The pandemic and related travel restrictions “had enormous social and economic effects that reverberated through countries, destinations, communities and families around the world,” said Julia Simpson.
The Executive President of the World Travel and Tourism Council, Julia Simpson, said this thursday the Covid-19 pandemic “has been devastating” for employment in the sector, having lost 62 million jobs in Worldwide.
Referring to data prior to the pandemic, the head of this organization (WTTC, World Travel & Tourism Council, in English) indicated that, in 2019, “one in four jobs being created in the world” related to the industry of travel and tourism. “And that means that, in 2019, there were more than 330 million jobs in our sector. Unfortunately, this pandemic has been devastating for us”, highlighted Julia Simpson, at a World on Sustainable Tourism “A World for Travel — Évora Forum”, on 16 september 2021,in Portugal – Évora city.
Recalling this sector represents “10.4% of GDP worldwide”, the executive president of the WTTC considered it “important” that industry and governments cooperate “to restart travel and build resilience” in this area for “a sustainable future”.
The pandemic and the respective travel restrictions “had enormous social and economic effects, which reverberated through countries, destinations, communities and families around the world”, he stressed, ensuring that, in the last year, the WTTC has sought to “prove that trips can be made in safety”.
Currently, “there are still parts of the world that are effectively closed”, but some advances are already being seen, said the official, giving as examples Portugal and Europe as a whole.
Still, underlined the executive president of WTTC, an organization that represents more than 200 companies from around the world from different industries in the travel and tourism
sector, “stronger international collaboration” is needed to “drive a global economic recovery”. it also called on all governments not to look inward, but to respond as global leaders and coordinate global solutions.
For Julia Simpson, the closure of borders and restrictions on international mobility are not the only issues on the table, there are “other factors that are detrimental to the recovery” of the sector. It also drew attention to the “highly fragmented nature of travel and tourism”, the “lack of inclusion of this sector in government decision-making” and the “limited leadership of multilateral institutions”. It argues that travel-related risks in this pandemic period should be managed “at the individual level” and “not putting entire countries on red lists”.
However, in the case of Portugal, he said he applauds the country’s “leadership” “in opening up travel and valuing the sector’s contribution to employment, wealth and well-being”.
The most recent message from António Guterres, ONU secretary general, highlights the importance of tourism as “one of the most important economic sectors in the world”.
The latest political document “Tourism and covid-19”, presented by the ONU secretary general, António Guterres, analyzes the impact of covid-19 on what is one of the largest economic sectors in the world. This document, based on data from the World Tourism Organization (WTO), also focuses on the differences and strengths between the regions analyzed (according to their level of development), and on the role of tourism in the advancement of technology and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We will ensure that tourism regains its position as a creator of decent jobs, stable incomes and protector of our cultural and natural heritage.” — António Guterres.
For the ONU leader, rebuilding the tourism sector is paramount — but it must also respect fair and sustainable development, and it is important that it is in line with climate goals. As such, António Guterres leaves, in his recommendations, five priority areas for recovery:
• Socio-economic security, especially for women;
• Encouraging the sector’s competitiveness and resilience, promoting tourism at national and regional level;
• Wider use of technology in tourism, ensuring greater resilience and more temporary jobs;
• A change affects sustainable and green growth, so that the sector becomes more efficient, competitive and ultimately carbon neutral;
• Promoting partnerships that enable industry transformation and faster reach of the SDGs, putting people and their safety first, easing and lifting travel restrictions in a responsible and coordinated manner.
Tourism is one of the sectors that were affected the most by the COVID-19 pandemic. But as the situation is still fluid and scientists expect