to support the tourism sector in mitigating the impact of COVID-19. The measures are divided into the following categories: Fiscal policy; Monetary policy; Jobs & Skills; Market Intelligence; Public and Private Partnerships.
During this period and also as part of the recovery I urge you to look at promoting skills development and invite you to visit our UNWTO Online Academy where we are offering free online courses for our members.
UNWTO’s key message, emphasizing our shared responsibility to put people first, to be patient and to prepare for the time when tourism can lead recovery efforts through the #Stay home today means travelling tomorrow.
I invite you to continue to follow us on all our social media platforms as well as our website for the latest updates on the COVID-19;
In the meantime, stay home and stay safe.
Regional Department for Africa