Posts Tagged :

Zurab Pololikashvili

UNWTO in Mexico to Build on Historic Support for Tourism

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UNWTO in Mexico to Build on Historic Support for Tourism

Mexico City, Mexico, July 5, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has embarked on a first official visit to Mexico. The visit of the high-level delegation further emphasises the unprecedented level of political support for tourism across the Americas as governments recognize the sector’s unique ability to drive economic and social recovery.

Meeting with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili commended his leadership from the very start of the pandemic. This included ensuring that Mexico continued to welcome international flights, safely and responsibly, and providing practical assistance for businesses and workers across the broad tourism sector. President López Obrador was officially recognized by UNWTO for his support of tourism and for leading by example at this critical time.

The UNWTO delegation also met with Mexico’s Secretary for Tourism Miguel Torruco Marqués to discuss the restart of tourism both in Mexico and across the wider region. At the National Palace, Secretary-General Pololikashvili accepted the government’s invitation to the official opening of the new “General Felipe Ángeles” International Airport, currently scheduled for March 2022.

Mexico has led the way in supporting tourism, politically and practically, through an unprecedented crisis

Mr Pololikashvili says: “Mexico has led the way in supporting tourism, politically and practically, through an unprecedented crisis. Under the leadership of President López Obrador, it is ready to restart tourism and put into action the commitments of UNWTO’s Punta Cana Declaration for inclusive and sustainable tourism.”

Guiding regional recovery

The official visit to Mexico forms part of UNWTO’s wider support for its Member States in the Americas. Mexico was among the states to attend an extraordinary Ministerial meeting of the Americas. Here, with the signing of the Punta Cana Declaration, the region’s tourism leaders committed to placing inclusivity at the heart of tourism’s restart, ensuring that the sector delivers benefits and opportunities for all.

This shared commitment was also in evidence as UNWTO’s Regional Commission for the Americas met last week (24 June). Hosted by Jamaica, and chaired by the country’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, the meeting highlighted the unprecedented political support now enjoyed by the sector, with 23 of the 24 regional Members represented, alongside six international and regional organizations. Discussions centred on the practical steps UNWTO is taking to guide the restart of tourism, and participants praised the tourism intelligence generated by UNWTO as “one of several laudable initiatives to assist Member States to navigate the choppy waters of pandemic and post-pandemic tourism slump and recovery”.

Elections and nominations

The meeting concluded with elections and nominations for positions within several UNWTO bodies, again showing a shared determination to move ahead even in challenging times.  Argentina, Brazil and the Dominican Republic were nominated to represent the Americas in the UNWTO Executive Council. Paraguay and Uruguay were nominated as Vice-Presidents of the General Assembly, and Guatemala and Jamaica were nominated to serve as members of the Credentials Committee. Paraguay was also nominated to serve as Chair of the UNWTO Commission for the Americas, while Uruguay and Barbados were nominated for its two Vice-Chair positions. Uruguay was elected to host the next UNWTO Commission for the Americas.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Global Economy Could Lose Over $4 Trillion Due to COVID-19

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Global Economy Could Lose Over $4 Trillion Due to COVID-19

Madrid, Spain, June 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Economic losses are mounting in developing countries due to the absence of widespread COVID-19 vaccinations. The crash in international tourism due to the coronavirus pandemic could cause a loss of more than $4 trillion to the global GDP for the years 2020 and 2021, according to an UNCTAD report published on 30 June.

The estimated loss has been caused by the pandemic’s direct impact on tourism and its ripple effect on other sectors closely linked to it.

The report, jointly presented with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), says international tourism and its closely linked sectors suffered an estimated loss of $2.4 trillion in 2020 due to direct and indirect impacts of a steep drop in international tourist arrivals.

A similar loss may occur this year, the report warns, noting that the tourism sector’s recovery will largely depend on the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines globally.

“The world needs a global vaccination effort that will protect workers, mitigate adverse social effects and make strategic decisions regarding tourism, taking potential structural changes into account,” UNCTAD Acting Secretary-General Isabelle Durant said.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Tourism is a lifeline for millions, and advancing vaccination to protect communities and support tourism’s safe restart is critical to the recovery of jobs and generation of much-needed resources, especially in developing countries, many of which are highly dependent on international tourism.”

Developing countries hurt by vaccine inequity

With COVID-19 vaccinations being more pronounced in some countries than others, the report says, tourism losses are reduced in most developed countries but worsened in developing countries.

Tourism is a lifeline for millions, and advancing vaccination to protect communities and support tourism’s safe restart is critical to the recovery of jobs and generation of much-needed resources, especially in developing countries, many of which are highly dependent on international tourism

COVID-19 vaccination rates are uneven across countries, ranging from below 1% of the population in some countries to above 60% in others.

According to the report, the asymmetric roll-out of vaccines magnifies the economic blow tourism has suffered in developing countries, as they could account for up to 60% of the global GDP losses.

The tourism sector is expected to recover faster in countries with high vaccination rates, such as France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, the report says.

But experts don’t expect a return to pre-COVID-19 international tourist arrival levels until 2023 or later, according to UNWTO.

The main barriers are travel restrictions, slow containment of the virus, low traveller confidence and a poor economic environment.

Up to $1.8 trillion loss expected in 2021

A rebound in international tourism is expected in the second half of this year, but the UNCTAD report still shows a loss of between $1.7 trillion and $2.4 trillion in 2021, compared with 2019 levels.

The results are based on simulations that capture the effects of international tourism reduction only, not policies such as economic stimulus programmes that may soften the pandemic’s impact on the sector.

The report assesses the economic effects of three possible scenarios – all reflecting reductions in international arrivals – in the tourism sector in 2021.

Figure 1: As tourism falls world GDP takes a hit in 2021 (3 alternative scenarios)

The first one, projected by UNWTO, reflects a reduction of 75% in international tourist arrivals – the most pessimistic forecast – based on the tourist reductions observed in 2020.

In this scenario, a drop in global tourist receipts of $948 billion causes a loss in real GDP of $2.4 trillion, a two-and-a-half-fold increase. This ratio varies greatly across countries, from onefold to threefold or fourfold.

This is a multiplier and depends on the backward linkages in the tourism sector, including the unemployment of unskilled labour, according to the report.

For example, international tourism contributes about 5% of the GDP in Turkey and the country suffered a 69% fall in international tourists in 2020.

The country’s fall in tourism demand is estimated at $33 billion and this leads to losses in closely linked sectors such as food, beverages, retail trade, communications and transport.

Turkey’s total fall in output is $93 billion, about three times the initial shock. The decline in tourism alone contributes to a real GDP loss of about 9%. This decline in reality was partly offset by fiscal measures to stimulate the economy.

Figure 2: Estimated losses in GDP by region from reduction in tourism (percentage)

The second scenario reflects a 63% reduction in international tourist arrivals, a less pessimistic forecast by UNWTO.

And the third scenario, formulated by UNCTAD, considers varying rates of domestic and regional tourism in 2021.

It assumes a 75% reduction of tourism in countries with low vaccination rates, and a 37% reduction in countries with relatively high vaccination rates, mostly developed countries and some smaller economies.

Job losses across countries

According to the report, the reduction in tourism causes a 5.5% rise in unemployment of unskilled labour on average, with a high variance of 0% to 15%, depending on the importance of tourism for the economy.

Labour accounts for around 30% of tourist services’ expenditure in both developed and developing economies. Entry barriers in the sector, which employs many women and young employees, are relatively low.

Losses worse than previously expected

In July last year, UNCTAD estimated that a four- to 12-month standstill in international tourism would cost the global economy between $1.2 trillion and $3.3 trillion, including indirect costs.

But the losses are worse than previously expected, as even the worst-case scenario UNCTAD projected last year has turned out to be optimistic, with international travel still low more than 15 months after the pandemic started.

According to UNWTO, international tourist arrivals declined by about 1 billion or 73% between January and December 2020. In the first quarter of 2021, the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer points to a decline of 84%.

Figure 3: International tourist arrivals (in thousands)

Developing countries have borne the biggest brunt of the pandemic’s impact on tourism. They suffered the largest reductions in tourist arrivals in 2020, estimated at between 60% and 80%.

The most-affected regions are North-East Asia, South-East Asia, Oceania, North Africa and South Asia, while the least-affected ones are North America, Western Europe and the Caribbean.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO: Tourism Stakeholders Invited to Share Progress on Climate Action

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Madrid, Spain, June 7, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO is inviting public and private stakeholders from around the world to take part in a Global Survey of Climate Action in Tourism and help identify front-running initiatives and opportunities to accelerate climate action in tourism. Launched on World Environment Day, the survey aims to support the ongoing efforts of the sector to reduce its…

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO and Euronews Partner to Highlight the Relevance of Tourism

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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 29, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO and international broadcaster Euronews have signed a new agreement to work together to lead the global tourism recovery by highlighting the heightened economic, development, social and cultural relevance of the sector. This agreement was signed within the framework of the opening of UNWTO’s first Regional Office in the Middle East in Riyadh…

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO Makes History with Opening of First Regional Office in the Middle East

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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 27, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has opened its first Regional Office for the Middle East, bringing the United Nations specialized agency closer to its Members and advancing on its commitment to guiding the development of tourism in every global region. At a ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili was…

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO Hosts Tourism Leaders in Madrid

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Madrid, Spain, May 24, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The global tourism sector has come together to show its unity and readiness to restart as soon as conditions allow. To celebrate the return of the FITUR International Tourism Fair, UNWTO united leaders from the public and private sectors to send out a strong message that tourism is ready to return. Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili welcomed…

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO and IE University Partner to Accelerate Online Education

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Madrid, Spain, May 7, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization, in keeping with its firm commitment to democratizing online education; IE University, with more than 20 years’ experience in online training, and Sommet Education, global leader in higher education in hotel management and culinary arts are partnering to accelerate on-line education in the Hospitality sector.

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

G20 Ministers Welcome UNWTO Recommendations for Tourism’s Green Transformation

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Rome, Italy, May 5, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO has served as tourism’s global voice as the Tourism Ministers of the G20 nations met to devise a way forward for an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable recovery for the sector. Upon assuming Presidency of the G20 , Italy has drawn on UNWTO data to highlight the impact the pandemic has had on tourist numbers globally and how this translates into lost…

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO and Google Partner to Restart of African Tourism

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Madrid, Spain, April 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) continues to advance its commitment to the African tourism sector by partnering with Google to help destinations gain expert insights into data management and digital marketing. In a special capacity building event, researchers and marketing professionals from 20 African National Tourism Organizations (NTOs)…

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Tourist Arrivals Down 87% in January 2021, UNWTO calls for Stronger Coordination

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Madrid, Spain, April 3, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global tourism has carried on into 2021, with new data showing an 87% fall in international tourist arrivals in January as compared to 2020. The outlook for the rest of the year remain cautious as the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) continues to call for stronger coordination on travel protocols…

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

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