Government AffairsUNWTO says benefits tourism brings are ‘under threat’

Green shoots: Beijing begins to open up

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Bejing is opening up its outdoor attractions
Bejing is opening up its outdoor attractions Photo Credit: GettyImages

GENEVA - The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) wants travel restrictions eased as soon as it is safe to do so in a bid to kick start the tourism sector and help to repair the global economy.

UNWTO said it plans to release a new recovery technical assistance package, which it says will enable its member states to build capacity and better market and promote their tourism sector “in the challenging months ahead”

UNWTO says 90 destinations have completely or partially closed their borders to tourists due to coronavirus concerns, while a further 44 are closed to certain tourists depending on country of origin.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said, “With tourism suspended, the benefits the sector brings are under threat: millions of jobs could be lost, and progress made in the fields of equality and sustainable economic growth could be rolled back.”

The call from UNWTO to ease travel restrictions comes with news from Beijing that that city has reopened 73 major tourist sites, almost one third of the total in the municipality.

All of them are outdoor landscape attractions including three Great Wall sites.

UNWTO said it plans to release a new recovery technical assistance package, which it says will enable its member states to build capacity and better market and promote their tourism sector “in the challenging months ahead”.

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