The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has once again brought leaders from over the sector together for high-level talks targeted at strengthening cooperation between your public and private sectors. The 42nd Plenary Session of the United Nations specialized agency’s Affiliate Members focused both on immediate priorities for tourism’s vital restart and on the longer-term task of ensuring the sector is still a key pillar of sustainable development.
The event provided a distinctive, high-level platform to permit Members to share their best practices and proposals for recovery. With the theme “Recovering Tourism. Rebuilding Trust. Reinforcing Partnerships,” the Session echoed the wider priorities of UNWTO, most importantly restoring confidence in international travel and promoting collaboration at every level. Participants were encouraged to employ the new Affiliate Members Virtual Corner, launched to coincide with the Plenary Session.
United behind the UNWTO Programme of Work
The Plenary Session centered on laying the foundations for UNWTO’s Programme of Work for 2021. This roadmap includes continuing to make tourism a key pillar of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and additional enhancing sustainability and inclusivity over the whole of the sector. UNWTO’s Affiliate Members, who include businesses, academia and civil society actors, will play an essential role in the United Nations specialized agency’s work in the challenging months ahead.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “The engaged participation of each part of our sector will be had a need to restart tourism and drive recovery. From the start of this crisis, tourism has led just how in adapting to the new reality and putting public health issues first. Now, tourism needs the support of governments and international organizations to grow back and grow back better and more resilient, benefitting many millions of people and businesses worldwide.”
Making good on UNWTO’s pledge to lead by example, this hybrid meeting again demonstrated that international travel is safe and that tourism is proactively adapting to the new post-COVID reality. In every, a lot more than 200 delegates took part in the Plenary Session, either in-person or virtually, with the diversity of tourism on full display
Celebrating tourism at its best
Against the background of Plenary Session, the UNWTO Affiliate Members Distinction Awards show how tourism is living up to its status as the best people-first sector. The function celebrates those stakeholders who that best embodied the spirit of solidarity and determination that underlined the sector’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. IFEMA, was recognized because of its response to the crisis, specifically for allowing its exhibition spaces to be repurposed for healthcare. As well, CNN was recognized because of its inspirational communication campaigns, including its work bringing the UNWTO #TravelTomorrow campaign to a worldwide audience of millions.
Other Affiliate Members recognized at the 2020 Awards include Chameleon Approaches for its work in Asia, and both Facility Concept and the Africa Tourism Partners Company for advancing UNWTO’s work in Africa. The Xcaret Group was recognized because of its work restarting attractions and theme parks, while IATA was commended for its work in support of the global air transport sector. Alongside these, CaixaBank was recognized because of its support for tourism businesses of most sizes, with the Ayuntamiento de Madrid leading by example in fostering public-private partnerships for response and recovery.
The ceremony also highlights tourism’s wider contribution and the role Affiliate Members are playing in advancing this. EGEDA was recognized because of its work promoting the Sustainable Development Goals, the Seoul Tourism Organization, was commended because of its work promoting tourism as a tool for peace and reconciliation, while the Royal Commission for Al Ula was designated for its promotion of inclusive community development through tourism.