"It is so painful to see that tourism has been destroyed by the COVID19 pandemic," said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a statement.
In this context, Antonio Guterres emphasizes the need to rebuild the tourism sector and regain its position as a creator of decent jobs, a stable income and the protection of cultural and natural heritage, noting, however, that this must be done with a secure equal and climate friendly way. In this regard, it proposes five areas for action for its recovery:
"First, to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the crisis. Second, to build resilience throughout the tourism chain. Third, to maximize the use of technology in the tourism sector. Fourth, to promote sustainability and green growth. Fifth, to strengthen synergies so that tourism can further support the Sustainable Development Goals ". It draws attention to the fact that supporting millions of tourism-dependent households means building a sustainable and responsible travel experience that is safe for host communities, employees and travelers.
Specifically outlining the impact of the pandemic on tourism, Guterres said: "In the first five months of the year, international tourist arrivals fell by more than half and about $ 300 billion was lost in the tourism sector.
A total of about 120 million direct jobs in tourism are at risk. "Many of them are in the informal economy, in very small, small and medium-sized enterprises, which employ a large percentage of women and young people." The Secretary-General makes special reference to the effects of the coronavirus in small island states.
"The crisis is a powerful shock to both developed and developing countries, it is a state of emergency, especially for many small island developing countries and African countries.
He also referred to the impact on women, rural communities, indigenous peoples and many other historically marginalized populations, stressing that tourism has been a vehicle for integration, emancipation and income generation. It also emphasizes that tourism is an important pillar of conservation for the protection of natural and cultural heritage.
"The drop in incomes has led to increased disaster in and around protected areas and the closure of many world heritage sites that have deprived many families of valuable income," he said.
Highlighting the importance of tourism in the economy, he says: “Tourism is one of the most important economic sectors in the world. It employs one in 10 people on Earth and provides livelihoods to hundreds of millions of others. It boosts economies and allows countries to prosper.
It enables people to experience part of the cultural and natural wealth and brings people closer, emphasizing our common humanity ". In conclusion, he emphasizes that "indeed, one could say that tourism itself is one of the wonders of the world".