A high-level delegation of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has held a series of meetings in Brussels, Belgium aimed at ensuring tourism remains at the top of the political agenda of the European institutions.
As UNWTO guides the global restart of tourism, Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili has been working closely with European leaders to ensure the sector receives the political and financial support needed to protect livelihoods and safeguard businesses.
During his visit to Brussels, Pololikashvili urged the leaders of the European institutions to transform the ambitious plans for the recovery into reality by coordinating a package of response measures that will allow for tourism to return and to drive the recovery of the EU economy.
At the same time, the UNWTO leadership stressed the importance of supporting and growing domestic tourism.
According to Pololikashvili, domestic tourism has immense potential, including for the recovery and development of rural communities. However, for this potential to be realized, governments and the European Institutions need to provide greater direction and stronger leadership.
Tourism contributes 10% of total GDP for the European Union and supports more than 2.4 million businesses. The sector is on track for a fall of between 60% and 90% in bookings compared to similar periods in previous years.
The estimated revenue loss this year for hotels and restaurants, tour operators, long distance rail and for cruises and airlines is from 85% to 90%. As a result of this pandemic, 6 million people may lose their jobs, a UNWTO statement said. – TradeArabia News Service
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