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world health organization

Green Hotel Investments to Restart Tourism

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Green Hotel Investments to Restart Tourism

Madrid, Spain, July 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Destination Capital (DC) has signed a collaborative arrangement with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) of the United Nations to support the rejuvenation of the hotel industry. The arrangement supports the relationship DC has with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to promote investment in green and sustainable tourism accommodation and to stimulate re-employment, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

The collaboration between UNWTO and Destination Capital is based on DC’s adoption of best practices aimed at reducing carbon emissions and operating hotels in a manner consistent with IFC’s environmental and social criteria. Against this backdrop, DC acquires and repositions freehold hotels of 150-250 rooms in Thailand and across South-East Asia with the aim of implementing sustainable water and energy systems. It also works to promote gender equality at every level of the hospitality sector, another of UNWTO’s core priorities and in line with Sustainable Development Goal number 5.

While governments and destinations around the world are working on vaccination programs to accelerate the restart of the tourism, UNWTO is working with the private sector to encourage employers to play their part in the recovery of local communities through job creation and training programs. UNWTO data shows that international tourism arrivals fell by 1 billion in 2020, with the crisis carrying over into 2021. Worldwide, this has placed as many as 120 million tourism jobs directly at risk. Moreover, Asia and the Pacific has been the worst-affected of all global regions, and young workers and women are among the hardest hit by the downturn in tourism employment.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, DC recognizes the hotel industry not only has a responsibility to re-hire and re-train hotel staff. It is also increasingly under pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and mitigate the impact of energy and water consumption as well as food waste and environmental degradation. DC is committed to retrofitting its hotels to be compliant as ‘green hotel’s as per the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) standards established by IFC.

About Destination Capital
Destination Capital is a private equity real estate investment company based in Bangkok Thailand which focuses on acquiring, renovating and repositioning hotel assets such that they are EDGE compliant and follow a rigorous sustainability protocol in order to unlock value for our capital partners. Rigorous asset manage programs are in place to yield higher values upon exit while pursuing a “Triple Bottom Line” strategy: Planet, People, Profit.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

WTTC Report on How Tourism Can Help Eradicate Human Trafficking

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WTTC Report on How Tourism Can Help Eradicate Human Trafficking

London, United Kingdom, July 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) launched a major new report which signals how the global Travel & Tourism sector can help eradicate human trafficking.

The report is released with support from the Carlson Family Foundation, and builds on WTTC’s Human Trafficking Taskforce, which was launched in 2019 at its Global Summit in Seville, Spain.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

With its report ‘Preventing Human Trafficking: An Action Framework for the Travel & Tourism Sector’, WTTC aims to strengthen cooperation across stakeholders and share best practices to raise awareness about how the sector can, and does, make a difference, to proactively address this global crime.

The report details an action framework to tackle human trafficking, around four main pillars: Awareness, Education & Training, Advocacy, and Support.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has estimated that on any given day in 2016, more than 40 million people around the world were victims of human trafficking.

The pandemic has not only put a spotlight on pre-existing inequalities but exacerbated them. This has accelerated the urgent need for targeted actions within the Travel & Tourism sector.

The report offers solutions both within the sector and beyond, as the complexity of these transnational crimes require multi-disciplinary efforts and concerted coordinated action by stakeholders, such as states, private companies, and international organisations around the world.

For the Travel & Tourism sector, this means involving the expertise of all stakeholders, including survivors, as well as civil society organisations to establish joint initiatives.

Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President and Acting CEO, WTTC said: “Human trafficking is a global crime which preys on the vulnerable, continues to grow and affect the lives of millions around the world.

“This vital report offers a framework for the Travel & Tourism sector to play its part to help combat human trafficking. Given the sector’s inadvertent position in the path of human traffickers, we need to shoulder our responsibility to ensure that the Travel & Tourism sector offers a safe and welcoming environment for those who work within it.

“Ultimately, travel is something that brings people together, and it is critical that we proactively help address this crime. 

The sector needs a cohesive approach and focus its efforts on driving forward advocacy related to human trafficking by engaging all key stakeholders. We hope that this report can aid in that task.” 

This in-depth report highlights the need to work on facilitating an approach which will enhance the understanding of the crime of human trafficking, enable better identification, prevention, and mitigation of potential and actual impacts of the sector, and further public-private collaboration to ensure that appropriate steps are taken by governments when human trafficking is detected.

The report is launched in advance of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (30 July), which highlights the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

WTTC would also like to thank the following organisations for contributing to this important report: Carlson, CWT, AMEX GBT, Marriott International, Hilton, Ingle, JTB Corp, ECPAT International, Airbnb, AIG Travel, Bicester Village Shopping Collection, Emirates, Expedia Group, ITF, It’s a Penalty, Marano Perspectives.

To read the report in full, please click here.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Lack of Inbound Travel Continues to Hamper UK Economic Revival

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Lack of Inbound Travel Continues to Hamper UK Economic Revival - TRAVELINDEXLondon, United Kingdom, July 28, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The UK’s economic revival is being hampered by the lack of inbound travel while flights to amber list countries take off, says the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

The warning comes from the global tourism body, which represents the global private Travel & Tourism sector.

New data collected by travel and analytics firm and WTTC knowledge partners, reveals the highest week-on-week percentage increases in tickets booked were to Germany, which were up by 113%; to Croatia up by 69%; Sweden by 68%; Portugal by 65% and Albania, up by 64%.

The data shows airline tickets booked for international trips out of the UK increased an average of 24% in the week to 13th July, compared to the previous week.

Weekly flight tickets for future travel from the UK to traditional destinations have exceeded pre-pandemic levels, with Greece the most popular destination, up 211% compared to 2019.

The Bahamas follows closely, with tickets up 161% on pre-pandemic levels. Croatia has also reached pre-pandemic weekly ticketing levels in the last week (107%) while tickets for travel to Spain, which reached 88% of 2019 levels, are fast increasing.

While this was good news for land-locked Brits, desperate to enjoy a much-need summer holiday break, the British economy which relies on international visitor spend will have been left in the doldrums by the lack of reciprocal inbound travel.

Based on 2019 levels and despite the rise in domestic holidays, the lack of inbound international visitors through July, due to concern over rising coronavirus cases and the UK government’s strict quarantine rules, could rob the UK economy of a staggering £639 million each day.

Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President WTTC, said: “The UK’s economic recovery is going to continue to be hampered by the lack of inbound international visitors while UK travellers are leaving the UK in increasing numbers.

“Whilst staycations are helping boost the economy, it is not nearly enough to replace the £639 million which is being lost every day.

“If the situation continues, the UK will lose out on much needed revenues which international travel provides, benefitting every level of the economy far beyond the Travel & Tourism sector.

“If every day travel is curbed, more cash-strapped Travel & Tourism businesses face even greater strain pushing them to the brink of bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Europe enjoys the financial benefits of British travellers returning to their markets.”

Juan Gómez Garcia, ForwardKeys Senior Insight Expert, said: “It’s reassuring to see the UK issued tickets increase for summer travel, the question remains – will those figures manage to surpass pre-pandemic levels in those destinations?”

According to WTTC’s 2021 Economic Impact Report (EIR) international visitor spend in 2019, before the pandemic struck, added a staggering £35.6 billion to the UK economy, or 4.9% of total exports.

This slumped to £10.1 billion in 2020 as the impact of travel restrictions wreaked havoc around the world, contributing to just 1.7% of total exports. This represented an eye-watering collapse of 71.6%, or £25.5 billion (need the figure in pounds, sterling).

WTTC has recently revealed that international Travel & Tourism industry leaders have backed their four new guidelines to restore international travel safely to save the millions of jobs and livelihoods which depend upon the sector, while providing a boost for the global economic recovery.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

WTTC Report Provides Framework for Destination Stewardship

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WTTC Report Provides Framework for Destination Stewardship

London, United Kingdom, July 23, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) today launched a major new report which reveals how destinations can grow responsibly, using the Destination Stewardship model.

The report was launched in partnership with the Travel Foundation and the European Tourism Futures Institute (ETFI) at NHL Stenden University, in the Netherlands.

‘Towards Destination Stewardship: Achieving Destination Stewardship through scenarios & a Governance Diagnostics framework’ lays out how destinations can balance the needs of visitors and residents, with the involvement of both the public and private sector.

Destination Stewardship is based on the responsible use of shared or ‘common pool’ resources, which provide diminished benefits if each individual participant or group pursues their own self-interest.

The WTTC report offers scenarios and ways forward for organisations such as Tourism Ministries and Destination Management Organisations that seek to better understand how changes in governance structures could support greater destination stewardship.

It presents four Destination Stewardship scenarios, based on varying levels of engagement from the public and private sector, which show how differing levels of support can produce different outcomes with the aim of creating a commonsense roadmap towards greater stewardship.

Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President and Acting CEO, WTTC said: “The suspension of much recent Travel & Tourism activity due to the pandemic has enabled destinations to rethink their approach to how they look after their destinations and refocus on sustainability issues and smarter tourism development.

“WTTC believes this major new report points a way forward for the Travel & Tourism sector following the growing interest in Destination Stewardship, which has been accelerated during the COVID-19 crisis. 

“There has similarly been a rising call for social inclusion, new enabling technologies, a growing need for resilience and increasing governmental interest in destination governance, so this report comes at just the right time.

“We believe this important and timely report will allow relevant stakeholders to explore how more responsible Destination Stewardship will work for them as the world begins to gradually reopen.” 

Destination stewardship requires a shared understanding of the common good, and effective platforms for collaboration with shared objectives and measurements of success that go beyond traditional growth metrics, such as visitor arrivals and overall spend.

These new models of collaboration must deliver on market expectations while at the same time also supporting the needs of host communities.

Maya Janssen, Managing Director Insights & Marketing Strategy, Amsterdam & Partners said: “In Amsterdam, our approach aligns very well with this report. Amsterdam&partners is the connector that brings together city authorities, inhabitants, industry, and cultural institutions. We have built good relations and trust, but our 2025 ambition and vision redesigning the visitor economy of Amsterdam requires us to also build new institutional mechanisms to influence change.”

Graham Harper, PATA Sustainability & Social Responsibility, Special Advisor said: “I would like to emphasise how incredibly important this report is. We’ve seen much rhetoric and a new hope for tourism to build back better but we cannot expect this to happen if we, as an industry, simply fall back to our old ways. New models are needed and this report points the way.”

Timothy O´Donoghue, Principal, Riverwind Foundation Jackson Hole said: “This report will inform discussions that are occurring across the world to determine the ideal destination governance, based on local contexts. We need new and effective structures that bring balance and community engagement to the heart of tourism development and management.”

The report lists the most important triggers of Destination Stewardship, from managing supply and demand, destination governance, sustainability, the evolving visitor economy and resilience to social inclusion.

Barriers to Destination Stewardship, includes lack of a clear mandate, clashing cultures and agendas, insufficient knowledge and data, as well as a fragmented Travel & Tourism sector.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

WTTC Responds to Relaxing of Restrictions Across UK

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WTTC Responds to Relaxing of Restrictions Across UK

London, United Kingdom, July 22, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Virginia Messina, WTTC Senior Vice President, said: “Today we should reflect on how hard won our newly re-found ‘freedoms’ are, which have been curbed for the best part of 18 months as together we have fought against the pandemic – at huge social, economic and personal cost.

“We know it will come as a sigh of relief that our lives are beginning to return to normal, albeit with mask-wearing where appropriate, to continue prioritizing public safety.

“However, while the domestic holiday market is reaping the benefits of ‘Freedom Day’, with staycations booming, we are not out of the woods yet.

“International travel remains either off limits or frustratingly difficult for many. This means the door to significant overseas travel still remains effectively closed, especially following the new ‘amber list-plus status’ for France which caused such chaos last week.

“We need international travel; economically, socially and emotionally. Our pent-up desire to travel remains undimmed, and we must take advantage of the hugely successful vaccine rollout to safely resume it.

“We hope the UK government will extend these revived domestic ‘freedoms’ to include the freedom to travel safely internationally, so we can reconnect with the world and harness all the benefits that it brings to us as individuals, and collectively to the Travel & Tourism sector and the country.”

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO: International Travel Largely on Hold Despite Uptick in May

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UNWTO: International Travel Largely on Hold Despite Uptick in May - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, July 22, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The biggest crisis in the history of tourism continues into a second year. Between January and May, international tourist arrivals were 85% below 2019 levels (or a 65% drop on 2020), UNWTO data shows. Despite a small uptick in May, the emergence of COVID-19 variants and the continued imposition of restrictions are weighing on the recovery of international travel. Meanwhile, domestic tourism continues to rebound in many parts of the world.

The latest UNWTO data shows that over the first five months of the year, world destinations recorded 147 million fewer international arrivals (overnight visitors) compared to the same period of 2020, or 460 million less than pre-pandemic year of 2019. However, the data does point to a relatively small upturn in May, with arrivals declining by 82% (versus May 2019), after falling by 86% in April. This slight upward trend emerged as some destinations started to ease restrictions and consumer confidence rose slightly.

Accelerating the pace of vaccination worldwide, working on effective coordination and communication on ever changing travel restrictions while advancing digital tools to facilitate mobility will be critical to rebuild trust in travel and restart tourism

Rebuild trust to restart tourism

“Accelerating the pace of vaccination worldwide, working on effective coordination and communication on ever changing travel restrictions while advancing digital tools to facilitate mobility will be critical to rebuild trust in travel and restart tourism” says UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

By regions, Asia and the Pacific continued to suffer the largest decline with a 95% drop in international arrivals in the first five months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. Europe (-85%) recorded the second largest decline in arrivals, followed by the Middle East (-83%) and Africa (-81%). The Americas (-72%) saw a comparatively smaller decrease. In June, the number of destinations with complete closure of borders decreased to 63, from 69 in February. Of these, 33 were in Asia and the Pacific, while just seven in Europe, the region with the fewest restrictions on travel currently in place.

By subregions, the Caribbean (-60%) recorded the best relative performance through May 2021. Growing travel from the United States has benefitted destinations in the Caribbean and Central America, as well as Mexico. Western Europe, Southern and Mediterranean Europe, South America and Central America saw slightly better results in May than in April.

Mixed outlook for remainder of 2021

International tourism is slowly picking up, though recovery remains very fragile and uneven. Rising concerns over the Delta variant of the virus have led several countries to reimpose restrictive measures. In addition, the volatility and lack of clear information on entry requirements could continue to weigh on the resumption of international travel during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer season. However, vaccination programmes around the world, together with softer restrictions for vaccinated travellers and the use of digital tools such as the EU Digital COVID Certificate, are all contributing to the gradual normalization of travel.

In addition, domestic travel is driving the recovery in many destinations, especially those with large domestic markets. Domestic air seat capacity in China and Russia has already exceeded pre-crisis levels, while domestic travel in the United States is strengthening further.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

WTTC Release Key Guidelines for Prevention of Illegal Wildlife Trade

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WTTC Release Key Guidelines for Prevention of Illegal Wildlife Trade

Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 20, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has released major new guidelines outlining how the global Travel & Tourism sector can work together to tackle illegal wildlife trade (IWT). Illicit market is valued between US$8 billion and US$23 billion per year COVID-19 led to a significant decrease in funding for conservation and an increase in poaching activities

The new guidelines from WTTC, which represents the global private Travel & Tourism sector, with support from Animondial, a key advisor to the global travel industry on animal welfare in tourism, aim to help interpret the ‘12 Commitments’ of its game-changing Buenos Aires Declaration.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

The declaration, which was launched at WTTC’s Global Summit in Argentina, showed how coordinated commitment and action could combat the illegal trade in wildlife (IWT) and unveiled its Zero Tolerance Policy.

According to the guidelines, travellers often participate, albeit unwittingly, in the illicit movement of animals, plants, products made from them – and of wild species which are threatened, endangered, and protected by national or international law.

Tourism thrives in every corner of the world. But the challenge is balancing tourism with fragile environments where wildlife is at risk and animals are held and exploited in captivity.

And as demand for the legal trade in wildlife and their products increases, so rises IWT. This illicit market is valued between a staggering US$8 billion and US$23 billion per year with over 38,000 plant and animal species threatened by overexploitation and extinction. Yet, wildlife is worth more alive than dead- requiring us to take action.

Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President WTTC, said: “The World Travel & Tourism Council and its Members are determined to help in the fight to eradicate the scourge of illegal trade in wildlife.

“As a sector, Travel & Tourism has a responsibility to tackle this appalling activity which causes misery to countless animals, putting entire species and ecosystems at risk.

“We believe these new guidelines will help businesses around the world in their fight against this corrupt and shameful practice and we renew and reinforce our commitment first made in WTTC’s game-changing Buenos Aires Declaration.”

John Scanlon, Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime Chair, said: “It is fantastic that the Travel & Tourism sector has joined the global fight against illegal wildlife trade, recognising how it can both protect wildlife at its source and help curb demand. But, what’s even better, is that it didn’t stop with the Declaration. 

“Despite the disruption of COVID-19, the World Travel & Tourism Council has worked with signatories to implement its terms, and it is now issuing practical implementation guidance through its new guidelines.”

However, despite the support of many Travel & Tourism businesses in the protection of animal and plant species threatened with extinction, much more can still be done to increase the endorsement of the sector in this fight.

The guidelines show that Travel & Tourism does and can continue to play a critical role in helping to tackle the IWT.

Unfortunately, widespread travel bans, and restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant decrease in funding for conservation efforts and an increase in poaching activities. Anti-poaching programmes have been starved of funds over the past 18 months.

WTTC is therefore committed to spearheading the drive by Travel & Tourism businesses around the world to embrace policies and practices to help eradicate IWT.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

By adopting a shared responsibility to tackle IWT and sign up to WTTC’s Buenos Aires Declaration and the WTTC-WWF Zero Tolerance Policy, the global Travel & Tourism sector can commit itself to responsible and sustainable wildlife-based tourism activities, to contribute to wildlife preservation.

WTTC’s latest guidelines include:
Tour operators and travel agents:

  • Adopt the principles advocated by the ABTA Animal Welfare Guidelines, promoting responsible Travel & Tourism activities with animals, respectful wildlife viewing practices and improved welfare standards (including no direct human-initiated contact with, or feeding of, wild animals)
  • Discourage suppliers from sourcing animals from the wild unless there is a demonstrable and justifiable conservation need. Consult national laws, animal stock list, CITES* permits and the CITES Management Authority for the respective national government.
  • Accommodation providers:
  • Adopt the principles advocated by the ABTA Animal Welfare Guidelines, promoting responsible Travel & Tourism activities with animals, respectful wildlife viewing practices and improved welfare standards (including no direct human-initiated contact with, and feeding of, wild animals)
  • No commercial trade, breeding or exploitation of animals, including habituated or ‘pet’ animals that may be housed in, or in the vicinity of, the hotel, lodge, or venue.

Transport providers:

  • Sign up to the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, the WTTC Buenos Aires Declaration on Illegal Trade in Wildlife and the related IWT Zero Tolerance Policy, and work with ROUTES to implement the commitments
  • Airlines should collaborate with industry associations including the International Air Transport Association (IATA), guided by its Live Animals Regulations (LAR), and with the taskforce against wildlife trafficking to support industry-wide action.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Approved Vaccine Inconsistency to Delay Restart of International Travel

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Approved Vaccine Inconsistency to Delay Restart of International Travel

London, United Kingdom, July 16, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The restart of international travel could be seriously delayed without worldwide reciprocal recognition of all approved COVID-19 vaccines, says the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Warning comes as tourists are blocked at the borders.

The global tourism body, which represents the global private Travel & Tourism sector, has issued its warning following concerns tourists face being turned away at the borders because countries don’t have a common list internationally recognised and approved COVID-19 vaccines.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

This comes just days after a number of British holidaymakers, who had been administered the Indian Covishield batch of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, were rejected entry into Malta despite the drug being chemically identical to the UK-made vaccine.

Over the past few weeks reports of holidaymakers facing obstacles to entry have been on the rise, with some even being prevented from boarding their flights to destinations.

WTTC believes that once again, the lack of international coordination to agree on a list of approved vaccines, is creating yet another major stumbling block for the restart of international travel.

This comes despite most vaccines have secured the approval of the World Health Organisation (WHO) or Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRAs), such as the UK’s the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Food and Drug Administration in the US, and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Reports of travellers being turned away because they have the ‘wrong’ vaccine batches or ‘unrecognised’ vaccines have fueled concern from consumers, deterring them from booking and thereby damaging the already struggling Travel & Tourism sector.

The plea for reciprocal recognition for all vaccines and vaccine batches forms part of WTTC’s four new guidelines which are aimed at safely resuming international mobility and save the millions of jobs and livelihoods which depend on this sector, while kick-starting the global economic recovery.

Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President WTTC, said: “Reciprocal recognition of all vaccine types and batches is essential if we are to avoid any further unnecessary and damaging delay to restarting international travel.

“The failure of countries to agree on a common list of all approved and recognised vaccines is of huge concern to WTTC, as we know every day travel is curbed, more cash-strapped Travel & Tourism businesses face even greater strain, pushing ever more to the brink of bankruptcy.

“We can avoid this by having a fully recognised list of all the approved vaccines – and vaccine batches – which should be the key to unlocking international travel, not the door to preventing it.

“It will also give holidaymakers and travellers the confidence they need to book trips, flights and cruises, confident in the knowledge that their fully-vaccinated status will be internationally recognised.”

WTTC says the restoration of safe international travel can be achieved by following its four guidelines.

Through a combination of COVID-19 testing, vaccination, digital health travel passes and the use of health and safety protocols, such as wearing face masks, safe international mobility can resume while at the same time saving millions of jobs and livelihoods which depend on the sector and kick-starting the global economic recovery.

WTTC’s fundamental guidelines to restore international mobility while safeguarding public health include: 

  1. Appropriately reduced protocols for vaccinated travellers, including no need for testing or quarantine for those fully vaccinated. Global recognition for international travel of all vaccines authorised for use and deemed safe and effective by the WHO or by the WHO recognised SRAs.
  2. A data driven, risk-based and internationally harmonised approach to re-establishing freedom of movement, that is consistent across countries, easy to communicate and clearly understood by travellers.
  3. Global adoption of ‘digital health passes’ which enable travellers to easily obtain and verify their vaccination status, negative COVID test result or natural immunity from a previous infection. These must work with existing border control and travel operator systems accepted by all countries. Digital verification of a traveller’s COVID status prior to travel will avoid lengthy and unsafe queues in transport hubs and terminals.
  4. Continued implementation of high-quality health and safety standards throughout all areas of the Travel & Tourism sector, including continued adoption of the WTTC’s Safe Travel Protocols and Safe Travel Stamp, with the continued wearing of face masks in crowded and enclosed areas as well as on all forms of public transport.

WTTC advocates the full implementation of these proportionate and responsible guidelines for travel during over the next few months, as many travel restrictions begin being eased as major travel markets begin to reopen.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

This is against the backdrop of a successful vaccination roll out, with a subsequent decrease in deaths, cases, and hospitalisations in many countries. However, variants will continue to be cause of concern as the world struggles to emerge from the effects of the pandemic.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

City Leaders from Around the World Meet to Re-Imagine Urban Tourism

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City Leaders from Around the World Meet to Re-Imagine Urban Tourism

Porto, Portugal, July 14, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The mayors of some of the world’s leading destinations have met in Porto to rethink urban tourism in the post-pandemic age. Organized by UNWTO, the Government of Portugal, Turismo de Portugal and the City of Porto, the Mayors Forum on Tourism and the Future of Cities highlighted the opportunity to restart urban tourism with a focus on sustainability, innovation and inclusion.

Formed in April 2019, the Mayors Forum provides a unique platform for cities and other key players to share tourism policies and best practices. The international forum works to advance tourism’s role in the urban agenda and harness the potential of the sector to provide economic opportunity and promote cultural links. The Porto meeting was embraced as a chance to rethink urban tourism and keep delivering on its proven potential to benefit both residents and tourists.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Return of tourists ‘brings hope for cities’

The return of tourists to cities around the world will bring more than just jobs and economic recovery

Urban tourism has been among the hardest hit parts of the sector and may be the last to recover. For this reason, “the return of tourists to cities around the world will bring more than just jobs and economic recovery”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. “It will bring hope, confidence and help revive what makes urban life so exciting, from culture to gastronomy to entrepreneurship and new ideas.” In this context, the Secretary-General also commended Portugal’s National Support Plan for Tourism recovery as well as its recently launched Sustainability + Strategy.

Pedro Siza Vieira, Minister of State, Economy and Digital Transition of Portugal said: “Now is the time to reflect on how important management of flows of tourists is in our cities. Digital technologies and continued investments in new attractions will allow us to provide a better experience for the millions of people who are eager to resume travel and who will come to visit our cities in the future.”

As host of the Forum, the Mayor of Porto Rui Moreira said: “Cities must know how to transform themselves, turning the old into new, rehabilitating and promoting their heritage, material and immaterial, and simultaneously creating new poles of interest to serve and welcome residents and visitors.”

Organized by UNWTO, the Government of Portugal, Turismo de Portugal and the City of Porto the Forum welcomed mayors and vice-mayors from Athens, Belgrade, Braga, Bruges, Brussels, Budapest, Dubrovnik, Florence, Madrid, Moscow, Podgorica, Prague, Samarkand, Sao Vicente, Skiathos, Tirana and Venice. Joining them were leaders from UN Habitat, the European Committee of the Regions and the Unión Ciudades Capitales Iberoamericanas (UCCI), as well as representatives from key private sector stakeholders, including Expedia Group, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and Airbnb.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Porto Declaration on Future of Cities

Participants adopted the Porto Declaration on Tourism and the Future of Cities, which reaffirms cities’ commitment to growing tourism sustainably and responsibly. This includes placing tourism on the urban recovery agenda, with policies aligned with the United Nations New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Declaration also states that signatory cities will promote multi-stakeholder cooperation for fostering innovation and using digitalization and big data to enhance both the tourist experience and the sector’s positive impact on residents. Furthermore, the Declaration recognizes the importance of cities building bridges with rural areas so that the benefits of tourism are employed more widely.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO: Tourism Takes Action on Plastic Waste and Pollution

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UNWTO: Tourism Takes Action on Plastic Waste and Pollution

Madrid, Spain, July 13, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Tourism businesses and destinations are stepping up their commitment to sustainability. Aimed at reducing waste and pollution across the sector, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI) is welcoming 32 new signatories, with every global region represented behind the shared goal.

The Initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution. It enables businesses, governments and other tourism stakeholders to lead by example in the shift towards a circular economy of plastics. Among the 32 new signatories  are organizations such as TUI Group, AC Hotels by Marriott, Palladium Hotel Group, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Hostelling International, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association  and Visit Valencia. These new additions bring the total number of signatories up to 93 companies and organizations. These include organizations from stages of the tourism value chain, including accommodation providers, tour operators, online platforms, suppliers, waste managers and supporting organizations.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Andreas Vermöhlen, Manager for Sustainability, Circular Economy and Sustainable Development at TUI Group said: “Together we can make important steps towards less unnecessary single-use plastic in the world and shift towards a circular economy.”

Addressing plastic pollution is essential to sustainably restart tourism, preserve destinations and contribute to climate action

To mark the confirmation of the new signatories, UNWTO and the United Nations Environment Programme, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, held a special  panel discussion with the theme Eliminate. Innovate. Circulate. Strategies from the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative. Participants included Accor Group, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Palladium Hotel Group, Chumbe Island Coral Park and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General said: “Addressing plastic pollution is essential to sustainably restart tourism, preserve destinations and contribute to climate action. We are proud to see the number of signatories growing continuously since the launch of the initiative.”

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Alongside this, a keynote presentation on “A Life Cycle Approach – Key messages for tourism businesses” further highlighted the aims of the GTPI, with a special focus on innovation and the importance of context-based approaches to ensure plastics are circulated back into the economy rather than thrown away after use.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News