Supporting jobs and economies through travel & tourism
A Call for Action to Mitigate the Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 and Accelerate Recovery
This document was prepared by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) with the contribution of the Members of the Tourism Crisis Committee comprised of UNWTO, representatives of its Members States, the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the private sector - the UNWTO Affiliate Members, Airports Council International (ACI), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Madrid, Spain, 1 April 2020
The containment of the COVID-19 pandemic is the utmost priority. The travel and tourism sector is committed to supporting all measures taken to curb the outbreak and mitigate the impact on people’s lives. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is working closely with its Members States, the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the private sector - the UNWTO Affiliate Members, Airports Council International (ACI), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) - to ensure a coordinated and effective response.
The world faces an unprecedented global health emergency with an unparalleled impact on our societies and livelihoods
We praise the readiness and solidarity of the sector in supporting the response to the current health emergency by making their infrastructure available to quarantine people, to host healthcare workers or to become healthcare units.
On the socio-economic front, a global recession, with the loss of millions of jobs is looming. Travel and tourism, a labour-intensive sector, is one of the most affected with jobs at risk through the whole of the value chain. This will particularly affect the most vulnerable groups of the population such as women, youth and rural communities.
Travel and tourism therefore requires urgent support and specific mitigation packages to sustain jobs and ensure capacity in the market in the immediate aftermath of the emergency.
Travel and Tourism is among the sectors most affected by this crisis, and urgent support is required given the millions of jobs that are at risk
Tourism’s economic and social footprint dwarfs that of any other economic sector.
While this makes tourism vulnerable, it also puts the sector in a unique position to contribute to wider recovery plans and actions.
Around the world, tourism embodies development opportunities, promotes solidarity and understanding across borders,while domestic tourism also helps foster cohesion within nations. Furthermore, the sector plays a key role in leveraging efforts to preserve and promote natural and cultural heritage and has long been at the forefront of environmental protection.
All of this makes it even more imperative that the global tourism sector is supported both at this time of crisis and as societies enter the recovery phase.
Travel and Tourism is also uniquely equipped to be part of global recovery efforts going beyond tourism
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit travel and tourism hard. It nevertheless offers a rare opportunity for reflection and recalibrationto grow again, and to grow better for planet and people.
This is particularly relevant as the global community now has just 10 years to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined in the 2030 Agenda – we have started the Decade of Action. Managed responsibly, tourism can emerge from the current crisis as an even more important contributor to the SDGs, supporting livelihoods and creating opportunities for millions of people around the world and leaving nobody behind.