As the world faces the devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism sector is among those being affected most severely. Travel is down, fear is up, and the future is uncertain.
Tourism is an essential pillar of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The livelihoods of many depend on it, especially women and particularly in the world’s most vulnerable countries, including Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries. Moreover, in many parts of the world, the protection of biodiversity relies heavily on the tourist sector, from conservation to the revenue generated by those efforts.
Tourism can be a platform for overcoming the pandemic. By bringing people together, tourism can promote solidarity and trust – crucial ingredients in advancing the global cooperation that is so urgently needed at this time.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization is strongly committed to this work. I encourage all those involved in the tourism sector to explore how we can recover better, including through climate action and other steps that advance sustainability and build resilience. On our journey toward a better future, we must uphold our pledge to leave no one behind.