Tourism Continues to Suffer Due to Pandemic: UN Chief

    Wahyu Dwi Anggoro - 28 September 2021 15:00 WIB
    Tourism Continues to Suffer Due to Pandemic: UN Chief
    United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres (Photo: UN Photo)

    New York: Tourism touches almost every part of our economies and societies, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday, marking World Tourism Day.  

    The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism could result in a more than $4 trillion loss to the global economy, according to a recent report from the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). 


    Highlighting the fact that in the first months of this year, international tourist arrivals decreased by a staggering 95 per cent in parts of the world, Guterres said that tourism continues to suffer enormously due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

    "This is a major shock for developed economies, but for developing countries, it is an emergency," he added.  

    "Climate change is also severely affecting many major tourist destinations, particularly Small Island Developing States," his message added. 

    There, tourism accounts for nearly 30 per cent of all economic activity.  

    Acknowledging that many millions of livelihoods are in jeopardy, Guterres said that now it is time to rethink, transform, and safely restart tourism. 

    "With the right safeguards in place, the tourism sector can provide decent jobs, helping to build resilient, sustainable, gender-equal, inclusive economies and societies that work for everyone," he added. 

    According to the United Nations specialized agency for responsible and sustainable tourism (UNWTO), tourism is a recognized pillar of most the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), particularly Goals 1 (poverty-elimination), 5 (gender equality), 8 (decent work and economic growth) and 10 (to reduce inequalities). 

    In his messag  Guterres went on to call for targeted action and investment, towards green and sustainable tourism, with high emitting sectors, including air and sea transport and hospitality, moving towards carbon neutrality,

    Adding that everybody should have a say in how tourism shapes the future of our societies, the UN chief concluded that only through inclusive decision-making can we ensure inclusive, sustainable growth, deliver on the promise of the SDGs, and transform tourism to fulfil its potential.

    The sector could then become an engine for prosperity, a vehicle for integration, a means to protect our planet and biodiversity, and an agent of cultural understanding between peoples, said Guterres. 


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