This has been another challenging year for our societies, our economies and tourism. Many millions of jobs and businesses remain in peril, at the mercy of an evolving crisis and of the actions of governments. However, we are by no means in the same place we were when the pandemic was declared in March 2020. In fact, we have succeeded in laying the foundations to restart tourism around the pillars of sustainability, innovation, people and investing for a resilient future.
Over the past year, much progress has been made in rolling out vaccinations and in both detecting and treating COVID-19. We have also seen significant progress made in finding the right balance between keeping people safe and keeping the vital lifeline of tourism intact, as illustrated by UNWTO’s effective collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) since the very start of the pandemic.
A collaborative and multilateral approach is and must remain at the centre of capitalizing on the lessons we have learned in such a short space of time.
Ensuring harmonized travel protocols has been our message since day one. They are at the heart of tourism’s restart in many parts of the world, most notably in the Northern Hemisphere destinations during the peak summer months.
We are also encouraged by the resilience and determination coming from the tourism sector itself, as well as from our Member States.
Expanding on our mandate
Interest in UNWTO’s innovation and start-up competitions keeps growing, showcasing the talent we have unleashed, and our shared readiness to hear new voices and embrace new ideas.
Our global innovation ecosystem is now made up of more than 12,000 start-ups from 160 countries, with US$83 million mobilized and 300 corporate partners currently working on new tourism technologies.
And UNWTO’s education programmes are reaching unprecedented numbers of people, welcoming more than 20,000 students from 100 countries in just 18 months.
This is an excerpt from an article by Zurab Pololikashvili, originally published by the UNWTO.