On 18 January, the UNWTO Global Tourism Crisis Committee conducted the first meeting this year in Madrid, focused on how Covid-19 vaccines can be part of a harmonized approach to restart tourism.
The Global Tourism Crisis Committee established by UNWTO at the very start of the pandemic as a means to unite the sector and lead a strong and consistent response to the crisis. The first meeting this year was a hybrid event, bringing together tourism leaders from around the world, as well as UN agencies and representatives from civil society and the private sector.
The Committee highlighted that the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in the world opens a critical window to boost the safe resumption of international travel.
UNWTO Secretary-General Pololikashvili said: “The rollout of vaccines is a step in the right direction, but the restart of tourism cannot wait. Vaccines must be part of a wider, coordinated approach that includes certificates and passes for safe cross-border travel. In the longer-term, we also need to restore confidence in tourism. The United for Travel campaign will help us achieve this, providing a clear and strong message that safe tourism is now possible.”
The Committee called for:
- Stepping up the coordination of vaccination certificates to ensure timely monitoring, definition and implementation of common, harmonized digital related travel principles, protocols and documents.
- Support the standardization, digitalization and interoperability of testing protocols and certification systems.
- Support of OECD’s initiative for the development and coordination of a harmonized system in all countries to open borders safely in coordination with World Tourism Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Maritime Organization, and the World Health Organization.
- The implementation of the ICAO CART Take-off Guidance in order to advance the harmonization of testing protocols requirements.
- Countries to ensure that measures affecting international traffic are risk-based, evidence-based, coherent, proportionate and time-limited.