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travel and tourism foundation

WTTC on Removal of Tests for Fully Vaccinated Travellers to Saudi Arabia

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WTTC on Removal of Tests for Fully Vaccinated Travellers to Saudi Arabia

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 10, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Lifting flight bans will provide a “significant boost” to businesses across the country. Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council said: “WTTC welcomes the government’s decision to remove testing for those who are fully vaccinated travelling to the Kingdom. This move, alongside lifting flight bans to and from many countries, will provide a significant boost to businesses across the country.

“The Saudi Arabian government recognises the importance of our sector and has shown total commitment to the recovery of Travel and Tourism both nationally and globally. It has shown strong leadership throughout the crisis and is making an unprecedented investment in Travel and Tourism.”

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO to Hold Emergency General Assembly on Russian Membership

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UNWTO to Hold Emergency General Assembly on Russian Membership - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, March 9, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The UNWTO Executive Council has decided to hold an extraordinary UNWTO General Assembly to address the suspension of the membership of the Russian Federation. The first ever Extraordinary UNWTO General Assembly will be convened in the coming days. This was the first time in the history of UNWTO that the Executive Council met to address a request to consider suspending a Member from the Organization.

Held in Madrid at the request of several UNWTO Members, the Executive Council met amid ongoing global concern and condemnation for the unilateral actions of the Russian Federation.

“War is never a solution! Not now, and not ever. But it is evident that not everybody is committed to this ideal,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. He added: “For this reason, UNWTO – and me as the voice of the Organization – must be loud and clear: If you are a Member, then you commit to our rules. And you must embrace our values. So, when Members go against our goals, there must be consequences.”

War is never a solution! Not now, and not ever. But it is evident that not everybody is committed to this ideal

The aggression against Ukraine is inconsistent with the United Nations Charter and contravenes the fundamental aim of the UNWTO as enshrined in Article 3 of its Statutes, which states the “promotion and development of tourism with a view to contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace, prosperity and universal respect for, and observance of, human rights”, as the fundamental principles of the Organization.

Strengthening global governance

UNWTO stands fully behind the resolution of the UN General Assembly and the vote of the UN Human Rights Council. The sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders must be upheld, and the call of the United Nations for peaceful resolution of the conflict, must be followed.

Last week, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of a Resolution demanding that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders”. The UNGA reaffirmed the paramount importance of the UN Charter in the promotion of law among nations.

Also last week, the UN Human Rights Council condemned the actions of the Russian Federation “in the strongest possible terms”. Its members voted in favour of establishing a special commission to investigate alleged human rights violations including possible war crimes in Ukraine.

In accordance with its Statutes, the UNWTO General Assembly alone has the sovereign responsibility to decide on the suspension of membership of any Member State, if it found that the Member persists in a policy contrary to the fundamental aims of the Organization, as enshrined in article 3 of its Statutes.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

New Guidelines Put Women’s Empowerment at Heart of Tourism Restart

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New Guidelines Put Women’s Empowerment at Heart of Tourism RestartBerlin, Germany, March 8,2022 / TRAVELINDEX / A new set of guidelines will help both governments and businesses better address the needs of women in the tourism sector.

The guidelines published by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) were developed with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and UN Women. They aim to ensure an inclusive and resilient recovery from the impacts of the pandemic. They recognize that, given the disproportionate loss of employment suffered by women, as well as the high proportion of women workers within tourism and their concentration in lower-skilled and lower-paid jobs, plans for the sector’s restart and recovery must address their specific needs.

Tourism has proven itself a true champion of gender equality and these new guidelines will help both governments and businesses harness the sector’s power as a driver of women’s empowerment as the world opens up again

Tourism as a driver of equality

UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “The restart of tourism must include everyone and the benefits must be enjoyed by all. Tourism has proven itself a true champion of gender equality and these new guidelines will help both governments and businesses harness the sector’s power as a driver of women’s empowerment as the world opens up again”.

The guidelines for the public sector provide specific tools to support national, regional, local and other tourism institutions, focusing on policies, programmes and thematic issues in the tourism sector. Meanwhile, the strategy for businesses is intended to support tourism enterprises of all types and sizes to achieve effective and consistent strategies and programmes for gender equality across their operations.

Tourism steps up commitment to women

The recently published gender mainstreaming guidelines continue UNWTO’s work on women’s empowerment and are in line with a growing trend within tourism to address gender inequalities. The guidelines stand alongside a growing number of similar initiatives such as the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP’s) or the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Reporting scheme.

Moreover, these guidelines provide concrete recommendations for governments working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (particularly Goal 5 – Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment) and the objectives of international women’s rights treaties such as ILO Conventions 100, 111, 156, 183 and 190 or the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Launch Webinar

UNWTO invites all interested stakeholders to join a special webinar (March 16, 15:00 CET), presenting both guidelines with key speakers from the sector. The event will explain what exactly gender mainstreaming is and why it is important in tourism, particularly for the public and private sectors. The webinar will be streamed live the UNWTO YouTube channel.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO Executive Council to Consider Russian Membership Suspension

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UNWTO Executive Council to Consider Russian Membership SuspensionMadrid, Spain, March 3, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has convened an emergency session of its Executive Council in response to the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. The session will be held in Madrid on 8 March.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Following the request of Guatemala, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia and Ukraine for the suspension of the Russian Federation from membership of UNWTO, the UNWTO Secretary-General has called for an emergency session of the Executive Council to address the matter, in accordance with Rule 3.4 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure. The decision was made following consultations between the Secretary-General and the Chair of the Executive Council (Côte d´Ivoire).

The in-person Council session will be held on 8 March in Madrid. It is the first time in the Organization’s history that the Executive Council will address a request of this type.

Article 3 of the UNWTO Statutes states that the fundamental principles of the Organization are the “promotion and development of tourism with a view to contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace, prosperity and universal respect for, and observance of, human rights”.

UNWTO has unequivocally condemned the actions of the Russian Federation, noting that they are a clear breach of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity and contrary to the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and UNWTO Statutes.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO Secretary-General Calls Extraordinary Executive Council Meeting

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UNWTO Secretary-General Calls Extraordinary Executive Council Meeting - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, March 2, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili calls an emergency meeting of UNWTO Executive Council on 8 March 2021, following the request of several Member States to consider suspending Russia from UNWTO membership.

The military offensive of Russia against Ukraine contradicts the core of UNWTO.

Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili said:  “Following the request of several Member States to consider suspending Russia from UNWTO membership, I have called an emergency meeting of the UNWTO Executive Council 8 March, to address this issue”.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO Against Restrictions and for Peace and Tourism for All

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UNWTO Against Restrictions and for Peace and Tourism for All

Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO has concluded a week of meetings in Geneva, securing strong backing for its call to ease travel and enhancing strategic partnerships to define the future of tourism. UNWTO also emphasized that diplomacy is the only option to man-made problems and amplified tourism’s voice for peace and international solidarity.

UNWTO strongly condemns unilateral and unjustified acts of aggression and stands by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his call for diplomacy to win out. UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “At a time where diplomacy has been abandoned, the values of tourism, a pillar of peace and solidarity, are more vital than ever.”

UNWTO, WHO and the new trust architecture

At a time where diplomacy has been abandoned, the values of tourism, a pillar of peace and solidarity, are more vital than ever

At the start of the week, UNWTO was welcomed to the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) by its Director-General Dr. Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Together, the leaders of the two UN agencies agreed on the importance of lifting or easing travel restrictions wherever possible, citing their ineffectiveness and the economic and social cost of closing borders to tourists.

Mr Pololikashvili stressed that “UNWTO is proud to work with WHO to restart tourism safely and responsibly for the benefit of many across the world.” UNWTO and WHO agree on the need for a new “trust architecture” to restore confidence in travel and kickstart the sector’s recovery.

Aviation and tourism education

Talks between Secretary-General Pololikashvili and the Director-General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Willie Walsh also focused on the collaboration towards the safe return of travel, highlighting the need for common rules and restoring trust.

The official visit to Switzerland was an opportunity to advance several of UNWTO’s strategic priorities, among them tourism jobs and education. The Secretary-General and his team were welcomed to the Gilon Institute of Higher Education and the Hotel Institute Montreux (HIM) by its Dean Ulrika Björklund and to the new UNWTO International Centre Switzerland at the Bella Vista Higher Education Campus in Altdorf. To advance plans to empower a new generation of tourism leaders, UNWTO met with the Swiss Education Group CEO Yong Shen and with Benoit-Etienne Domenget, CEO of Sommet Education, UNWTO’s partner for online learning.

Sports tourism and tourism and rural development

In Nyon, an official visit to the headquarters of UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) saw Secretary-General Pololikashvili enhance the ties between two of the world’s biggest and most cross-cutting sectors. Alongside UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin, the two organizations agreed to work together to promote and grow sports tourism, and build a joint legacy through empowering youth, starting at the UNWTO Global Youth Tourism Summit in August.

The Secretary- General visited Gruyères, named one of the Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO at the 24th General Assembly, where he commended the commitment to harnessing tourism to promote and protect its cultural and gastronomic heritage and support jobs and local businesses. Alongside the visit – a first to one of the Best Tourism Villages – the UNWTO delegation also met with Eric Jakob, Ambassador of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), whose brief includes tourism policy, as well as with Martin Nydegger, CEO of Switzerland Tourism. The meetings offered the UNWTO leadership a chance to welcome Switzerland’s recent decision to lift almost all restrictions on incoming tourists, setting an example for other countries to follow.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Travel Measures Should Be Based on Risk Assessment, UNWTO and WHO

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Travel Measures Should Be Based on Risk Assessment, UNWTO and WHO

Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have called for the lifting of travel bans as they do not provide added value and continue to contribute to economic and social stress. The two UN agencies agreed to collaborate on a global trust architecture for recovery of the travel sector.

Over recent days, a growing number of countries around the world have started easing their rules for international arrivals, including the easing of travel bans. These decisions are in line with WHO’s latest recommendations for safe international mobility, which highlight the ineffectiveness of blanket restrictions in controlling virus transmissions. Such a trend is also consistent with UNWTO’s repeated warnings of the great social, economic and development harm of restrictions.

Guided by UNWTO, global tourism has followed WHO advice from the very start of this crisis

UNWTO and WHO: a shared approach

In Geneva, the leaders of UNWTO and WHO agreed on the importance of easing or lifting travel bans. Blanket restrictions should be replaced with risk -based, evidence- informed, context-specific policies.

“Guided by UNWTO, global tourism has followed WHO advice from the very start of this crisis,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili. He underscored the need to “continue to do so, and to open up again, safely and responsibly, and allow tourism to deliver on its unique potential as a driver of recovery and growth”.

Risk and evidence-driven approach

According to the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee on COVID-19, all measures applied to international travellers should be based on “risk assessments – including testing, isolation and vaccinations”. Furthermore, the financial burden of such measures should not be placed on travellers themselves.

“As countries ease travel restrictions, health must remain the key priority. By basing their decisions on evidence and a risk-based approach adapted to their specific context, countries can find the right balance between keeping people safe, protecting livelihoods and the economy, and keeping borders open”, said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Building a global trust architecture

The two UN agencies also stressed the need for clear and consistent rules relating to health and travel. There is a need for building a global trust architecture for societies and economies in the context of the pandemic, and there is a “real opportunity for tourism to contribute to that process, with UNWTO playing a critical role”, said Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme.

Properly managed, tourism has the potential to act as a force for development and opportunity, as highlighted in the sector’s enhanced relevance in the wider United Nations development agenda. Destinations around the world report increased tourist arrival numbers on the back of easing or removing restrictions. This trend offers the potential to kickstart economic recovery and put social development progress back on track.

Among the countries to have revised their travel restrictions is Switzerland, one of Europe’s leading destinations, which welcomed the UNWTO delegation at the beginning of a week of key meetings.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO and UEFA Partner Around Shared Values of Sport and Tourism

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UNWTO and UEFA Partner Around Shared Values of Sport and Tourism

Nyon, Switzerland, February 25, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) today announced their partnership around shared values and a common vision for the future.

The leaders of both organizations met at the UEFA headquarters and agreed to jointly promote the benefits of sports and sports tourism for development and opportunity for all, including young people. UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili and UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin recognized the values shared by tourism and football, both prominent people-led sectors with the capacity to promote understanding, friendship and solidarity and drive social and economic change.

Working together, UNWTO and UEFA will build on our potential to celebrate our shared humanity, foster friendship across borders and create experiences and opportunities for people everywhere

Shared objectives

UNWTO and UEFA will work to deliver a legacy across Europe. The UEFA Foundation will join representatives of the different divisions of UEFA at the UNWTO Global Youth Tourism Summit (July 2022, Sorrento, Italy), designed to give young people a say in the future of the sector and to give them the skills and knowledge needed to lead tourism forward.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “Tourism and football are natural partners, bringing joy to many millions with benefits going far beyond vacations or single matches. Working together, UNWTO and UEFA will build on our potential to celebrate our shared humanity, foster friendship across borders and create experiences and opportunities for people everywhere.”

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin added: “Sports tourism is one of the fastest-growing tourism segments. And tourism and football, as the world’s most popular sport, uniquely complement each other. Sporting events, such as UEFA EURO and UEFA Women’s EURO, are making an exceptional contribution to tourism in the host countries. More importantly, football offers teams and supporters a chance to travel the world, discover new destinations and cultures. I cannot think of a better way to learn more about each other, grow together rather than drift apart.”

Jobs and education

Under the new partnership, UNWTO and UEFA will work together to grow sports tourism across Europe, including through facilitating travel and mobility and through promoting the opportunities for jobs and education this can bring. Both organizations will also jointly champion sustainability within their sectors, in line with the wider United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the UEFA Sustainability Strategy 2030.

The agreement emphasises the far-reaching impact of both tourism and sports, touching on almost every part of economies and societies the world over. Both sectors are leading employers and champions of youth empowerment and gender equality. Under the guidance of UNWTO and UEFA, tourism and sports are also advancing hard to meet their climate action responsibilities.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO Returns to Geneva as World Begins to Open Up

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UNWTO Returns to Geneva as World Begins to Open Up - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, February 22, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will be in Geneva this week for high-level talks focused on the restart of tourism as restrictions on travel are eased in many parts of the world.

Strong Relationship with WHO

UNWTO last undertook an official visit to the home city of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2020, just one day before COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic. Now, as Switzerland joins growing numbers of countries in lifting or easing travel restrictions, UNWTO is back in Geneva for a week of meetings with key partners.

On Tuesday (22 February) Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili will meet with WHO Director-General Dr. Thedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to discuss shared actions and priorities as the world begins opening up again. The two UN agencies will discuss the need for the continued easing of restrictions, having repeatedly warned against their ineffectiveness and the damage that blanket bans on mobility can have on economic and social wellbeing. Talks will also focus on UNWTO and WHO’s shared vision for clearer, more consistent rules and regulations concerning tourism and health, with the aim of restoring trust in international travel and kickstarting recovery.

Deepening ties with the private sector

Strengthening ties with key private sector and civil society partners is crucial in the current circumstances. Secretary-General Pololikashvili will meet with the Director-General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Willie Walsh, as well as with Pierfrancesco Vago, Chairman and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). These meetings will be followed by an official visit to the headquarters of UEFA. Here, the sporting body’s President Aleksander Čeferin will sign a first-ever agreement with UNWTO aimed at promoting sports tourism as a driver of positive change and making the sector more inclusive and resilient.

Key partners in Switzerland

Against the backdrop of Switzerland announcing its plans to significantly ease restrictions on incoming travel, the UNWTO delegation will meet with Eric Jakob, Ambassador of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), whose brief includes tourism policy, as well as with Martin Nydegger, CEO of Switzerland Tourism. Highlighting Switzerland’s commitment to sustainable tourism, the UNWTO delegation will visit Gruyères. The medieval destination was named as a UNWTO Best Tourism Village at the 24th General Assembly in 2021, and this will be the first official visit to one of the locations recognized for their effective use of tourism as a protector of heritage, and as a driver of growth and opportunity. The visit will be hosted by the Mayor of Gruyères Jean-Pierre Doutaz.

In line with UNWTO’s focus on tourism jobs and education, the leadership will also tour the campus of the Gilon Institute of Higher Education and the Hotel Institute Montreux (HIM). Secretary-General Pololikashvili will meet with Benoit-Etienne Domenget, CEO of Sommet Education, UNWTO’s partner for online learning, and be welcomed to the new UNWTO International Centre Switzerland, located at the Bella Vista Higher Education Campus in Altdorf.

In another first, UNWTO will be addressing the UN Press Briefing at UN Geneva, providing an overview of the outcomes of the official visit and highlights on the tourism for development agenda for 2022, advanced by UNWTO.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

China’s Tourism Sector Could Reach CNY 11 trillion in 2022

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China’s Tourism Sector Could Reach CNY 11 trillion in 2022 - TRAVELINDEXBeijing, China, February 21, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / New research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed China’s Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to GDP could reach CNY 11 trillion this year, just 5.2% short of pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, before the pandemic struck, China’s Travel & Tourism sector’s contributed CNY 11.5 trillion to GDP (11.6% of the country’s economy).

However, in 2020 the pandemic had a major impact on the sector and Travel & Tourism’s contribution to the Chinese economy fell by a staggering 59.9%, to CNY 4.6 trillion.

Latest research from the global tourism body shows that as the national economy begins to recover, the contribution of the sector to the country’s economy and jobs could reach almost pre-pandemic levels this year.

WTTC research shows that if China, with more than 87% of its population already fully inoculated, begins to ease restrictions throughout the year, the sector’s contribution to GDP could reach CNY 11 trillion in 2022, just 5.2% behind pre-pandemic levels.

After a loss of more than 16 million jobs in 2020, when Travel & Tourism businesses in China suffered serious losses due to severe travel restrictions and complete border closures, most of these could be recovered if the country continues to focus on its Travel & Tourism sector and particularly reopening its borders to international visitors.

The sector could recover more than 14 million jobs to reach nearly 81 million jobs in 2022 – just 1.7% below 2019 levels.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “China is a critical player in the global Travel & Tourism sector. It has done well to drive domestic tourism during the pandemic, but international travel has come to a halt. The benefits to opening borders represent a boost in both economic wealth and jobs.

“Our latest research shows 2022 could bring a strong recovery for Travel & Tourism globally, with pent-up demand and vaccination rates driving the recovery of this economically boosting sector.

“Millions of livelihoods depend on a thriving Travel & Tourism sector, but there is still work ahead if we want to achieve a full economic recovery and bring back all the jobs that were lost.”

A look at the Asia Pacific region

WTTC’s research shows the forecast for the Asia Pacific region could be equally positive, with the region’s Travel & Tourism sector also approaching pre-pandemic levels this year.

According to the research, the sector’s contribution to the region’s GDP could reach CNY 20 trillion (USD 2.9 trillion), near pre-pandemic levels, while employment could reach over 190 million jobs, surpassing 2019 figures and providing an additional five million jobs to the sector.

To reach close to pre-pandemic levels this year, WTTC says the Chinese government and governments around the world must continue focussing on the vaccine and booster rollout – allowing fully vaccinated travellers to move freely without the need for testing.

The global tourism body also urges governments to ditch the patchwork of restrictions and enable international travel using digital solutions that allow travellers to prove their status in a fast, simple, and secure way.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News