Ensuring Global Ethics of Tourism after COVID-19

World Committee on Tourism Ethics

World Committee on Tourism Ethics

The World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE) met remotely on 5 June 2020 for a special session on COVID-19 and Tourism with the attendance of all Members and alternates. After deliberations, the following Statement was agreed:

Statement of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics1

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for the Tourism sector.

While both countries and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) prioritize safety and public health in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism’s recovery is urgently needed. The attention of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE) has been drawn on some of the public health measures planned or already in place such as travel restrictions, quarantine conditions, COVID-free labels, and immunity passports or certificates.

The WCTE, whose mission is to promote global ethics of tourism, believes it is its duty to underline that while such measures may be based on public health concerns, they nevertheless should abide by ethical principles, and in particular those that appear in the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the UNWTO Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics, namely:

  • Non-discrimination and equity
  • Accessibility
  • Tourist and consumer protection
  • Protection of data privacy
  • Protection of the right to an informed decision
  • Workers’ rights and social protection

The WCTE also recalls that as far as sanitary precautions and protocols are concerned, these should be in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and should particularly take into account the WHO’s Interim Guidance on “Operational considerations for COVID-19 management in the accommodation sector” issued on 30 April, 2020.

Tourism and hospitality workers should also be guaranteed a safe and healthy workplace in line with the specific recommendations that have been issued by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for a safe return to work.

1. The World Committee on Tourism Ethics is an impartial body which reports directly to the UNWTO General Assembly. Its functions are to interpret, apply, and evaluate the provisions of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, in addition to ensuring the promotion of its ethical principles and the monitoring of its practical implementation by governments and the private sector.

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