ON THE GROUND Fostering Tourism for Development - July 2020
Message of the Executive Director
With the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic and its impact on the tourism industry, the first quarter of 2020 has been a busy and challenging one for the UNWTO Technical Cooperation and Silk Road Department as can be expected. The world was faced with an unprecedented global health crisis, the repercussions of which are being felt in all sectors of society and the economy. Health institutions and governments worldwide are doing their utmost to combat COVID-19.
In order to assist Member States in developing this gradual approach to tourism recovery, the UNWTO Technical Cooperation and Silk Road Department has designed the “COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Technical Assistance Package”. The package offers guidance to both public and private tourism sector stakeholders in their crisis response by, firstly, outlining UNWTO’s range of technical assistance, and, secondly, detailing potential areas of intervention, including impact assessment, roles and responsibilities. In the COVID-19 aftermath, countries have to realize a new reality of the tourism and travel industry and make every possible effort to shape the sector accordingly.
Interest from Members States and potential partners alike have poured in following the release of the “COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Technical Assistance Package” and UNWTO is working hard to streamline the many requests received with the available resources and support from interested partners, with the European Bank for Reconstruction for Development (EBRD) being among the first to collaborate with UNWTO in the implementation of its COVID19 Tourism Recovery Package.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the new Director of UNWTO Technical Cooperation and Silk Road Department, Mr. Suman Billa, who joined UNWTO in December 2019 and has since lead the Department with effectiveness and integrity. Prior to joining the UNWTO, Mr. Billa was the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism of India and Secretary of Tourism of Kerala State.