The global tourism sector is starting the new year prepared to #RestartTourism when conditions allow, with the World Tourism Organization set to again bring together leaders from across the public and private sectors. On January 18th in Madrid, the UNWTO Global Tourism Crisis Committee held its first meeting of the year. The meeting took place in the context of the UNWTO Executive Council.
On January 18th, 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, met for the first time this year. Taking advantage of the Executive Council celebrated the following day and hosted by Spain, the meeting was a hybrid event, combining in-person and virtual participation. Once again, the Committee brought together tourism leaders from around the world, as well as UN agencies and representatives from civil society and the private sector.
Key issues on the agenda included exploring how vaccines against COVID-19 can be part of a harmonized approach to restarting tourism, including through the potential use of health passports and other measures. UNWTO called on members of the Committee to join forces for a global campaign aimed at restoring confidence in tourism.
Executive Council meets for 113th Session
During the 113th session of the UNWTO Executive Council on January 19th, representatives of the 35 Council members were provided with updates on the implementation of the UNWTO Programme of Work and plans for 2021. The Executive Council explored current tourism trends, including the impact of the ongoing pandemic on the sector and what this means for livelihoods and tourism’s contribution to sustainable development.
The Executive Council meeting included the election for the position of UNWTO Secretary-General for the term 2022-2025. Incumbent Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili has been re-elected for a second term, while the Kingdom of Bahrain nominated Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa for the position.